Mookaite

Mookaite is a fairly rare material found in only one location, 'Mooka Station', in the Kennedy Ranges of Western Australia.

It is often referred to as a Jasper, Chert, Opalite, or Chalcedony, but these are incorrect. It is a silicified Radiolarite… if that helps! 🙂

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Appearance

Mookaite occurs as a multi coloured material with different pieces showing different colours. It has a somewhat waxy texture to the surface sometimes – and makes a great display item.

It takes a great polish.


Uses and History

As far as I’m aware, Mookaite is only used as a decorative object. There is not too much information on the uses or history of this material.

It is often cut and polished, sold for jewellery and other decorative items. Mookaite cabochons are a very popular item for jewellery making.


Locales

 

Africa:

Asia:

Europe:

South America:

Antarctica:

Australia and Oceania:

  • Mooka Station, Carnarvonshire, Western Australia, Australia

North America:


Mineralogy

 

Geological
Mookaite occurs in the Windalia Radiolarite formation, and is technically a fossiliferous sedimentary rock.
High concentrations of Iron and Silica in this locale have created a very colourful material. It dates from the Early Cretaceous – around 120 million years old.
Colours and Variations
White, cream, brown, grey, yellow, orange-red, purple, mauve.
Streak
May vary based on composition.
Luster
Vitreous with matte patches.
Fracture
Conchoidal.
Crystal habit
Massive.
Mohs hardness
6-7
Cleavage
None.
Specific Gravity
Typically somewhere between 2.5 and 2.9 – this varies widely based on composition.
Easiest testing method
Mookaite is not the easiest to test – a visual inspection and hardness test is the most reliable diagnostic option.

Photos of Mookaite

Mookaite (Windalia Radiolarite Formation, Lower Cretaceous; Western Australia) 5 (46860960962)
The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Mookaite
Mookaite (Windalia Radiolarite Formation, Lower Cretaceous; Western Australia) 10 (33037817288)
Mookaite (Windalia Radiolarite Formation, Lower Cretaceous; Western Australia) 15 (31972045487)
Mookaite (Windalia Radiolarite Formation, Lower Cretaceous; Western Australia)
Mookaite (Windalia Radiolarite Formation, Lower Cretaceous; Western Australia) 17 (45998712375)

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.
When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations, synonyms, and trade names

Arabic:
Hindi:
Portuguese:
Bengali:
Indonesian:
Punjabi:
English:

  • Mookaite
  • Mook Jasper
Italian:
Russian:
French:
Japanese:
Spanish:
German:

  • Mookait
Korean:

  • 무 카이트
Thai:
Gujurati:
Mandarin Chinese:
Urdu:

Further Reading / External Links