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Author Topic: Mookaite  (Read 6094 times)

Wwoofa

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Mookaite
« on: May 14, 2014, 06:04:36 AM »
Hi,
This month's "Gem of the Month" is .... Mookaite.

Feel free to add more info & pics. If anyone has any questions about Mookaite then this is a good place to post them.

You might like to change your "Gem of the Month" votes now that this one has been covered.

General Information:
Mookaite is a visually striking gemstone found close to the Kennedy Ranges near Gascoyne Junction, a small town east of Carnarvon in Western Australia.

The name Mookaite is derived from its location at Mooka Creek, on Mooka Station, once a large sheep grazing property.

Mookaite is one of Australia’s best known gemstones due to its amazing combination of colour, pattern and hardness. Vivid red, white, yellow and purple shades make Mookaite a highly sort after, world class stone.

Mookaite has an interesting origin. The area in which it is found was once part of the ocean that had long since receded, leaving an inland sea. As this inland sea evaporated, billions of tiny organisms known as Radiolarian were left behind in beds upto several metres thick. These calcareous skeletal remains absorbed iron rich minerals and silica from the sea and underground vents and springs, to form Windalia Radiolarite, a hard, fine grain chert, covering an area of thousands of square kilometres.

The higher concentrations of iron and silica at the Mooka Station deposits, has produced this unique example of Radiolarite we know as Mookaite. This formation is from the Early Cretaceous period, or around 120 million years old.

Mookaite is fashioned into many items such as jewellery, carvings and ornaments.

Here are a few useful links that should cover all of the main information ...
Mindat - http://www.mindat.org/min-27597.html
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiolarite

Fossicking Locations:
Mookaite is found in the Kennedy Ranges near Gascoyne Junction which is about 170 kms inland from the coastal town of Carnarvon in Western Australia, which is about 900 kms north of Perth.

The name "mookaite" is derived from the locality where the rock is found, Mooka Creek on Mooka Station. According to locals, the Aboriginal word "mooka" means "running waters".

It has been quarried from the area since the mid 1960's by local specimen miners. As of 2013, three specimen miners hold leases over most of the area. The area mined is restricted to a small zone along Mooka Creek, east of the Mardathuna Track.

Some more info & pics can be found here ...
http://www.mindat.org/loc-245198.html
http://outbackmining.com/mookaite.htm

« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 06:12:43 AM by Wwoofa »

Rockgirl

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 09:41:39 PM »
I've been wearing my mookaite bead bracelets the last week. I didn't cut them but they are favourites! Are photos allowed if they are bought (I did thread them though).

Other random thing I've heard though I haven't confirmed it .... Some of the tiles of Federation Squared in Melbourne are mookaite!  ;D
Karen

Bucket

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 10:35:35 PM »
My son's lovely new partner comes from Gascoyne Junction and her family lives next door to Mooka Station (or close, whatever that means up there).  I'm hopeful of getting access when we visit her parents.  Fingers crossed as I love this stuff.
Common sense isn't exactly common

Jimnyjerry

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2014, 11:19:03 PM »
Have fun Bucket, mind you there is a mining lease over about 5 hectares up there to be cleared for mookaite.
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

marty

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 02:45:26 PM »
Thanks for the info. Funny I always thought it was a type of Brecciated Jasper ! Beautiful stone.  MARTY

Aussie Sapphire

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 02:50:10 PM »
Are photos allowed if they are bought (I did thread them though).

More the merrier - just provide source/credit where appropriate.

cheers
Leah
Aussie Sapphire - The Lapidary Warehouse

1971sharyn

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2014, 08:43:34 AM »
Thanks for the info. Funny I always thought it was a type of Brecciated Jasper ! Beautiful stone.  MARTY
So did I Marty because I have something pretty similar here  ???

Fullerton

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2014, 07:31:37 PM »
There are two mineralogically similar materials that I know of in Australia. These would both be called Mookaite if it wasn't that they don't come from Mooka Station.

The first is Jinkoite that is being commercially sold by a company. The source is unknown apart from a vague reference to 'discovered in Northern Australia'.

The second is Dookaite (I've attached a pic of a recent cab), a material from north west Queensland. It is not being commercially exploited (apart from a few slabs and chunks I sell occasionally). The name is the one I've given it since it didn't have a local name and I couldn't rightfully sell the material as mookaite.

From what I can see and from feedback from others, these are also a silicified porcelanite
   

Fullerton

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2014, 08:05:58 PM »
Attached is a pic of a mustard yellow and white brecciated dookaite

1971sharyn

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 08:54:01 AM »
Attached is a pic of a mustard yellow and white brecciated dookaite
They are awesome Fullerton :D

MakkyBrown

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Re: Mookaite
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 08:47:18 PM »
Very nice cab and material, Fullerton.  :)

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