Mozarkite is a colorful type of chert, or flint, native to Missouri, USA.
Similar stones can be found all over the world but only those from Missouri are known as Mozarkite – a portmanteau derived from the words Missouri, Ozark, and the suffix ite, meaning rock.
Prized Mozarkite specimens feature hues of pink, orange, and red and can be polished to a beautiful shiny luster.
What is Mozarkite?
Mozarkite is a stone from the chert family, a group of common and semiprecious stones derived from flint.
Unlike common flint, Mozarkite is composed of silica quartz with interspersed chalcedony.
Chalcedony is a distinctive crystal structure within the silica family and features inclusions of quartz and moganite.
Moganite is also a silicon dioxide compound, but with a differing crystal formation to quartz.
It has a dull luster when compared to other quartz varieties, and it is this difference that creates the characteristic swirls and opaqueness of Mozarkite.
Although similar flint stones are found across the world, Mozarkite by definition can only come from Missouri.
It was first identified and popularized in the 1950s and was eventually named the official Missouri state rock in 1967.
Where is Mozarkite found?
Most of Missouri’s Mozarkite is found south of the Missouri River and due west of the Lake of the Ozarks.
The Ozarks are a physiographic region spanning from north Arkansas to South Missouri USA and feature two mountain ranges which cover a combined area of 47,000 square miles.
Mozarkite is derived from the Cotter Dolomite, a layer of sedimentary rock, which dates these colorful stones at over 450 million years old.
These rock layers are believed to have been formed through deposits of a combination of silica material and the calcium carbonate-rick shells of marine creatures in ancient oceans.
Specimens can be found by digging at known Mozarkite mining locations, or – if you don’t have the permission and equipment to do so – you can often find samples alone river and stream beds that drain from the Cotter Dolomite land area.
When digging for Mozarkite, the stone is typically deposited in narrow bands embedded in dolomite or limestone, so requires some tenacity to free it from the surrounding rock.
If you are walking through Missouri, keep an eye on the ground along roadsides and freshly dug farmland as you may find pieces of Mozarkite freshly turned out of the earth. Raw Mozarkite usually presents in nodules or bead-like shapes.
How do you identify Mozarkite?
As Mozarkite is a type of flint, the most common specimens are variations of white, brown, and gray coloring.
But don’t be fooled!
Mozarkite can also be found in hues of pink, red, purple, yellow, and orange.
These coral-like colors swirl together in an effect reminiscent of pink marble.
Mozarkite is an opaque stone with a high hardness rating of 7.5 on the Mohs scale and a density of around 2.65g/cm3.
This means you shouldn’t be able to easy scratch the surface of the stone, but it will crack if struck with enough force.
Is Mozarkite similar to other stones?
Something to bear in mind here, is that Mozarkite is a local name given to this particular type of quartz.
Other stones with the same chemical composition and similar coloring can be found all over the world, but only those specimens retrieved from Missouri can be called Mozarkite.
Elsewhere, Mozarkite is known as jasper, chalcedony, or simply flint.
The particular coloring of pink Mozarkite can sometimes mean it is confused with rose quartz or even pink marble, but any uncertainty is dispelled by its superior hardness and durability.
If you are buying Mozarkite, it is typically cheaper than rose quartz or marble so use this simple metric to determine the authenticity of your purchase if you are unsure.
What is Mozarkite used for?
So long as the Mozarkite specimen is non-porous and free from scratches and fractures it can take a very high polish to yield a bright luster.
Throughout Missouri you will find tumbled Mozarkite stones as well as jewelry and beads made from the most colorful specimens.
As well as beads, Native Americans indigenous to Missouri have long used Mozarkite to make weapons and tools such as spades, arrowheads, and blades.
Mozarkite offers a more colorful alternative to the more common grayscale flint also available in the area.
How do you polish Mozarkite?
As Mozarkite is so durable, it can be tumble polished with excellent final results.
For the best end product hobbyists recommend a five-week tumble process with 2 weeks of course grit, 1 week of medium, 1 week of fine, and 1 week with an aluminum oxide polish.
What is the meaning of Mozarkite?
The main meaning of Mozarkite lies with its status as the official stone of Missouri.
Because it is named specifically after the region it cannot technically be found anywhere else in the world.
For people who collect stones and crystals for their possible metaphysical properties,
Mozarkite is believed to encourage characteristics of creativity, communication, and awareness.
It is associated with the eye and throat chakra and has been tied to the wind element.
Is Mozarkite valuable?
As Mozarkite is simply a type of flint, it tends to not be particularly valuable.
Nevertheless, if the specimen is particularly colorful, large, or intact then it may fetch a few dollars from the right buyer.
The true value of Mozarkite is in the relative ease with which it is found.
For many lapidarists a day is well spent, and fruitful, while hunting for Mozarkite.
When the stones are polished and shaped into jewelry or beads they can fetch a modest price from a collector of interesting stones.
Mozarkite is undoubtedly an interesting stone.
When you find a piece of it in a riverbed, along a roadside, or even on a successful dig, you are privy to a part of Missouri’s history that stretches back over 450 million years.
Despite other similar stones existing all over the world, only those found in Missouri can be labelled as Mozarkite, making them an excellent addition to any collection.
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