Those Fabulous
Arkansas Tabular Crystals

One of the truly outstanding and most sought after form of Arkansas quartz is the tabular (tabby) crystal. The tabby is basically a crystal with a flat shape and can range in size from very small up to many pounds.

Tabular crystals can form when pressure causes an existing crystal to cleave or split apart in directions that are parallel to the main faces. These broken flat plates move away from the host crystal when more pressure is added or when the crystal-bearing vein collapses. Now, healing begins to take place along the broken surfaces to create the unique tabular shape. With additional shifting within the vein this new crystal moves or floats away from the host crystal and is referred to as a tabby floater.

Tabular crystals can also form as faden quartz. A faden is a single crystal fiber that was created when tremendous stress and pressure split grains of quartz. These split grains start a healing and cracking sequence that creates an elongated single crystal fiber that spans the width of a narrow opening or fissure in the host rock. Over time more pressure and movement of the earth widens the fissure. Silicon dioxide now begins to deposit itself along the faden or crystal fiber to form a flat shaped tabular blade. Because the healing process can be incomplete the faden remains visible as threadlike or distorted (rejuvinated) in appearance, and can be straight or curved. Under even more pressure and movement the faden tabular blade can break away from the walls of the fissure and more healing takes place. A faden tabby floater has now been created.

We here in Arkansas are lucky enough to have both types of tabular crystals and they can be found in most of the quartz crystal mining areas. These wonderful tabby crystals can appear as single crystals, as multiples stacked one on top of the other or side-by-side. Tabby crystals can also form their own unique clusters that are truly amazing and very rare. Because of the stress and pressure needed to create these wonders of nature, finding a specimen in undamaged condition is very, very difficult. When one is found, it should always be treasured.

Unique Tabby Cluster

Tabby As Part of a Cluster

Large 7 Pound Tabby

Curved Faden Tabby

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