|Pink Halite from California|
Photo Copyright ©️ Artstonetics/IG
Halite is a type of salt, the mineral (natural) form of sodium chloride (NaCl). Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on inclusion of other materials, impurities, and structural or isotopic abnormalities in the crystals.
Halite has economic value. In addition to its use in food, salt is traditionally used in large quantities in wintertime to prevent roadways from icing up. Halite is principally mined from ancient rock salt successions. Rock salt is a chemical sedimentary rock composed of halite and formed by evaporation of seawater.
Pink Halite is a type of Halite that had its color tainted from bacteria of various algae species. Halite is known as the “natural form of salt” and is a very common mineral found near oceans and salt lakes. This stone can be found in the form of masses and a tubular crystal structure.
The specimen pictured above is from a dried up salt lake in
San Bernardino, California. Be careful to avoid getting pieces of Pink
Halite wet as it may start to disintegrate before your eyes.
Through geologic time, the lake has alternated between having water and being dry. What little water does occur in modern Searles Lake is highly saline. When the water evaporates, halite precipitates. The pinkish coloration is from incorporation of pigments (carotenoids) in halophilic archaea and algae that live in the water.