THE MINERAL DOGTOOTH CALCITE
Dogtooth Calcite is a variety of Calcite that forms as multiple scalenohedral crystals. Dogtooth Calcite is
often referred to as Dog-toothed Spar. (Spar is a general term for transparent to translucent, generally
light-colored and vitreous crystalline minerals.) Dogtooth Calcite is an unusual variety of calcite and is
named "Dogtooth" because the stone itself looks like a large collection of dogs teeth. It has some
standard colorings from clear through golden, white, grey, tan, brown and purple to name a few, but also
is found some rarer shades.
Dogtooth Calcite is often found in caves as a speleothem growing out of limestone. These caves often
have standing water that is seasonal or undisturbed for many years to allow these unique formations to
grow. Dogtooth calcite crystals are not limited to caves, but can grow in any open space including veins,
fractures, and geodes.
The sharply tooth-shaped crystals typically consist of acute scalenohedrons, twelve triangular crystal faces
that ideally form scalene triangles. (In a scalene triangle, all sides and all angles are unequal. An example
is a right triangle, but scalene triangles are not always right triangles.) However, modification of these
faces is common, and individual crystal faces may have many more than three edges.
These Dogtooth Calcite specimens come from the Mines in the Santa Eulalia District, Chihuahua,
Mexico. The stunning tans, browns, purples and "snow coatings" are fascinating.