Mineral Specimens,  Product Sourcing,  Selenite,  Virtual Travel

What does Selenite have do with Oklahoma?

Approximately 1,000 miles away from Littlefield Home’s native city of Atlanta lies a goldmine of uniquely shaped and colored selenite crystals. Surprisingly, this incredible location is hidden within the United States, in an often overlooked state best known for its kitchen-pan-like geography. Oklahoma–northwestern Oklahoma to be exact–happens to be a Selenite hotspot. The geological formation known as the “Salt Plains” or “Salt Flats” is home to this selenite hotspot, and has become known for the hourglass-shaped, amber-hued selenite crystals which form in its wet, iron oxide-rich soil.

A visitor at the salt plains and a shovel full of the Salt Plains’s charicterisitic amber-hued selenite.

A page entitled “Selenite Crystals” on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website for the Salt Plains in Oklahoma explains how the salt that comprises the salt plains was formed by ocean water that evaporated millions of years ago. “It is the concentrated saline solution combining with the gypsum that promises the selenite growth,” states the webpage. The page continues, “the crystals are formed just below the salt encrusted surface” and that the iron oxide in the soil “gives the crystals their chocolate brown color.”

A visitor to the Salt Plains holds a characteristic selenite crystal with the expansive Plains as a backdrop.
Close-up of the distinctive hour-glass shape within the selenite crystal.

The most unique and eye-catching feature of the crystals which makes them stand out from other selenite specimens is the distinctive hourglass shape which forms within the crystal when they “form in wet soil [and] sand and clay particles are included within the crystal.” This hourglass shape is not found in selenite specimens anywhere else in the world–only within those sourced from Oklahoma’s Salt Plains–which is why the hour-glass shaped selenite crustal is designated as Oklahoma’s state crystal.

If you’re looking for a quarantine-friendly road trip, look no further than Northwest Oklahoma! Try your hand at mining your own hourglass-shaped selenite crystals (anyone is allowed to dig at specific locations in the Plains) or check out Littlefield Home’s collection of selenite logs and specimens, available both online and in-person.



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