Calcite Plaque from France
This artifact provides powerful evidence for rapid calcite formation, a typical mineral found in cavern formations. This plaque was produced by allowing natural spring water, rich in minerals, to flow over a mold for about 8 months. When this mold was removed, this beautiful artwork, composed of calcium carbonate (in the crystal form known as calcite) was the result. Calcite often makes up stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone formations in caverns. These plaques can reach up to 1 cm (0.4 in) in thickness in 8 months. At this rate, 50 feet of calcite could accumulate in 1,000 years. Fast-flowing water, with lots of minerals in solution, is all that is necessary to form calcite quickly. This is the case for the development of formations found in caverns too. They can form quickly with lots of flowing water containing the appropriate minerals. There are various scenes on the calcite artwork (the one you receive may have a different scene than the example shown).