On our October 2010 rockin’ road trip, my Mom and I had just left cowboy country in Kanab and were on our way to Bryce Canyon when we came across the small town of Orderville, UT.
Utah is home to a lot of interesting rocks, minerals, fossils and petroglyphs. All I needed to see were 4 “Rock Shop” signs right in a row to know that we were due for a coffee/rest/rock stop way before we needed one.
The Rock Stop was the most interesting of all. The owner/miner was passionate about the rocks, and after talking with him for a long while about the native stones and fossils, he told me these Septarian nodules were mined just across the highway and over the hill.
Septarian is an interesting stone. In it’s natural form, these nodules vary in size from one inch to 4 feet in diameter. If you stumbled across one of these gray mudballs without knowing what was inside, you’d be tempted to leave it right where you found it. But, once this nodule is sawed open, the interior reveals interesting brown patterns surrounding fields of yellow within a gray background.
The hard clay-like exterior is Bentonite. The brown is Argonite and yellow is Calcite. Most Septarian nodules are solid, but some contain hollows lined with beautiful calcite crystals. Occasionally, fossils are even found in the middle.
In the photo above, you’ll see the windowed Nodule and cabs (cabachons) that have been cut and polished from the Septarian nodule.
Jewelry (cabachons and beads), bookends, spheres and animal carvings are just some of the things made from Septarian stone.
The name Septarian comes from the Latin word “septem” – meaning seven – because the mud balls had a tendency to crack in 7 points creating the distinctive pattern these nodules exhibit.
Septarian is a very powerful stone. It aids in communication, is grounding and blocks negative energy. It’s also said to help in overall healing and health.
Some would say that Septarian is beautiful, others would lean towards for ugly or interesting but I’ll leave that decision up to you. What’s your vote?