The mineral Ulexite is defined as a “structurally complex mineral with a basic structure containing chains of sodium, water and hydroxide octahedra. The chains are linked together by calcium, water, hydroxide and oxygen polyhedra and massive boron units.” The mineral is named after a German chemist, Georg Ludwig Ulex, who first discovered it and it is most common around the mountains and deserts of California in the USA though it is also found in Chile and Kazakhstan.
Ulexite is most commonly found with the mineral Borax and is deposited in arid regions formed from the evaporation of water in shallow lakes called ‘playas’. The playas form during the rainy season due to runoff from mountains. The runoff is rich in the element boron and becomes highly concentrated by evaporation in any arid climate. Eventually the concentration becomes so great that crystals of ulexite, borax and other boron minerals accumulate to great thicknesses.
Ulexite is best described as a white ‘triclinic’ mineral that forms kidney-shaped masses of very fine needle-shaped crystals and has an unusual optical property of being able to project an image of an object placed across it to the opposite surface. The natural fibres of ulexite are also able to conduct light along these fibres by means of internal reflection and most specimens are fibrous in nature. In effect it could be said that ulexite displays extraordinary fibre- optic capabilities.
It is often called a "TV Rock’. This is because if the specimen is an inch or so thick and is polished flat on both sides perpendicular to the fibres, then the fibres will behave optically and transmit an image from one side of the translucent mineral to the other.
Some crystal-sensitive individuals report many other qualities possessed by ulexite and they tend to use it as a ‘healing’ stone. It is claimed that it has the ability to heal and balance physical vision, strengthen the eyesight and overcome eye-fatigue and blurred vision as well as removing wrinkles and easing headaches. Others claim it also improves memory and concentration. In addition to its reported healing abilities there are other claims to the wonders of ulexite including enhancing the ability to use one’s imagination, helping to facilitate original thinking and increasing creativity. It is said to clarify complicated concepts and helps with assimilating things like technical information.
Many collectors and users of ulexite also use it in a more spiritual context as a stone of clairvoyance or as an aid to meditation and visualisation as it helps to open the inner-eye. It is also said to balance the Yin and Yang energies and realign auras. For advanced users it also facilitates the sensitising of the ‘self’ to the field of consciousness outside of the body allowing practitioners to read the energies and intentions of others as well as aiding the development of a number of other psychic abilities.