Rock of the Month

Dali Stone

Dali Stone


Guangxi Province, China

An art form called gong shi, translated as “rocks to be admired” has been practiced in China since the Tang era (A.D. 618-906). Gong shi – also known as “spirit stones”, “scholars’ stones”, and “table rocks” –are admired for the microcosmic suggestiveness of their natural or subtly altered three-dimensional “found” form, polished by wind, water and meditative hand-rubbing alone. Manganese oxide/hydroxide dendrites precipitated from a mineralizing and oxidizing solution that percolated through faults and cracks in the host limestone and diffused into the fissures margins as a halo, bleaching the organic impurities in the limestone. This specimen falls into the category of dali shi, meaning “marble stone” often marked with an evocative mineral pattern, such as dendritic "mountains and rivers" that is best appreciated in polished blocks or domes.

Updated March 7, 2015

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Contact Info

Feather River Lapidary & Mineral Society
PO Box 2645
Oroville, CA 95965-2645