This dramatic piece in red, white, metallic silver and metallic white is a piece of vintage fordite, a really unusual material. It is not a mineral but is actually formed of layer upon layer of automotive paint as cars were spray painted. The paint overspray built up on the equipment and was baked along with the cars to cure the paint. It was then cleaned off the equipment, broken into pieces and lightly tumbled to reveal the fascinating layers and colours that you see. The last photos show a couple of "raw" pieces, where you can see how they formed over piping. It was originally sourced from the Ford factory in Detroit, hence the name.
Due to improvements in manufacturing technology this no longer happens so fordite is no longer produced. The colours vary with the age of the piece and the car manufacturer. This brightly coloured piece is probably from the 1960s or 1970s. My supplier told me that it did come from Detroit.
This specimen is discreetly mounted on a clear plastic support.
7/8 inch (2.2 cm) wide, 9/16 inch (1.4 cm) deep and 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) tall.