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The Mineral gold

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Gold is one of the most popular and well-known minerals, known for its value and special properties since the earliest of time. Most of the natural Gold specimens that have been found since early times have been smelted for production. Nice specimens, therefore, are regarded very highly, and are worth much more than the standard gold value. Only recently have more specimens been available to collectors, as more miners have been saving some of the larger pieces for the collectors market. Gold in its natural mineral form almost always has traces of silver, and may also contain traces of copper and iron. A Gold nugget is usually 70 to 95 percent gold, and the remainder mostly silver. The color of pure Gold is bright golden yellow, but the greater the silver content, the whiter its color is. Much of the gold mined is actually from gold ore rather then actual Gold specimens. The ore is often brown, iron-stained rock or massive white Quartz, and usually contains only minute traces of gold. To extract the gold, the ore is crushed, then the gold is separated from the ore by various methods. Gold nuggets, a popular form of Gold with collectors, are formed when erosion causes a large piece of Gold to separate from its mother rock, and then gets carried into a stream or river. The flowing water tumbles the Gold, giving it its distinct rounded shape. The Gold eventually settles at the bottom of the water, and due to its heaviness remains there. Other nuggets also get caught in the same area, forming a placer deposit. Gold is one of the heaviest minerals. When pure, it has a specific gravity of 19.3. Due to its weight, it can be panned because the Gold sinks to the bottom. In addition, it can be easily separated from other substances due to the weight differences. Gold is also the most malleable and ductile substance known. It can be flattened out to less than .00001 of an inch (less than .000065 cm), and a 1 oz. (28 gram) mass can stretch out to a distance of over 50 miles (75 kilometers). Gold is also one of the most resistant metals. It won't tarnish, discolor, crumble, or be affected by most solvents. This adds on to the uniqueness and allure of this mineral. Gold is usually associated with Pyrite and other sulfides, and sometimes may not be noticed because of the association with these resembling minerals. In certain localities, minerals that contain these sulfides are heated high enough for the sulfides to dissolve, enabling the Gold to remain intact on the matrix. Such Gold is known as "Roasted Gold", and is occasionally sold to collectors. For additional information, see the gemstone section on Gold.

Chemical Formula Au Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
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Gold, with small amounts of silver; sometimes also copper and iron (Au,Ag) ; (Au,Ag,Cu,Fe) Golden yellow to brass yellow Golden yellow 2.5 - 3 Isometric

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Dendrites, wires, nuggets, encrustations, and small flakes are the common forms. Octahedral, dodecahedral, and cubic crystals also occur, but they are uncommon and are often distorted. Crystals often have some level of hopper growth. Opaque 15.5 - 19.3 Metallic None Hackly Ductile and malleable Excellent conductor of electricity Soluble only in aqua regia Native Elements Golden-yellow color, extreme heaviness, lack of tarnish, and malleability and ductility In Quartz veins and high temperature hydrothermal deposits, as well as placer deposits. 1 3 1

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Gold ON EBAY


Electrum - Alloy of Silver and Gold, with the gold content about 75%.

Picture Rock - Mixture of Gold veins within a Quartz matrix.

USES Gold has been used as a precious metal throughout the history of mankind. This is due to its resistance, beauty, rareness, and the fact that it is very easy to work with. Many exotic gold ornaments from the past have been found. Especially noteworthy are the golden ornaments from the tombs of the Pharaohs in Egypt, where gold masks, statues, coins, and much jewelry was archeologically excavated. Gold has been used for coinage throughout the centuries, and is currently accepted internationally as a standard value. Nowadays, the main use of gold is for jewelry. As pure gold is easily bent and dented, it is always alloyed with other metals when used in jewelry. This makes it more durable and practical for ornamental use. The purity of the gold based on the alloyed metal is measured in karat weight. The karat measurement determines the percentage of gold to other metals on a scale of 1 to 24 , with 24 karats being pure gold. Due to gold's distinctive properties as a metal, it has several industrial uses. It is used in photography, dentistry, coloring, and is currently being studied for cancer treatments.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Much of the Gold mined is from large mining operations where the Gold is smeltered for commercial use, and although many commercial gold mines exist, mineral specimens and crystals are hard to come across. China and South Africa have been the worlds two largest Gold producers, but collectors will rarely if ever see a Gold specimen from these countries due to the restrictive nature of the mining operations. This locality list will restrict itself to specific occurrences where noteworthy specimens extracted have made their way to collections. Australia, a large gold producer, has the famous occurrences of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia; and the Bendigo area, Victoria. An odd occurrence from a country with few known mineral deposits is the Porgera Mine, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. The Pacific Island of Fiji is also known for its production of Gold in the Emperor Mine, Viti Levu. In Europe, a classic occurrence is Rosia Montana, Transylvania, Romania. Other European occurrences are the Bjrkdal mine in Vasterbotten, Sweden; Brusson, Val D'Aosta, Italy; and Hope's Nose, Torquay, Devon, England. Two well-known South American occurrences are Itaituba, Par, Brazil and the Bolivar province, Venezuela. Well known Gold localities in Canada are the Timmons area, Ontario; the Red Lake Gold District, Ontario; and the Dawson Mining District, Yukon Territory. In the U.S., the most famous Gold producing states are California, Nevada, South Dakota, and Alaska. California, home to the Gold rush in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, abounds in historical mining towns and many scattered occurrences. Many are long forgotten, but here is a list where some very fine specimens have come from. The Eagle's Nest Mine, Placer Co., (which has produced some of the best specimens for the mineral market); Placerville, El Dorado Co.; Grass Valley and the Red Ledge Mine, Nevada Co.; the Colorado and Mockingbird Mines, Mariposa Co.; and the Sixteen-To-One Mine, Calaveras Co. Two famous Gold regions in Nevada are the Round Mountain Mine, Nye Co., and the Olinghouse District, Washoe Co. Colorado has many minor occurrences but well known localities are the Dixie Mine, Clear Creek Co.; Breckenridge, Summit Co.; and Cripple

Creek, Teller Co. Alaska has many placer deposits in the streams in rivers, and a few of the names that are familiar are the Kenai Peninsula District; the Valdez Creek District; the Hatcher Pass District; the Caribou Creek District; and the Petersville District. The state of Alaska has preserved many of these historical placer deposits for public recreational mining. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Quartz, Pyrite, Arsenopyrite, Silver, Limonite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Pyrite (also known as "Fools" Gold) - different streak (black), less dense (4.8 - 5.2), harder (6 - 6) Chalcopyrite - different streak (black), less dense (4.1 - 4.3), harder (3 - 4)

The Mineral silver


Silver is one of the most famous precious metals, and has been used for ornamental purposes since the earliest of times. Most silver is extracted from silver ores, but considerable amounts are mined from Native Silver. Silver can be found pure, but is usually mixed with small amounts of gold, arsenic, and antimony. A natural alloy of gold and silver is known as Electrum, and is usually classified as a variety of Gold. Silver is a very resistant mineral. It does not dissolve in most solvents, and won't react to oxygen or water. However, it has a detrimental reaction to sulfur and sulfides, which causes it to tarnish on exposed surfaces. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is found in the atmosphere in small quantities, and when silver is exposed to normal air it reacts to the hydrogen sulfide, causing the tarnish. Egg yolks, which contain sulfur compounds, should be kept away from silver. Several chemical coats are available to protect it from tarnish, and certain polishes remove tarnish. For additional information, see the gemstone section on Silver.

Chemical Formula Ag Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Transparency Specific Gravity Silver, sometimes mixed with gold, mercury, arsenic, and antimony (Ag,Au) ; (Ag,Au,Hg,As,Sb) Silver-white on untarnished surfaces. Tarnishes dark yellow to black. Silver-white to light gray. Streak shiny. 2.5 - 3 Isometric Cubic, octahedral, and dodecahedral crystals occur, but are very rare. Usually occurs dendritic, wiry, massive, as grains and scales, and as groups of tiny crystals. Opaque 9.6 - 12.0

Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks

Metallic None Hackly Ductile and malleable 1) Tarnish. On a freshly broken surface, the color is bright metallicwhite. Upon prolonged exposure, it tarnishes black, brown to gray, and dark yellow. 2) Silver is the best conductor of electricity. Dissolves in nitric acid and and sulfuric acid. Native Elements; Metallic Elements Interesting crystal habit, tarnish, ductility, and conductivity. In volcanic basalt rocks and in hydrothermal veins and mesothermal veins. May also be formed by the breakdown of sulfur from lead or zinc deposits. 1 2 1

Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment

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Halfbreed - A natural mixture of Copper and Silver. Also the term describing an alloy of copper and silver. USES Silver has many unique physical properties that give it very special status. Silver is the best conductor of electricity, is the second most malleable and ductile metal, and is in greater abundance than all other precious metals with similar properties. Due to its unique properties and intrinsic beauty, it is extensively used industrially and as ornaments. Silver is largely used as jewelry, ornaments, and coins. It is very easy to work with, and

beautiful objects are created from it, such as goblets, candelabras, trays, and cutlery. In the industrial sector, silver is widely used for electrical apparatuses and circuits. It is also used for medicinal purposes, particularly in dentistry, for bactericides, and for antiseptics.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Kongsberg, Norway; and Freiberg, Saxony, Germany (especially the Himmelsfrt mine), are perhaps two most classic localities. They once provided beautiful dendritic crystals and wiry masses in abundance, but are now long exhausted. Specimens from these locations are greatly cherished by collectors and extremely hard to obtain, commanding exceedingly high prices. The finest New World occurrence is Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico, where large masses and skeletal agglomerates occur in beautiful form. Famous European localities include Pribram, Bohemia, Czech Republic; Schneeberg and Phla in the Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany; and the Balcoll Mine, Falset, Catalonia, Spain. Australia has famous Silver occurrences at the Elura Mine, Cobar, and at Broken Hill, both in New South Wales. China and Kazakhstan have recently become excellent specimen producers, specifically in Lujiang, Anhui Province, China; and Sarbay and Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Another recent producer of fine specimens is the Imiter Mine in the Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco. South America has the well-known occurrences of Potosi, Bolivia; Chaarcillo, Copiap, Chile; and the Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Peru. The U.S. lacks good localities of Native Silver, although much has been found in the Creede District, Mineral Co., Colorado, as well as in the Copper mines of Houghton and Keweenaw Counties in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The most famous Canadian locality is the Cobalt area, Timiskaming District, Ontario. Other Canadian locations are the El Bonanza Mine, Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories; and Silver Islet, Thunder Bay, Ontario. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Quartz, Calcite, Copper, Arsenic, Acanthite, Chalcocite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Platinum - harder (4 - 4), does not tarnish, heavier (14 - 19), and usually in different form. Galena, Acanthite, and Skutterudite - darker color, darker colored streak, usually in different form. Molybdenite and Stibnite - softer (2), different crystal form. Lead - softer (1.5), oxidizes to a slight bluish-gray color.

The Mineral copper


Copper is one of the most famous and useful metals, and has been important since ancient civilizations for ornaments and coinage. Its complex crystals can be beautifully formed in odd and unique masterpieces that are treasured by collectors. Copper may have impurities, but is commonly in a fairly pure state. Native copper is found only in small quantities throughout the world, but there are a few areas that are rich in findings, such as the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. Well crystallized specimens are not common, and are very

much sought after. The interlocking Copper and Silver masses that are commonly found in the Keweenaw Peninsula are known as "Halfbreeds". Some Copper on the mineral market has been cleaned and shined using various solvents. These forms are Copper can easily be spotted as their copper-red color is almost artificial looking in its fleshy hue. For additional information, see the gemstone section on Copper.

Chemical Formula Cu Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Copper, commonly associated with iron and silver (Cu,Fe,Ag) Copper-red to brown. Tarnishes green, sometimes also blue, brown, red, or black. Copper-red. Streak shiny. 2.5 - 3 Isometric Often found as distorted masses or extremely distorted crystals. Crystals, which are uncommon, are usually cubic or dodecahedral. Octahedral crystals do occur, but are very rare. Also occurs as flattened crystals, scales, dendrites, and wires. Opaque 8.93 Metallic None Hackly Ductile and Malleable 1) Tarnish. Green tarnish speckled throughout a specimen, may also be blue, red, or black. 2) Excellent conductor of electricity. Copper is the second best conductor of electricity (after Silver). In Group Striking Features Environment Native Elements; Metallic Elements Unique color and crystal habits; green, blue, and black tarnish; and great malleability and ductility. Most common in volcanic basalt rocks, often near the level of contact with sedimentary rock layer. Also in hydrothermal replacement deposits and the oxidation zone of sulfide deposits. 1

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks

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Halfbreed - A natural mixture of Copper and Silver. Also the term describing an alloy of copper and silver. USES Native Copper was the only source of copper until the turn of the century, when extraction methods were improved. The copper ores are far more abundant than Native Copper, and are the main source of copper today. Even though, Native Copper is sometimes mined on its own for the copper content. Copper ranks second as the most-used metal in the world. The special properties of conductivity, malleability, resistance, and beauty make it so popular. The main uses of copper are electrical. Due to the greatness of copper's conductivity, which offers the lowest electrical resistance after silver. Copper is very ductile and can be drawn into very thin wires, which serves as its primary electrical function. It is used for electrical machinery such as motors, electromagnets, generators and communication devices. Copper has been fashioned into ornamental objects and cooking utensils since the beginning of mankind. Coins have also been made of copper throughout history. Copper is also used in pigments, insecticides, and fungicides, although it has of lately been largely replaced by synthetic chemicals. Two important alloys are formed from copper. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. U.S. pennies were made out of copper until 1982, when the cost of copper exceeded the value of the penny. Since 1982, pennies are now from zinc and are only plated with copper.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES The mines in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan and the surrounding area (Houghton, Ontonagon, and Keweenaw Counties) produce the greatest abundance of the mineral Copper, and are the best-known locality of this mineral. The specific localities are too numerous to name, although some of the more well-known areas are Caledonia, Calumet, Centennial, Copper Falls, Hancock, Kearsage, Osceola, Mohawk, Phoenix, and White Pine.

Arizona also has several famous copper localities, specifically Ajo, Pima Co.; Morenci, Greenlee Co.; and Ray, Pinal Co. Bisbee, Cochise Co. is a very famous locality and has one of the world's largest copper mines, although mostly ore came out of this mine and Native Copper was comparatively scarce. Copper specimens from Bisbee are very highly valued. In the Northeastern U.S., Copper is known from the Chimney Rock Quarry, Bound Brook, Somerset Co., New Jersey. Famous worldwide localities include Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia; Daye, Hubei Province, China; Chengmenshan, Jiurui, Jiangxi Province, China; Ogonja, Namibia; and the Callington District, Cornwall, England. Of interesting note is Corocoro, La Paz , Bolivia, where odd pseudomorphs of Copper after Aragonite have been found. Recently popular occurrences are the Itauz Mine, Dzezkazgan, Kazakhstan, where very intricate dendritic crystals have been found; and the Rubtsovskii Mine, Altai, Russia, which has provided complex Copper forms. The ever-famous Tsumeb Mine in Tsumeb, Namibia, has also produced Native Copper, and these are very highly cherished by mineral collectors. Well-known Canadian occurrences of Copper are the Afton Mine, Kamloops, British Columbia; and Mamainse Point, Algoma District, Ontario. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Calcite, Cuprite, Malachite, Azurite, Silver, Quartz DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS The distinctive habits of Copper can usually distinguish it from all other minerals.

The Mineral lead

Chemical Formula Pb Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Lead Light-gray to slightly bluish-gray Light-gray. Streak shiny. 1.5 Isometric


Lead is a common element, but is very rare in a native state. Some locations contain lead as a byproduct of smelting operations, where masses of lead are formed, but they are not naturally occurring. Such specimens are occasionally sold to collectors.

Occurs as small grains, and sometimes as thin flakes, bust most often in massive form. Opaque 11.3 Metallic

Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Lead ON EBAY

None Hackly Malleable, ductile, and sectile Oxidizes to a slightly bluish-gray color. Dissolves in nitric acid Native Elements; Metallic Elements Light-gray color, heaviness, and softness (can be scratched with a fingernail) Hydrothermal deposits, placer deposits, and metamorphic marble deposits. 3 3 1


USES Due to its rarity, Native Lead is only used as a specimen for collectors. It is fairly uncommon to obtain as a specimen, and is sought after by collectors despite its lack of aesthetics. Although Native Lead is not an ore of the element lead, the uses for that element will be briefly mentioned here: Lead is used in batteries, paint pigments, glasswork, and in sheathing electric cables. Its heavy mass enables it to be used as a shield for radioactive materials, including x-ray shielding. In recent times, much lead is being replaced with other metals, particularly in piping, paints, and glasswork, due to its health hazards in causing lead poisoning and brain damage. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Few localities for this rare mineral are noteworthy. Perhaps the best collectors specimens come from Langban, Sweden. The Harstig Mine in Sweden has also produced a limited amount of Native Lead. Lead has also been found in Franklin and Ogdensburg, Sussex Co., New Jersey. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Calcite, Hematite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS The distinctive properties of Lead can distinguish it from every mineral.

The Mineral mercury

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Mercury is rare in a native state. Although it is a naturally occurring liquid substance, it is never found in "pools". It only occurs as very small blobs on top of mercury ores such as Cinnabar. The tiny blobs are lodged in small crevices or pores, or just stick to the host mineral. The blobs do not roll around or fall off, but stay attached in position unless tampered with. Mercury freezes at -38 F (-39 C), and when it solidifies, it crystallizes in the isometric crystal system. (Under high pressure it crystallizes in the tetragonal crystal system.) Mercury boils at a very low temperature, and disappears as fumes when heated. Because Mercury is a liquid, it is not possible for it to have the properties of streak, hardness, cleavage, or crystals.

Chemical Formula Hg Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Mercury, occasionally associated with silver (Hg,Ag) Tin-white 0 Amorphous Mercury occurs as small liquid blobs perched atop or in the crevices of mercury ores. Since Mercury is a liquid, it lacks a crystal structure and technically is not really a mineral but a mineraloid. However, most reputable mineral guides, including the acclaimed Dana's System of Mineralogy, categorize Mercury together with the "true" minerals. Opaque 13.5 Metallic 1) Occurs in a liquid state 2) Very good conductor of electricity Complex Tests When heated past the boiling point of 675 F (357 C), it will volatilize-.

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks

In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Mercury ON EBAY

Native Elements; Metallic Elements Liquid state and association with mercury ores In pockets in Cinnabar deposits, especially with hot spring and fumarole activity, or in low temperature calcareous veins. 1 3 2

OTHER NAMES Hydrargyrum Liquid Silver Native Mercury Quicksilver

USES Native Mercury is only of use to the mineral collector as a specimen of interest. The amount of mercury mined with the ores is too insufficient to mention Mercury as an ore, although its occurrence is always with other mercury ores. Mercury as an element has many industrial uses, as it is the only metal that is a liquid at room temperature. It is used in many scientific and household devices, such as the mercury thermometer. When mercury combines with any of the true metals (excluding platinum and iron), the result is an amalgam. (There is also a mineral known as "Amalgam", which is a composed of silver and mercury (Ag,Hg), but the common term of amalgam denotes a mixture of mercury and any other metal.) Amalgams are used to extract precious metals from their ore. Ingested mercury and mercury mixtures are health hazards, and be lethal if a large amount is ingested. In fact, some mercury mixtures are used as poison. Hands should be washed after handling any minerals containing mercury. Mercury should also never be heated, as the vapor can be deadly if inhaled. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES The locality that yields the most and the finest Native Mercury for collectors is Almadn, Ciudad Real, Spain, where small blobs are found in the host Cinnabar. Many small blobs have also come from the mercury mines in Idrija, in former Yugoslavia (Slovenia) and in the Levigliani mine in Stazzema, Tuscany, Italy. In the U.S., Mercury occurs in several California mercury mines, specifically the Almaden and New Almaden mines in Santa Clara Co.; the Socrates Mine, Sonoma Co.; and the New Idria District, San Benito Co.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Cinnabar, Calomel, Quartz, Dolomite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS The distinctive properties of Mercury and its environment can distinguish it from every mineral.

The Mineral platinum


Platinum is the rarest and most expensive of the popular precious metals. It is much rarer then Gold. Due to its rarity and value, it is not readily available to mineral collectors and is seldom represented in in all but the highest-end mineral collections. Natural Platinum is fairly impure. It is always associated with small amounts of other elements such as iron, gold, copper, and nickel, and may also contain the rare metals iridium, osmium, rhodium, and palladium. These impurities can lower its specific gravity to as much as 14, whereas pure elemental platinum is 21.4. Most Platinum specimens contain traces of iron, which may cause it to be slightly attracted to magnetic fields. For additional information, see the gemstone section on Platinum.

Chemical Formula Pt Composition Platinum, with small amounts of other elements such as iron, copper, nickel, gold, or rare earth elements (Pt,Fe,Ir,Os,Rh,Pd,Au,Cu,Ni) Tin-white, silver-gray, steel-gray, dark gray Silver-gray. Streak is shiny. 4 - 4.5 Isometric

Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas

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Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Crystals, which are cubic, often have rounded corners and may be fairly distorted. Crystals may also form penetration twins. Most often occurs as small waterworn nuggets, usually with small holes throughout. Also flaky, as small grains, encrustings, and occasionally in dendrites. Opaque 14 - 19 Metallic

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster

Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks

None Hackly Ductile and Malleable 1) May be slightly attracted to magnetic fields 2) Very good conductor of electricity

Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Platinum ON EBAY

Soluble only in aqua regia Native Elements; Metallic Elements Extreme heaviness, lack of tarnish, great malleability and ductility, and possible weak attraction to magnetic fields. Most often in placer deposits. The primary occurrence is in plutonic rocks such as Olivine. 1 3 1

OTHER NAMES Native Platinum

USES Platinum is an exquisite precious metal used in jewelry as ring settings, bracelets, and necklaces. Platinum jewelry is rare, beautiful, and durable, and is therefore highly regarded. Native Platinum is the most significant source of the element platinum, although considerable quantities are also mined from the rare platinum arsenide mineral Sperrylite. The rare metals iridium, osmium, rhodium, and palladium are almost exclusively mined together with platinum in platinum deposits. Platinum has a number of industrial uses due to its special properties. Its most famous use is as a catalyst, (a widely used anti-pollution device), especially in the manufacturing of cars. It is also used for numerous laboratory apparatuses and as dental fillings.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Platinum is rare, with few noteworthy occurrences. Russia is the most important producer of Platinum specimens, producing fine nuggets along a north-south belt along the spine of the Ural Mountains. The districts producing the largest specimens are Nizhniy-Tagil in

Sverdlovsk Oblast; and the Is River in Perm Kraj. In far-east Russia, the Konder Massif near Nekl'kan, in Khabarovskiy Kraj is especially known for its exceptional cubic and twinned crystals. Two other Russian Platinum localities are the Talnakh District, in the Norilisk District in Siberia; and Ledayanoy Ruchey, Koriak, in the Kamchatka Peninsula. The world's largest deposit of Platinum is in the Merensky Reef in the Bushveld Complex, South Africa, though few specimens from South Africa ever make it to the mineral market. Colombia has produced fine placer nuggets in Choco Department, in the San Juan and Atrato Rivers near Papayan. In Australia, Platinum nuggets have been found in the Fifield District of Cunningham and Kennedy Counties, New South Wales. In the U.S., the only commercially producing Platinum mines are in the Stillwater Complex in Stillwater, Sweetwater, and Park Counties, Montana (specifically at the Stillwater Mine near Nye, and the East Boulder Mine, south of McLeod). Alaska has produced Platinum nuggets in a few placer deposits, and those from the Salmon River in Goodnews Bay (especially at Fox Gulch) have made their way to collections. Platinum also is found in the placer deposits of Trinity Co., California. Another U.S. locality is Cape Blanco, Curry Co., Oregon. The only active Platinum mine in Canada is the Lac des Iles Mine, near Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is mined primarily for palladium. In British Columbia, small nuggets come from the Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers and their tributaries near Princeton.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Magnetite, Chromite, Olivine, Gold, Enstatite, Serpentine DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Silver - Softer (2 - 3), less dense (9.6 - 12), tarnishes . Iron-nickel- Less dense (7.3 - 7.8), very strongly attracted to magnetic fields.

The Mineral arsenic


Arsenic almost always contains some antimony. Nickel, silver, iron, and sulfur are also commonly found in a given specimen. On a fresh or preserved surface, Arsenic has a tin-white color, but otherwise tarnishes dark gray. Arsenic and Antimony are almost identical. In many instances, the only way to tell them apart is by conducting complex scientific tests. Stibarsen, a mixture of arsenic and antimony, is also indistinguishable through common methods. Arsenic is poisonous, and therefore hands should be washed after handling specimens. Fumes are highly toxic, and should never be breathed.

Chemical Formula As Composition Variable Formula Arsenic, often mixed with slight amounts of antimony, nickel, silver, iron, and/or sulfur (As,Sb) ;

(As,Sb,Ni,Ag,Fe,S) Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks Tin-white. Oxidizes dark gray to black. May also be banded with white lines. Black 3-4 Hexagonal Arsenic is mostly found in mammilary, stalactitic, massive, radiating form, and as crusts. Natural crystals are extremely rare. When they do occur, they are pseudocubic. Opaque 5.6 - 5.7 Metallic 1,1 - basal. Cleavage is rarely seen since crystal faces are so uncommon. Uneven Brittle 1) Gives off a garlic odor, especially when struck or heated 2) Tarnishes dark gray Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Arsenic ON EBAY Gives off a strong, garlic odor when struck or heated. CAUTION: FUMES ARE POISONOUS! Native Elements; Semi-Metallic Elements Tarnish black streak, and odor In mesothermal veins and epithermal veins. Occasionally in metamorphic dolomite rocks. 2 3 2


Arsenolamprite - Rare, orthorhombic polymorph of Arsenic. Arsenolamprite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, whereas Arsenic crystallizes in the hexagonal system. Arsenolamprite has the same exact same properties of Arsenic, excluding the crystal system, which scientifically defines it as a separate mineral from Arsenic.

Scherbencobalt - Arsenic banded with white lines. USES Arsenic is an ore of the element arsenic, although most arsenic comes from arsenic compounds, which are much greater in abundance. Most Native Arsenic specimens are sold to collectors rather than used for industrial purposes. Arsenic as a commodity is largely used in the manufacturing of glass. It eliminates the initial green color in glass caused by iron impurities. It has been used in the past as a poison, and continues to be used as an insecticide. It has also been previously used for medicinal purposes. It is used electronically in the structure of lasers and semiconductors. It is also used as a coloring agent for paint and fireworks. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Most collectible Arsenic specimens come from various mines in Europe. The best localities include Prbram and Jchymov, Bohemia, Czech Republic; St. Andreasberg and Schneeberg, Saxony, Germany; the Ste-Marie-aux-mines in Alsace, France; Kapnick, Rumania; and the Storliden mine, Lappland, Sweden. Outside of Europe, it is found in the Akadani mine, Fukui Prefecture, Japan; the Kusa Mine, Bau, Borneo, Malaysia; and in North America in limited quantity at Washington Camp, Santa Cruz Co., Arizona; and Atlin, British Colombia. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Antimony, Arsenopyrite, Tennantite, Orpiment, Barite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Antimony and Stibarsen are indistinguishable from Arsenic through common testing methods, and can only be distinguished with complex scientific tests.