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The Mineral thenardite


The mineral Mirabilite is a very similar mineral to Thenardite but contains water in its chemical structure whereas Thenardite does not. Mirabilite is an unstable mineral and when exposed to air it will dehydrate and lose its water, thereby converting to Thenardite. These specimens are really Thenardite pseudomorphs after Mirabilite. Some of these crystals, especially those of outstanding crystal form, are artificially grown as by-products of borax mining operations. Thenardite is named after the French chemist Louis Jacques Thenard (1777-1826), who was a professor at the University of Paris.

Chemical Formula Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Na2SO4 Sodium sulfate White, yellowish, light brown, gray White 2.5 - 3 Orthorhombic Occurs as intergrown clusters of distorted crystals. Individual crystals, which are rare, are tabular and short prismatic. Sometimes occurs in wellformed twinned crystals that bisect each other. Also occurs massive, grainy, encrusting, and in coral-like masses. Transparent to translucent 2.7 Vitreous 1,1 - basal Uneven to hackly Brittle 1) Has a weak salty taste. 2) Slowly soluble in water. 3) Fluorescent white in shortwave ultraviolet light and yellow-green in longwave ultraviolet light; may also be phosphorescent. Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates Weak taste and fluorescence Dry lake deposits and saline lakes in desert regions. 3 2 2

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks

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

The Mineral barite


Barite is well-known for its great range of colors and varied crystal forms and habits. It is an immensely popular mineral among collectors. Barite is easily identifiable by its heavy weight, since most similar minerals are much lighter. Barite often replaces other minerals, and may even replace organic materials such as wood, shells, and fossils. It sometimes forms tufacious mounds from deposition of hot, barium-rich springs. Controversy exists in regards to the spelling of Barite. For the last 100 years or so, this mineral has always been spelled "Barite" in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the spelling has traditionally been "Baryte". The IMA has recently changed the official spelling from "Barite" to "Baryte", and this has been a very controversial move, with many questioning the IMA's logic behind this change. Most U.S. mineral collectors and mineralogists still prefer the spelling Barite, and we reflect that spelling here in this guide as well. Barite specimens from certain locations are brown from sand inclusions, and may occur in beautiful rosette aggregates that strikingly resemble a flower. These are known as Barite "Desert Roses". The mineral Gypsum also contains similar Desert Roses, but the Gypsum roses are much light in weight, and are more brittle and thin. Barite is isomorphous and very similar in form with the mineral Celestine, and may partially replace it.

Chemical Formula BaSO4 Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
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Barium sulfate, sometimes with small amounts of strontium (Ba,Sr)SO4 Colorless, white, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, brown, blue, geen, gray, and black. May also be multicolored and banded. White 3 - 3.5 Orthorhombic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Crystals are tabular, prismatic, and as grainy, platy, and coxcomb aggregates. Individual crystals are often twinned, and can be quite large. May also be massive, nodular, fibrous, stalactitic, and as perfect rosettes. Crystals may occassionally contain phantom growths. Transparent to opaque 4.3 - 4.6 Vitreous to pearly 1,1 - basal ; 2,1 - prismatic ; 3,1 - pinacoidal Uneven Brittle

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity

Other ID Marks In Group Striking Features Environment

Commonly fluorescent in a variety of colors; sometimes also phosphorescent. Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates Heaviness, hardness, and crystal habits In sedimentary rock layers and in hydrothermal and mesothermal metal ore veins. 2 1 1

Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Barite ON EBAY


Bologna Stone - Nodular, radiating, or massive Barite from Bologna, Italy, that is phosphorescent.

Desert Rose - Rosette shaped Barite or rosette shaped Gypsum with sand inclusions. USES Barite is the main ore of the element barium. It is also important in the manufacture of paper and rubber. Barite is also used in radiology for x-rays of the digestive system. When crushed, it is added to mud to form barium mud, which is poured into oil wells during drilling. A rich, white pigment was once made from crushed Barite. Barite is also a very popular and common mineral among collectors. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Barite is a very common mineral and is found in thousands of localities. Only a few of the most classic occurrences are mentioned here. Excellent European Barite comes from Frizington, Cumbria, England; Les Malines, Gard, France; Villamassargia, Sardinia, Italy

(orange-yellow Barite), and Kapnick and Baia Sprie in Mamarues Co., Romania. Famed international localities include Jinkouhe, Ebian, Sichuan Province, China; Khenifra, Mibladen, Morocco; and Huarihuyn, Huanuco, Peru. In the U.S., deep honey-colored tall Barite crystals come from Elk Creek, Meade County, South Dakota. It is found with Fluorite in Cave In Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois. Bright yellow clusters come from the Meikle Mine, Elko Co., Nevada. Colorado has some of the finest localities for Barite, including Stoneham, Weld Co. (prismatic blue); the Sherman Mine; Leadville District, Lake Co. (tabular yellow); Muddy Creek, Rio Grande Co. (tabular bluegray); and the Book Cliffs, Grand Junction, Mesa Co. (colorless and water clear). Other well-known U.S. Barite localities are Palos Verdes Hills, Los Angeles Co., California; the Magma Mine, Pinal Co., Arizona; and the Linwood Quarry, Buffalo, Scott Co., Iowa. Perfect Barite "Desert Roses" have come from the area of Norman, Cleveland Co., Oklahoma. In Canada, a famous mine is the Rock Candy mine, near Grand Forks, British Columbia, which produced bright yellow tabular crystals.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Calcite, Fluorite, Aragonite, Chalcopyrite, Gypsum, Dolomite, Quartz, Apatite, Sulfur DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Celestine - Very difficult to distinguish by appearance alone, although lighter in weight (3.0 3.5). Calcite - Has perfect rhombohedral cleavage, lighter in weight (2.7), and effervesces in hydrochloric acid. Fluorite - Forms isometric crystals, lighter in weight (3.0 - 3.3). Feldspars - Much harder (6), lighter in weight. Anglesite - Has an adamantine luster.

The Mineral celestine


Pure Celestine is colorless, but impurities give this mineral a wide range of colors. The most common color is light blue, which is often caused by irradiation of gold. This light blue tint may be present in a whole specimen, or may only be confined to one area. Celestine is isomorphous with Barite, and may partially replace it.

Chemical Formula SrSO4 Composition Variable Formula Color Strontium sulfate, sometimes with small amounts of barium (Sr,Ba)SO4 Blue, white, colorless, orange, orange-brown, light brown, yellow, greenish-blue, gray. Crystals may also be slightly multicolored, with light blue on one end and colorless on the other. White 3 - 3.5

Streak Hardness

Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas

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Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Occurs as prismatic and tabular crystals, and as thin tabular plates. May also occur as thick, pseudohexagonal trillings, as well as dense aggregates of such crystals. Also occurs massive, radiating, grainy, nodular, and botryoidal. May also be as fibrous masses, as dense clusters of tabular crystals, as fragile, elongated crystal clusters, as fillings in geodes, and as cleavage fragments. Crystals are sometimes striated, and occassionally contain phantom growths. Transparent to translucent 3.9 - 4.0 Vitreous; pearly on cleavage surfaces 1,1 - basal ; 2,1 - prismatic ; 3,1 - pinacoidal Uneven Brittle 1) Occasionally fluorescent in shortwave ultraviolet light. 2) Sometimes thermoluminescent. Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates Crystal forms, color zoning in some specimens, and hardness. In sedimentary rock such as limestone. Very rarely in metal ore veins. 1 1 1

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


Sand Celestine - Celestine with inclusions of sand, causing the specimen to be brown or grayish in color

and opaque.

USES Celestine is the most common mineral containing the element strontium, and is its primary ore. It is a popular mineral among collectors. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Fine Celestine specimens have been obtained from many localities worldwide. Blue and white crystals are found in Italy associated with bright yellow Sulfur crystals in the famous Sicilian mines of Cattolico, Agrigento, Floristella, and Caltanissetta. Fine Celestine also associated with Sulfur comes from Poland at the Machow Mine, Tarnobrzeg. There are several excellent Spanish localities for this mineral, especially Puente Tablas, in Andalusia; Tora, in Catalonia; and Arneva, in Alicante. Fine crystals once came from Yate in Gloucester, England. Beineu-Kyr, in Turkmenistan, is an uncommon yet desirable source of this mineral. Enormous blue Celestine crystals, some in geodes, were found in Madagascar, in Sakoany, Mahajanga Province. Red Celestine which at one time was thought to be Barite comes from the Hammam-Zriba Mine, Tunisia. Other African localities are Jabal Akhdar, Libya; and the Wessels Mine, Hotazel, South Africa. In Canada, Celestine comes from the Lafarge Quarry, Dundas; and from the Deforest Quarry, Inglewood, both in Ontario. In Mexico, Celestine is found in the Mojina Mine, Ahumada, Chihuahua; and in the Tule Mine, Melchor Mzquiz, Coahuila. The best specimens of this mineral come from the U.S. The type locality and earliest occurrence is Bell's Mill, Bellwood, Blair Co., Pennsylvania, where it was found in fibrous veins. Another important Pennsylvania locality is the Meckley's Quarry, Mandata, Northumberland Co. A historic occurrence is Lockport, Niagara Co., New York, where this mineral was discovered while digging the Erie Canal. There are several other Celestine localities in central New York, such as Chittenango Falls, in Madison Co; and Walworth, Wayne Co. The state of Ohio contains perhaps the greatest deposits. Especially of note is South Bass Island in Lake Erie, where giant pale blue crystals were obtained in the hamlet of Put-in-Bay. Also in Ohio are Lime City, Portage, and the Pugh Quarry, all in Wood Co.; and Clay Center, Ottawa Co., where the Celestine occurs with pale brown Calcite and Fluorite. Michigan contains well-known Celestine deposits in the Scofield Quarry (near Maybee), and Newport Quarry, Monore Co. Other U.S. occurences are the Annabel Lee mine, Hardin Co., Illinois; Bull Creek, Austin, Travis Co., Texas; and Death Valley, Inyo Co., California, where it occurs as large, colorless crystals associated with Colemanite in geodes.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Calcite, Barite, Fluorite, Gypsum, Dolomite, Galena, Sphalerite, Strontianite, Pyrite, Colemanite, Halite, Sulfur (Limestone)

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Barite - Very difficult to distinguish without locality information, although Barite is heavier. Gypsum - Softer (2), sectile, lighter in weight (2.3 - 2.4). Calcite - Perfect rhombohedral cleavage, lighter in weight (2.7), effervesces in acid. Feldspars - Harder (6), lighter in weight. Fluorite - Forms only in isometric crystals, lighter in weight (3.0 - 3.3), has perfect cubic cleavage. Colemanite - Harder (4 - 4), lighter in weight (2.4).

The Mineral anglesite


Anglesite is a secondary lead mineral that always forms through the alteration of lead sulfides, primarily Galena. Anglesite crystals may contain impurities of Galena, giving a specimen a gray to black color. In some localities, Anglesite forms as a pseudomorph after Galena, giving the crystals a false isometric form. Gray and black banding is present in some massive Anglesite specimens, which can be seen when a specimen is polished or sliced. Such specimens may even contain unaltered Galena in the center, which did not change over to Anglesite when the outer layers altered.

Chemical Formula PbSO4 Composition Color Lead sulfate Colorless, white, yellow, brown, green, orange, red, gray. May also be black from Galena impurities, which can also cause it to be banded gray and black. Sometimes multicolored with yellow and white or colorless zoning. White, but light gray if it has Galena impurities. 2.5 - 3 Orthorhombic

Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas

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Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Most commonly in tabular or prismatic crystals, sometimes elongated. Anglesite crystals often have very distinct pointed terminations. Crystals may also be bipyramidal, and are frequently striated. Also grainy, crusty, massive, reniform, and stalactitic. Anglesite is unique in that it never forms pseudohexagonal trillings as other members of its group do. Anglesite is also known to pseudomorph after other minerals,

especially Galena and Cerussite, which may give it strange additional shapes and forms. Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Transparent to translucent in thin splinters 6.4 Adamantine, resinous 2,1 - basal ; 3,1 - prismatic Conchoidal Brittle Commonly fluorescent light yellow in shortwave ultraviolet light. Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates Heaviness, adamantine luster, mineral associations, and untwinned crystals. Anglesite is a secondary mineral forming in weathered lead deposits. 2 3 1

Anglesite ON EBAY

USES Anglesite is an ore of lead, although good crystals are preserved when possible, due to the high demand and cost of good specimens. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Very large Anglesite crystals were found in Tsumeb, Namibia, and some of the finest gemmy crystals came from Mibladen and Touissit, Morocco, including the bright golden-yellow type. Other well-known localities are the Monteponi and Montevecchio Mines, Sardinia, Italy; and Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. The original locality of Anglesite, after which this mineral is named for, is Parys Mountain, Amlwch, on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, United Kingdom. Specimens from this mine are very old and exceptionally classic. Three Mexican occurrences of note are the Ahumada Mine, Sierra de Los Lamentos, Chihuahua; the Santa Eulalia District, Chihuahua; and San Felipe, Aconchi, Sonora. In the U.S., white crystals associated with Pyromorphite have come from the Wheatley Mines in Phoenixville, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. The area of Joplin, Ottawa Co., Missouri has

produced isometric pseudomorphs of Anglesite over Galena, as well as banded Anglesite. This mineral has also come from the Coeur d'Alene District, Kellogg, Shoshone Co., Idaho; the Blanchard Mine, Bingham, Socorro Co., New Mexico; the Mammoth-Saint Anthony Mine, Tiger, Pinal Co., Arizona; and Castle Dome, Yuma Co, Arizona.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Galena, Cerussite, Smithsonite, Hemimorphite, Sphalerite, Azurite, Malachite, Sulfur, Pyromorphite, Linarite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Celestine - Lacks adamantine luster, lighter in weight (3.9 - 4.0). Barite - Lacks adamantine luster. Cerussite - Effervesces in hydrochloric acid, crystals frequently twinned. Phosgenite - Very hard to distinguish from Anglesite, but occurs in different crystals, and is sectile and nonbrittle.

The Mineral anhydrite


Anhydrite is not a common mineral, as it easily alters to the much more common mineral Gypsum from the addition of water into its chemical structure. Anhydrite and Gypsum are chemically almost the same mineral, except Gypsum has the addition of water. In fact, the name of Anhydrite is derived from "An" and "Hydra" - meaning "without water" - in reference to its similarity to Gypsum but the fact that it lacks water. Some specimens only partly alter to Gypsum, leaving one part Anhydrite and the other part Gypsum. Many deposits that once contained much Anhydrite now contain an abundance of Gypsum which was formed by the alteration of the Anhydrite. Anhydrite also exists as a relic of the past in several traprock occurrences, where the Anydrite dissolves and leaves a hollow cast around its original form. Epimorphs of Quartz and Prehnite over Anhydrite frequently form at certain localities, with the original Anhydrite totally replaced or dissolved. Anhydrite sometimes occurs in arid regions, forming from the dehydration of Gypsum. Fine but usually small crystals may come from the rock area above salt domes, where the domes absorb all underground water and prevent it from entering the structure of the Anhydrite, which would otherwise cause it to alter to Gypsum. Anhydrite specimens in a collection may also alter to Gypsum if kept in moist conditions over a prolonged period of time. It is recommended that this mineral be stored in a dry area or with silica gel. Some specimens sold to collectors from old collections may actually be Gypsum that has altered due to improper care.

Chemical Formula CaSO4 Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Calcium sulfate Colorless, white, yellow, gray, blue, orange-red, red, pink, purple. White to light gray 3 - 3.5 Orthorhombic

3D Crystal Atlas
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Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Individual crystals, which are tabular and prismatic, are uncommon. Usually occurs as fibrous, parallel veins that break off into cleavage fragments, and as fan-like groupings. Also occurs grainy, massive, nodular, as rectangular cleavage fragments, and as easily cleavable crystal groupings. Transparent to translucent 2.9 - 3.0 Vitreous to pearly 2,3 - forming a cube Uneven to splintery Brittle Many specimens are fluorescent. Specimens that are not fluorescent may become fluorescent after heating. Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates Cleavage properties, crystal habits, and low specific gravity. In sedimentary rock layers, in salt domes, and in igneous traprock. 2 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)

Anhydrite ON EBAY


Angelite - Nodular, polished form of Anhydrite. USES Anhydrite is used for the production of sulfuric acid and as a filler in paper. Good specimens of this mineral are rare and are desirable to collectors.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES European occurrences include Altaussee, Styria, Austria; Leopoldshall, Stassfurt, Germany; and the Campiano Mine in Montieri, Tuscany, Italy. An interesting and famous locality of Anhydrite is the Simpleton Tunnel in Wallis, Switzerland, where it was found in white and lilac crystals during the construction of a railroad tunnel. At Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil, very large Quartz pseudomorphs after Anhydrite were found in long and flattened crystals. Some of the best Anhydrite on the mineral market is the light blue dense fibrous veins, some quite large in size, from the mines at Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. In Canada, Anhydrite comes from Faraday in the Bancroft District, Hastings Co., Ontario. In the U.S., Quartz, Amethyst and Prehnite pseudomorphs, as well as empty Anydrite casts, are plentiful at Paterson and Prospect Park, Passaic Co., New Jersey. Intact specimens, partially altered to white Gypsum, have also been found nearby in the Sam Braen Quarry in Haledon, Passaic Co., New Jersey. Other Anhydrite occurrences are Balmat, Essex Co., New York; Isle Royale, Houghton Co., Michigan; Ajo, Pima Co., Arizona; Bisbee, Cochise Co., Arizona; the Carlsbad District of Eddy Co., New Mexico; Death Valley, Inyo Co., California; and the salt domes of southern Louisiana.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Gypsum, Halite, Calcite, Brucite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Calcite - Effervescent in hydrochloric acid. Barite - Much heavier (4.3 - 4.6).

The Mineral glauberite


Many Glauberite specimens in collections are not really Glauberite, but rather other minerals that formed a pseudomorph or epimorph over the Glauberite. Glauberite is in fact a rare mineral, but its remnants and castings are much more prevalent. This is evident by an abundance of empty casts and pseudomorphs found in localities where little or no Glauberite was ever found. There are some localities where hollow Glauberite crystal casts can be found in a rock or mineral base with the original Glauberite completely dissolved. Glauberite forms in evaporite and clay deposits. These environments enable a crystal to grow without interference from attached matter, so crystals can be perfect on all sides. Such crystals are known as floater crystals. Some Glauberite pseudomorphs from Camp Verde, Arizona, exhibit a deep green color. These are not natural and have been artificially dyed by certain dealers, thus the buyer should be aware. True Glauberite does not keep well in collections for it is efflorescent, developing white powder on its surface which dulls its luster. To avoid this, specimens should be placed in conditions where this effect is minimal, such as a damp area.

Chemical Formula Na2Ca(SO4)2

Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas

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Sodium calcium sulfate Colorless, beige, yellow, gray, light brown White 2.5 - 3 Monoclinic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Occurs in characteristic, well-formed, steep bipyramidal crystals. Crystals are sometimes striated, they may have rounded edges, and they occasionally dissolve internally, leaving hollow crystal shells. Glauberite also occurs encrusting and in compact crystal aggregates. Transparent to translucent 2.7 - 2.8 Greasy, vitreous, or dull 1,1 - basal Conchoidal Brittle 1) Has a mild taste like salt. 2) Slowly dissolves in water. Soluble in hydrochloric acid Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates Crystal habits and taste Dry lake deposits and pseudomorphs and castings in igneous basalt. 2 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)

Glauberite ON EBAY

USES Glauberite is used for the extraction of Glauber's salt.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Glauberite is found in Europe in Salzburg, Austria; Strassfurt, Germany; and in the Consuelo Mine, Chinchon, Spain. It also comes from Bumbunga Lake, Lochiel, South Australia; and several localities in the Atacama Desert of Chile. In the U.S., Glauberite comes from several dry lake deposits and arid regions in Southern California, such as Searles Lake, San Bernardino Co.; the Bertram Mine, Imperial County; and the Saline Valley, Inyo Co. One of the most well-known localities of Glauberite is Camp Verde, Yavapai Co., Arizona, where large Glauberite crystals have been pseudomorphed to Calcite and Gypsum. Empty Glauberite casts, most with Quartz overgrowths, have been found in several of the traprock quarries in Northern New Jersey, specifically Paterson, Prospect Park, and Montclair University in Little Falls, all in Passaic Co. New Jersey. Outstanding Prehnite pseudomorphs after Glauberite have come from Fanwood, Union Co., New Jersey. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Halite, Anhydrite, Thenardite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Glauberite's crystal form and occurrences distinguish it from all minerals.

The Mineral gypsum

Gypsum has many interesting properties, and has very unique crystal habits. Many Gypsum crystals are found perfectly intact without distortions or parts broken off. Such crystals are found in a clay beds as floater crystals, where they fully form without being attached to a matrix. Gypsum crystals are known for their flexibility, and slim crystals can be slightly bent. It is not recommended to bend good crystals, since they are only slightly flexible, and if flexed just a bit too much they will break. Gypsum has the same chemical composition as the mineral Anhydrite, but contains water in its structure whereas Anhydrite does not. Many Anhydrite specimens absorb water, transforming into the more common Gypsum. Some Gypsum specimens show evidence of this, containing growths of crumpling layers that testify to their expansion from the addition of water. In a small number of Gypsum specimens, water gets trapped inside a crystal in a hollow channel while the crystal forms. When such a crystal is rotated, a water "bubble" moves around inside it toward the lowest point in the channel. Such specimens are considered a mineralogical oddity, and are sought by collectors. These are called "enhydros". Gypsum sometimes forms in sandy areas, and crystals may trap sand inside when forming, causing a specimen to become brown or gray and opaque. These sand inclusions sometimes form hourglass formations in a crystal. They are also present in the well-known "Desert Rose", which is rosette shaped Gypsum with sand inclusions. (The term "Desert Rose" also applies to rosette shaped Barite with sand inclusions, and the two should not be confused.) Gypsum specimens should only be cleaned with water. Soaps and detergents should be avoided, as they can enter cracks and crevices of a crystal and ruin its luster.

Chemical Formula CaSO4 2H2O

Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas

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Hydrous calcium sulfate Colorless, white, gray, brown, beige, orange, pink, yellow, light red, green White 2 Monoclinic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Commonly occurs as tabular crystals, sometime perfect with no imperfections. Also occurs prismatic, acicular, bladed, and as dense bundles of fragile acicular crystals. Other forms are as fibrous veins, scaly, grainy, lenticular, rosette, massive, and as parallel, cactus-like growths. Crystals and fibrous masses may be curved, sometimes severely, forming formations that are sometimes called "Rams Horns". Crystals frequently twin, forming perfect fishtail twins or swallowtail twins. Crystals can be enormous in size. In fact, the largest crystals ever found on earth were of Gypsum. Transparent to opaque 2.3 - 2.4 Vitreous to pearly 1,1 - micaceous ; 2,2 Uneven Sectile and slightly flexible Often fluorescent light yellow in shortwave ultraviolet light, and occasionally also phosphorescent. Sulfates; Hydrous Sulfates Crystal habits, low hardness, flexibility, and sectility In enormous deposits and beds in sedimentary rock, specifically limestone. Also in clay sedimentary deposits, and in dry caves. Occasionally also in igneous traprock and in the oxidation zone of sulfide deposits. 1 1 1

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks In Group Striking Features Environment

Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3)

Gypsum ON EBAY


Alabaster - Massive, fine grained variety of Gypsum. Occasionally may also refer to a translucent, banded type of Aragonite in the form of Travertine or Tufa.

Desert Rose - Rosette shaped Barite or rosette shaped Gypsum with sand inclusions.

Gypsum Flower - Rosette shaped Gypsum found in caverns with spreading fibers.

Gypsum Rock - Rock composed primarily of the mineral Gypsum, but also contain impurities such as Calcite, Anhydrite, Halite, Dolomite, Limonite, and clay.

Sand Gypsum - Gypsum with inclusions of sand, causing the specimen to be brown or grayish in color and opaque.

Selenite - Transparent and colorless (or very lightly colored) variety of Gypsum that forms in distinct crystals. USES Gypsum is an industrially important mineral. It is the primary ingredient of plaster-of-Paris, which is finely ground Gypsum, and it is used in the production of cement. It is also the main component

of sheet rock. It is used as a flux for creating earthenware, and can be used as a fertilizer. The variety Alabaster is is carved for ornamental use, such as artistic sculptures and pottery. It is porous and is therefore easily dyed. The fibrous Satin Spar variety is sometimes cut into cabochons for collectors because of its strong cat's eye effect. Fine Gypsum specimens are very popular among mineral collectors, especially the varieties Selenite and Desert Rose. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Gypsum is an extremely common mineral; only a few of the best and most classic are mentioned here. The finest European localities are Lubin, Poland; Kapnick, Maramures Co., Romania; and the Sulfur mines of Agrigento Province, Sicily, Italy. Desert Roses and Sand Gypsum come from several places in the Sahara Desert in Algeria and Morocco. Excellent Gypsum specimens have come from China at Liupanshui, Guizhou Province. Fragile, acicular bunches occur in Whyalla, South Australia; and green, grass-like mats in Mt. Gunson, Pernatty Lagoon, South Australia. (It is debatable whether these green crystals are natural or are formed from acid runoff from mining operations.) Exceptional, bright orange crystals of Gypsum come from the salt mine of Las Salinas de Paracas, Pisco, Peru. Mexico boasts the most notable and finest localities of this mineral. Besides for the abundance of specimens that have come from Naica, in Chihuahua, several famous caves have been discovered in these mines bearing the worlds largest known crystals. In 2001, a cave called "Cave of the Crystals" was discovered where gigantic, elongated clear crystals were found. The largest was measured to be 37.4 feet long! (Make sure to view the link to National Geographic link in the "Additional Resources" section below.) Other important Mexican localities are Saltillo, in Coahuila, which provides much of the Gypsum Desert Rose available on the mineral market. These specimens can be identified by their whitish edges. Santa Eulalia, in Chihuahua has produced outstanding Selenite. In Canada, excellent yellow crystals come from the Red River Floodway in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A huge industrial deposit mined for sheet rock is in Windsor, Nova Scotia. In the U.S., Desert Roses are plentiful in the Great Salt Plains, near Jet, Alfalfa Co., Oklahoma. Some excellent hourglass Sand Gypsum has also come from there. Desert Roses are also plentiful in the Mojave Desert in California. Stand-alone, perfect Selenite crystals come from Ellsworth, Mahoning Co., Ohio. Curved Gypsum crystals and Gypsum Flowers exist in the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky, and large crystals of Selenite have come from Hanksville, Wayne Co., Utah. Curved fibrous masses come from Terlingua, Brewster Co., Texas; and nice clear crystals are found in New York at Lockport, Niagara Co.; and at Kerhonkson, Ulster Co.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Halite, Dolomite, Barite, Anhydrite, Sulfur DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Brucite - Harder. Calcite - Harder, not flexible and not sectile. Barite - Distinguished from Gypsum Desert Rose in that it is harder (3 - 3) and much heavier (4.3 - 4.6).

The Mineral chalcanthite

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Natural Chalcanthite crystals are very rare in nature. Well-formed crystals are easily grown synthetically from copper sulfate solutions. This can be done by dissolving a readily available chemical salt called copper sulfate, and then letting the water evaporate. This leaves behind a crystallized mass of Chalcanthite which can crystallize beautifully if grown properly. If a Chalcanthite crystal looks to good to be natural, it probably is, as good natural crystals are very hard to come accross. Unscrupulous mineral dealers have been known to sell large, synthetic Chalcanthite specimens without indicating that they are not natural. Chalcanthite generally forms in arid regions and dry caves which are protected from moisture. It commonly forms stalactitic and botryoidal growths on the walls and ceilings of mine tunnels from the oxidation of copper sulfide minerals. Chalcanthite specimens must be kept away from water and moist conditions, since a chemical effect with water causes them to eventually crumble or dissolve. Some collectors specimens are coated with mineral oil and sprayed with laquer to seal the mineral and prevent it from absorbing water. Chalcanthite is a very fragile mineral, and care should be taken when handling any specimen.

Chemical Formula CuSO4 5H2O Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Hydrous copper sulfate Bright blue, sky-blue, greenish-blue White 2.5 Triclinic Crystals, which are very rare in nature, are in short prismatic form and in thick tabular crystals. Most often as fibrous veins and as botryoidal or stalactitic masses, but also encrusting, massive, as tiny, slender needles, and lenticular. Translucent 2.3 Vitreous, silky, dull Indiscernible Conchoidal to splintery Brittle, thin projections slightly flexible 1) Chalcanthite has a sweetish, metallic taste. (Note: Chalcanthite is poisonous and should not be taste-tested, unless the lick is minor and it is spit out and rinsed immediately.) 2) Chalcanthite will slowly dissolve in water, turning it blue. Gives off water when heated. Sulfates; Hydrous Sulfates Intense blue color and crystal forms

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)

Chalcanthite is a secondary copper mineral formed through the oxidation of copper sulfides. 2 2 2

Chalcanthite ON EBAY

OTHER NAMES Blue Vitriol Copper Sulfate Copper Vitriol

USES Chalcanthite is an important ore of copper in areas where it occurs in relative abundance, such as in Chile and Spain. It is also used as a root killer in sewer pipes by flushing Chalcanthite pellets down the toilet. Specimens are popular among collectors, and the synthetically grown crystals are often sold to unwary collectors. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES In Chuquicamata and El Teniente in Chile, large, fibrous masses occur in abundance and are mined as an ore of copper. A sizable deposit also exists in Minas de Riotinto, Andalusia, Spain. Also comes from the Sao Domingos Mine, Portugal; and Lubin, Legnics, Poland. Large botryoidal crusts were found Tsumeb, Namibia. In the U.S., the most prominent locality for specimens is the Planet Mine, La Paz Co., Arizona. Other Arizona occurrences include Bisbee, Cochise Co.; Ajo and Tiger, Pinal Co.; Globe, Gila Co.; Morenci, Greenlee Co; and the Patagonia District, Santa Cruz Co. Also occurs in Bingham Canyon, Salt Lake Co., Utah; and Ducktown, Polk Co., Tennessee. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Brochantite, Malachite, Calcite, Aragonite, Gypsum, Chalcopyrite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Few other minerals have the rich blue color and forms, making Chalcanthite hard to confuse with other minerals.