Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 26

The Mineral acanthite

1 Comment

Acanthite and Argentite are usually grouped together in mineral guides as one mineral. However, they are scientifically categorized as two unique minerals, even though they are composed of the same substance. They only differ in crystal structure. As explained below, Argentite cannot exist at normal temperatures. Specimens labeled as Argentite are sometimes sold by dealers, however, these specimens are really Acanthite pseudomorphs after Argentite. Because Acanthite is a significant ore of silver, and occurs in odd and unique forms, its specimens command high prices and are sought after by collectors.

Chemical Formula Ag2S Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Silver sulfide Dark gray to nearly black. Black. Streak shiny. 2 Monoclinic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Acanthite crystallizes in the monoclinic system, and Argentite crystallizes in the isometric system. However, the crystal structure of Argentite is unstable at temperatures below 356 F (180 C), and below that temperature its crystal structure will change to Acanthite, though retaining the isometric crystals of Argentite. Therefore, Argentite specimens are really Acanthite pseudomorphs after Argentite. Two types of Acanthite exist: monoclinic Acanthite (Acanthite that formed naturally as Acanthite, and is not a pseudomorph after Argentite) and Acanthite pseudomorph after Argentite. Monoclinic Acanthite occurs as distorted elongated prisms, and Acanthite pseudomorph after Argentite occurs as distorted groups of cubes, octahedrons, and dodecahedrons. However, both forms have the same crystal structure, and both are scientifically Acanthite. Crystals are usually in parallel groups. The most prevalent aggregates are groupings of distorted octahedrons and dendritic growths, but it also occurs as a coating and massive.

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage

Opaque 7.2 - 7.4 Metallic. Heavy tarnish can cause it to become dull. 3, all sides. Indiscernible.

Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3)

Subconchoidal Malleable and sectile May tarnish dark gray. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Unique crystal aggregates, tarnish, and occurence in Silver deposits. In hydrothermal deposits and epithermal veins. 2 3 1

Acanthite ON EBAY

OTHER NAMES Silver Glance POLYMORPHS Argentite USES Acanthite is perhaps the most important ore of silver. It is also a popular mineral in high-end collections.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Fine Acanthite specimens have come from Kongsberg, Norway, where it occurs with Silver. It also occurred in numerous places in Germany, notably the Clara and Wenzel mines in the Black Forest, and in Freiberg and Scheenberg, in Saxony, Germany. An excellent producer of Acanthite is the Imiter Mine in Morocco, as well as the Hongda Mine, Shanxi Province, China. In South America, Acanthite is found in the Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon Province, Peru. There are numerous localities in Mexico. The most significant are Batopilas, in Chihuahua; the Reyes Mine in Guanajuato; and Fresnillo, in Zacatecas. In the U.S., Acanthite occurs in the Comstock Lode, Virginia City, Nevada; Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana; the Bulldog Mountain Mine, Creede District, Mineral Co., Colorado; and the White Pine Mine, Ontonagan Co., Michigan. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Silver, Barite, Bornite, Galena, Gold, Pyrargyrite, Pyrite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Silver - Lighter color, more malleable, not sectile. Chalcocite - Different fracture (conchoidal). Galena - Good cleavage, different tarnish, no sectility.

The Mineral chalcocite

0 Comments

Several classic Chalocite sources such as Cornwall, England and Bristol, Connecticut, have long since been mined out. Specimens from these localities, especially those that are well-crystallized, command extremely high prices. Chalcocite forms from the alteration of other minerals, especially other copper sulfides such as Bornite, Covellite, and, Chalcopyrite, and may also form pseudomorphs after these minerals.

Chemical Formula Cu2S Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Copper sulfide Gray to black, often with a bluish tinge. Occasionally iridescent. Dark gray. Streak may be shiny. 2.5 - 3 Orthorhombic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Crystals are tabular, and may be pseudohexagonal in shape. They may be in dense, random aggregates of thin crystals or almost snowflake in nature. Also in bent twins of prismatic crystals and in sixlings. Elongated crystals and groups of elongated crystals do occur, but this is rare. Also occurs platy, grainy, and massive. Crystals are commonly striated. Opaque 5.5 - 5.8 Metallic 3,1 Conchoidal Brittle May develop a thin film layer on crystal faces.

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks

Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment

Soluble in nitric acid. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Heaviness and crystal forms Formed in copper deposits, usually as a secondary mineral in the oxidized zone, and often as an alteration of primary copper minerals in ore veins. Also found in volcanic basalt deposits. 2 2 1

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

Chalcocite ON EBAY

VARIETIES

Ducktownite - Chalcocite coating or pseudomorph over Pyrite. USES Chalcocite is an important copper ore. It has a high copper content and the process of extracting the copper from the sulfur in Chalcocite is relatively easily. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES In Europe, the most classic occurrence is Cornwall, England. Several well-known Cornish localities are the Carn Brea area; the Geevor Mine; the Levant Mine; and St Ives. Two African occurrences of note are Tsumeb, Namibia; and Shaba, Congo (Zaire). A relatively new Asian occurrence is Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Large, well-formed crystals come from the Mammoth Mine, Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia In the U.S., the best crystals once came from the old mine operations at Bristol, Hartford County, Connecticut. Another classic Chalcocite locality is Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana. A new finding in the 1990's in the Flambeau Mine, Ladysmith, Rusk Co., Wisconsin, has yielded some excellent specimens. Other notable U.S. finds are the Santa Rita Mine, Grant Co., New Mexico; Bisbee, Cochise Co., Arizona; and the Chimney Rock Quarry, Bound Brook, Somerset Co., New Jersey.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Chrysocolla, Malachite, Bornite, Calcite, Galena, Quartz

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Galena - Different crystals and cleavage Acanthite - Is more sectile

The Mineral bornite

0 Comments

"Peacock Ore", which is sold to many amateur mineral collectors and often labeled as a variety of Bornite, is usually Chalcopyrite that is treated with acid to produce a stronger iridescent tarnish.

Chemical Formula Cu2FeS4 Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Copper iron sulfide Copper-red to yellowish brown on fresh surfaces. Quickly tarnishes to a multicolored purple, blue, and red. Dark gray to black 3 Orthorhombic Bornite forms as isometric crystals at high temperatures, but when it cools down to normal temperatures it crystallizes in the orthorhombic system. However, the crystals retain their original isometric crystals. Crystals are rare, and are in cubic or dodecahedral form. Octahedral shaped crystals are extremely rare. Bornite occurs mostly massive, as well as in groups of tiny crystals and globular. Opaque 4.9 - 5.3 Metallic Indiscernible Conchoidal Brittle Tarnishes to an iridescent purple, blue, and red. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Tarnish, low hardness, and association with copper ores. In copper ore veins, both as a primary and secondary mineral. Mainly in hydrothermal metamorphic rocks, in mesothermal veins, in hydrothermal replacement deposits, and in igneous intrusions and dikes.

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

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

2 1 2

OTHER NAMES Blushing Copper Erubescite Peacock Copper Purple Copper Ore Variegated Copper VARIETIES

Peacock Ore - Term used to describe Chalcopyrite or Bornite with a colorful iridescent tarnish effect, which is usually artificially enhanced with acid. Most Peacock Ore is sold as a variety of Bornite, when in fact most Peacock Ore is actually Chalcopyrite.

USES Bornite is a common copper bearing mineral, and is used as an ore of copper when found in copper deposits. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Bornite is common and found in many locations. The province of Cornwall, England has produced many specimens, including some crystallized examples (especially in the Carn Brea Mine). Large, distinct crystals also come from Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan and Shaba, Congo (Zaire). Nice crystals and mostly massive Bornite comes from Zacatecas, Mexico. Large quantities of Bornite, mostly in massive form, have been extracted from the Arizona copper mines, particularly the Magma mine in Superior, Pinal Co., and the Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, Cochise Co. Small crystals also come from Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana, where much massive material is also found. Small crystals were also once found at the copper mine at Bristol, Hartford Co., Connecticut.

Large amounts of Bornite have come from the Evergreen mine near Apex, Gilpin Co., Colorado, and the Flambeau Mine, Ladysmith, Rusk Co., Wisconsin. It also has been found in the White Pine mine, Ontonagan Co., Michigan; the French Creek mine, St. Peters, Chester Co., Pennsylvania; Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania; and the Chimney Rock Quarry, Bound Brook, New Jersey. In Canada, occurrences are the Marble Bay mine, Texada Island, British Columbia, and the Acton mine, Bagot Co., Quebec. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Quartz, Pyrite, Calcite, Barite, Galena, Chalcopyrite, Chalcocite, Magnetite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Chalcopyrite - different crystal form, usually lighter in color, less tarnish Pyrrhotite - harder (3 - 4), attracted to magnetic fields, no tarnish Nickeline - harder (5 - 5), heavier (S.G. = 7.8), no tarnish

The Mineral galena

0 Comments

Galena is the most common mineral containing lead, and has been well-known throughout the centuries. It is often well crystallized and forms in many interesting and distinct crystal shapes. Some cubic crystals have their edges cut by the partial octahedral growth, some octahedral crystals have their points flattened by cubic growth, and many crystals are found somewhat inbetween cubic and octahedral. Dodecahedral growths may partially be found in octahedral or cubic-octahedral crystals, resulting in bizarre and interesting shapes. Galena is a primary mineral. Most of the lead minerals, such as Cerussite and Anglesite are secondary minerals formed from Galena. Impurities in the structure of Galena, such as silver and bismuth, may change Galena's cleavage properties. Galena containing bismuth may exhibit octahedral cleavage, and silver in Galena may cause a specimen to exhibit flaky, slightly bent cleavage fragments. Galena specimens may tarnish when exposed to air, becoming dull in luster. Freshly cleaved specimens exhibit a strong metallic luster, but over time the luster turns more dull, although still metallic. The tarnish can be removed by scrubbing the specimen with water and mild soap. Galena specimens must be taken care of more so then other minerals. They are easily damaged, and well formed crystals may shatter into small crystal fragments if put under slight pressure or dropped, so care should be taken when handling and transporting Galena specimens.

Chemical Formula PbS Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Lead sulfide. May contain impurities, such as silver, arsenic, antimony, and copper. (Pb,Ag,As,Sb,Cu)S Steel-gray Steel-gray

Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas


(Click for animated model)

2.5 - 3 Isometric

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Crystals, which may be cubes, octahedrons, or a combination of the two frequently occur. Cubes are often partially cleaved. Dodecahedrons are far less common. Also occurs massive, grainy, fibrous, platy, as veins, and as cleavage fragments. Opaque 7.4 - 7.6 Metallic. Turns somewhat dull after exposure to air. 1,3 - Cubic. May exhibit parting on octahedrons. Subconchoidal Brittle Simple Sulfides Steel-gray color, extreme heaviness, and fine cleavage In In sedimentary limestone deposits, hypothermal veins and mesothermal veins, in hydrothermal replacement deposits, and in placer deposits. 1 1 1

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

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

OTHER NAMES Galenite Lead Glance VARIETIES

Acerila

- Term used in a few South American countries describing granular Galena.

Argentiferous Galena - Galena with a large silver content. USES Galena is by far the greatest ore of lead. The extraction process to remove the lead from the sulfur is very simple, thus lead has been extracted from Galena since the earliest times. Galena from certain regions is rich in silver, and some specimens may contain as much as 20 percent silver. Because of this, silver-rich Galena is also an ore of silver. Another use of Galena was its importance in early radio devices. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Galena is a very common mineral and occurs in numerous localities. The localities mentioned here are but a few of the noteworthy ones. Excellent Galena occurs in several localities in England; the finest occur in Alston Moor and Weardale together with beautiful Fluorite. Many fine specimens also come from Germany, from many places in the Black Forest and Siegerland, as well as in Neudorf in the Harz Mountains. Excellent crystals also come from the Krushev Dol Mine, Rhodope Mountains, Bulgaria; Trepca, Kosovo (former Yugoslavia); and the Herja Mine and Turt Mine, Maramures Co., Romania. Many interestingly formed crystals, such as twinned octahedrons and plates were found in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. In the U.S., the tri-state mining district, (the area around the conjunction of Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma), has produced perhaps the finest crystals. Enormous and well shaped crystals occur in that area together with Sphalerite, Dolomite, and Marcasite. Some of these famous areas localities include Joplin, Jasper Co., Missouri; Galena, Treece, and Baxter Springs, Cherokee Co., Kansas; and Picher, Ottawa Co., Oklahoma. Excellent Galena specimens have also come from the Sweetwater Mine, Reynolds Co., Missouri, often associated with Calcite and Chalcopyrite. Colorado has also produced fine specimens, notably in Leadville, Lake Co.; Central City, Georgetown, and Empire, Gilpin Co. The Coeur d'Alene District in Idaho is a very important lead deposit, containing rich amounts of Galena, sometimes argentiferous. Argentiferous Galena also occurs in Silverton, Ouray Co., Colorado. Classic Galena specimens were found in the old zinc mines in Wurtsboro, Sullivan Co., New York. Large amounts of Galena are mined industrially for lead in southwestern Wisconsin, specifically at Shullsburg, Lafayette Co., Wisconsin.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Quartz, Sphalerite, Chalcopyrite, Pyrite, Bornite, Barite, Siderite, Dolomite, Calcite, Marcasite, Fluorite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS

Sphalerite - Lacks cubic cleavage, lighter in weight, different streak. Stibnite - Lacks fine cleavage, different crystal form. Acanthite - Softer, is sectile. Jamesonite - Lacks fine cleavage, slightly lighter in weight, different crystal form. Chalcocite - Different crystal form, darker, lighter in weight. Tetrahedrite - Harder, darker color, lighter in weight.

The Mineral sphalerite

0 Comments

Sphalerite is a common mineral, and occurs in many distinct colors and forms. Iron impurities are often present in this mineral, and for this reason it is not commonly transparent. If Sphalerite contains a large amount of iron impurities, it will have a metallic dark gray or black color, which is typical of most sulfide minerals. Sphalerite is one of the few minerals that can range from gemmy transparent crystals to dark, metallic-black crystals. An interesting variety of Sphalerite is known as Schalenblende. Schalenblende is banded variety associated with Wurtzite and often also Pyrite and Galena that forms strange concentric shapes. It is often polished into slabs or cross-sections which are very popular with collectors. Schalenblende is known from a select few mineral in Europe, most notable is the Segen Gottes Mine, Wiesloch, Baden-Wrttemberg, Germany.

Chemical Formula ZnS The above is the formula of pure Sphalerite. However, since it usually occurs with some iron replacing the zinc, its formula can be more accurately described as (Zn,Fe)S Composition Zinc sulfide, usually with some iron, sometimes with magnesium, manganese. In a few rare localities, it contains cadmium, indium, and gallium. (Zn,Fe)S ; (Zn,Fe,Mg,Mn,Cd,In,Ga)S Black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, gray. Rarely colorless. Some specimens contain crystals of different colors, and there is also a brown, globular, banded variety. Pure Sphalerite has a white streak. However, impurities are almost always present, giving this mineral a light brown streak. The streak will always be a lighter color than the specimen. 3.5 - 4 Isometric

Variable Formula Color

Streak

Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas


(Click for animated model)

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Most commonly as tetrahedral crystals, which are usually twinned and grouped together. They may closely resemble octahedral crystals. Also occurs as groupings of distorted dodecahedral and cubic crystals.

Crystal faces are usually rounded or curved. May also be massive, grainy, botryoidal, stalactitic, and as large, distorted cleavage fragments. Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks Transparent to opaque 3.9 - 4.1 Metallic, sub-metallic, adamantine, resinous 1,all sides, forming a dodecahedron Conchoidal Brittle 1) Some transparent or translucent varieties fluoresce orange in shortwave ultraviolet light. 2) Commonly triboluminescent. Dissolves in hydrochloric acid, producing a sulfurous, rotten-egg odor Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Color and luster, crystal forms, and streak In sedimentary limestone deposits, hypothermal veins and mesothermal veins, and in hydrothermal replacement deposits. 2 1 1

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

Sphalerite ON EBAY

OTHER NAMES Black Jack Blende Zinc Blende VARIETIES

Cleiophane - Transparent, colorless or lightly colored variety of Sphalerite.

Marmatite - Opaque, metallic lustered, ironrich variety of Sphalerite.

Ruby Jack - Red variety of Sphalerite that is transparent to translucent.

Schalenblende - Banded form of Sphalerite and Wurtzite often associated with Galena (and sometimes Pyrite). The term Schalenblende is occasionally incorrectly used as a synonym for Wurtzite. POLYMORPHS Wurtzite USES Sphalerite is the principle ore of zinc. In some localities, it occurs with significant amounts of the rare elements cadmium, gallium, and iridium, and it is also the main ore of those metals. Sphalerite is an important mineral to collectors, and some transparent varieties are occasionally faceted for collectors. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Sphalerite is a common mineral, and there are many localities where fine specimens have come from. Notable European occurrences include the Troya Mine, Mutiloa and the Aliva Mine (Las Manforas), Camaleo, Spain; Alston Moor, Cumberland, England; and the Lengenbach Quarry, Binn Tal, Wallis, Switzerland. Other classic European localities are Trepca, Croatia (former Yugoslavia); the Madan ore field, Rhodope Mts, Bulgaria; the Herja Mine, Baia Mare; and the Turt Mine, Satu Mare; and Kapnick, all in Maramures Co., Romania. Banded Schalenblende has come from the Segen Gottes Mine, Wiesloch, BadenWrttemberg, Germany; the Schmalgraf Mine, Kelmis, Belgium; and Olkusz, Poland. China has recently become a significant producer of Sphalerite specimens, most notably at Kangjiawan, Shuikoushan ore field, Hunan Province; the Taolin Mine, Yueyang, Hunan Province; and Nandan, Guangxi Province. In Peru, excellent Sphalerite comes from the Huaron Mines, Cerro de Pasco. In Mexico, large iron-rich, crystals associated with Galena were found in Santa Eulalia and Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico. In Canada, good specimens have recently come from the rock dump of the hydroelectric station canal at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Good examples also come from the Lafarge Quarry, Dundas, Ontario, and Mont Saint Hilaire, Quebec.

In the U.S., some of the finest specimens come from the tri-state mining district of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. These areas include the Joplin area, Jasper Co., Missouri; Treece, Galena, and Baxter Springs, Cherokee Co., Kansas; and Picher, Ottawa Co., Oklahoma. Two other notable Midwestern regions are the Elmwood and Gordonsville Mines, Carthage, Smith Co., Tennessee; and the Denton mine and Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois. In Colorado, fine Sphalerite has come from the Commodore and Bachelor Mines, Creede District, Mineral Co; and the Eagle Mine, Gilman, Eagle Co. Dark green crystals come from the Iron Cap Mine in Graham Co., Arizona. New York State has some noteworthy occurrences, especially Balmat, St. Lawrence Co., the Redlands Quarry, Niagara Falls, Niagara Co.; and the Walworth Quarry, Wayne Co. Many specimens also have come from Franklin and Ogdensburg, Sussex Co., New Jersey. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Galena, Fluorite, Dolomite, Quartz, Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Pyrite, Barite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Galena - Heavier (7.4 - 7.6), has a gray streak, has a distinct bluish metallic color. Siderite - Lacks brown streak, has different crystals and cleavage. Tetrahedrite - Has a dark gray streak. Argentite - Has a shiny black streak, is sectile and malleable.

The Mineral metacinnabar

0 Comments

Metacinnabar is an uncommon polymorph of the mineral Cinnabar. It crystallizes in a different crystal system then Cinnabar, and besides for in different crystal types, it also has several other differences than Cinnabar, including a metallic luster, gray color, and no transparency

Chemical Formula HgS Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Mercury sulfide Metallic gray Gray to black 3 Isometric

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

In small and usually distorted equant crystals in the form of complex tetrahedral and pyritohedral forms. Crystals are sometimes rounded and usually striated. Also platy, in small crystal clusters, in rounded balls,

and encrusting. Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity In Group Striking Features Environment Popularity (1-4) Prevalence (1-3) Demand (1-3) Opaque 7.7 - 8.1 Metallic None Uneven Brittle to slightly sectile Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Crystal habits, color, and mode of occurence. In volcanic, mercury-rich deposits usually associated with hot springs, and in epithermal veins. 4 3 2

Metacinnabar ON EBAY

OTHER NAMES Metacinnabarite VARIETIES

Onofrite - Selenium-rich variety of Metacinnabar, with selenium partially replacing the sulfur. Described from San Onofre, Plateros, Zacatecas, Mexico. POLYMORPHS Cinnabar, Hypercinnabar USES As a minor ore of mercury in mercury deposits.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Metacinnabar is uncommon and there are sporadic occurrences in many of the important

mercury deposits. The most significant locality of this mineral is Mount Diablo in the Diablo Range, Contra Costa Co., California. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Cinnabar, Dolomite, Quartz DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Sphalerite - Lower specific gravity, brown streak.

The Mineral wurtzite


Wurtzite is a rare, high temperature polymorph of the common mineral Sphalerite. It forms at temperatures above 2192 F (1200 C) as hexagonal crystals. An ornamental stone known as Schalenblende (an intergrowth of Wurtzite, Sphalerite, and often Galena) is usually referenced with Wurtzite but is more often listed as a variety of Sphalerite.

Chemical Formula ZnS This is the formula for pure Wurtzite. However, since it often has some iron replacing the zinc, its formula is more accurately described as (Zn,Fe)S Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Zinc sulfide (Zn,Fe)S Light to dark brown Light brown 3.5 - 4 Hexagonal

Crystal Forms and Aggregates Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Complex Tests

Occurs in pyramidal crystals, often striated or with growth layers. Also occurs as short prismatic and tabular crystals, in capillary groupings, as fibrous and columnar masses, and in compacted aggregates. Translucent to nearly opaque 4 Resinous 2,1 - basal ; 3,1 - prismatic Uneven Brittle Dissolves in hydrochloric acid, producing a sulfurous, rotten-egg odor.

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

Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Streak, color, and unique crystal habits In hydrothermal deposits usually in the sulfide zone. 3 3 2

VARIETIES

Schalenblende - Banded form of Sphalerite and Wurtzite often associated with Galena (and sometimes Pyrite). The term Schalenblende is occasionally incorrectly used as a synonym for Wurtzite. POLYMORPHS Sphalerite USES Wurtzite is a very rare mineral, and only of value to scientists and mineral collectors. Schalenblende is used as a rare ornamental stone.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Large Wurtzite comes from two Bolivian mines: the San Jose Mine, Oruro; and the Siglo Veinte Mine, Llallagua, Potosi Department. Good European localities include Carrara, Tuscany, Italy; the Les Malines Mine, Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, Gard, France; Kirki, Thrace, Greece; and Pribram, Bohemia, Czech Republic. It is also found in China in the Yaogangxian Mine, Hunan Province. In the U.S., Wurtzite comes from Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana; Frisco, Beaver Co., Utah; the Thomaston Dam, Litchfield Co., Connecticut; Negley, Columbiana Co., Ohio; and in the the lead mines of Reynolds Co., Missouri. Small amounts were also found in the Sterling Hill Mine in Ogdensburg, Sussex Co., New Jersey; and in Ellenville, Ulster Co., New York.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Sphalerite, Galena, Marcasite, Pyrite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Sphalerite - differs in crystal form and cleavage.

The Mineral wurtzite


Wurtzite is a rare, high temperature polymorph of the common mineral Sphalerite. It forms at temperatures above 2192 F (1200 C) as hexagonal crystals. An ornamental stone known as Schalenblende (an intergrowth of Wurtzite, Sphalerite, and often Galena) is usually referenced with Wurtzite but is more often listed as a variety of Sphalerite.

Chemical Formula ZnS This is the formula for pure Wurtzite. However, since it often has some iron replacing the zinc, its formula is more accurately described as (Zn,Fe)S Composition Variable Formula Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Zinc sulfide (Zn,Fe)S Light to dark brown Light brown 3.5 - 4 Hexagonal

Crystal Forms and Aggregates Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Complex Tests In Group Striking Features Environment

Occurs in pyramidal crystals, often striated or with growth layers. Also occurs as short prismatic and tabular crystals, in capillary groupings, as fibrous and columnar masses, and in compacted aggregates. Translucent to nearly opaque 4 Resinous 2,1 - basal ; 3,1 - prismatic Uneven Brittle Dissolves in hydrochloric acid, producing a sulfurous, rotten-egg odor. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Streak, color, and unique crystal habits In hydrothermal deposits usually in the sulfide zone.

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

3 3 2

VARIETIES

Schalenblende - Banded form of Sphalerite and Wurtzite often associated with Galena (and sometimes Pyrite). The term Schalenblende is occasionally incorrectly used as a synonym for Wurtzite. POLYMORPHS Sphalerite USES Wurtzite is a very rare mineral, and only of value to scientists and mineral collectors. Schalenblende is used as a rare ornamental stone.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Large Wurtzite comes from two Bolivian mines: the San Jose Mine, Oruro; and the Siglo Veinte Mine, Llallagua, Potosi Department. Good European localities include Carrara, Tuscany, Italy; the Les Malines Mine, Saint-Laurent-le-Minier, Gard, France; Kirki, Thrace, Greece; and Pribram, Bohemia, Czech Republic. It is also found in China in the Yaogangxian Mine, Hunan Province. In the U.S., Wurtzite comes from Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana; Frisco, Beaver Co., Utah; the Thomaston Dam, Litchfield Co., Connecticut; Negley, Columbiana Co., Ohio; and in the the lead mines of Reynolds Co., Missouri. Small amounts were also found in the Sterling Hill Mine in Ogdensburg, Sussex Co., New Jersey; and in Ellenville, Ulster Co., New York.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Sphalerite, Galena, Marcasite, Pyrite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Sphalerite - differs in crystal form and cleavage.

The Mineral realgar

0 Comments

Realgar is an historically important mineral, with a striking ruby-red color that stands out in the mineral kingdom. The rare transparent lustrous forms are truly masterpieces in mineral aesthetics. Realgar is a photosensitive mineral and will alter to Pararealgar upon prolonged exposure to light. Pararealgar is unstable and will eventually crumble into a yellow powder if left in the light. The alteration mineral that Realgar transformed into was generally assumed to be Orpiment, but recent scientific analysis has in fact determined the orange alteration product as Pararealgar. Due to the instability of Realgar, specimens should be stored enclosed and covered to prevent their exposure to light. Occasional exposure to look at a specimen will not cause damage; only prolonged or repeated exposure will cause alteration. Several important museums have had Realgar on display consistently exposed to light, and these specimens can be seen altered and crumbled. Realgar contains a significant amount of poisonous arsenic, and is itself somewhat toxic. Washing hands is recommended after handling Realgar specimens, especially if they are powdery.

Chemical Formula AsS Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Arsenic sulfide Bright red Orange to reddish-orange 1.5 - 2 Monoclinic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Crystals are prismatic and stubby, and may be in irregular groups. Crystals are usually heavily striated lengthwise, and may be wellterminated or rectangular in shape. Also drusy, encrusting, botryoidal, grainy, massive, and in earthy masses. Transparent to translucent 3.5 - 3.6 Adamantine, resinous, dull 2,1 Conchoidal Slightly sectile Transforms into yellow Pararealgar upon prolonged exposure to light. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides

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

Striking Features Environment

Striking color and low hardness In low-temperature hydrothermal veins, volcanic hot springs, arid borate deposits, and metamorphic marble pockets. 2 2 2

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

OTHER NAMES Ruby Sulfur POLYMORPHS Pararealgar, Alacranite

USES Realgar is an important ore of arsenic. It is used in the manufacturing of fireworks, and was historically used as a red pigment. Realgar is also an important collectors mineral, and the transparent gemmy forms are especially desired. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Some of the best Realgar crystals come from the Rumanian Transylvania at Baia Sprie (Felsbnya), as well as Cavnic (Kapnik), both in Maramures Co. Outstanding transparent gemmy crystals are well known from Shimen, Hunan Province, China. Bright red though small Realgar crystals in contrasting white marble came from the Lengenbach Quarry, Wallis, Switzerland. Realgar occurs with Colmanite in the borate deposit of Bigadi, Marmara Region, Turkey; and it occurs in dark red crystals in the Palomo Mine, Huancavelica, Peru. In the U.S., the most outstanding occurrences are the Getchell Mine (and nearby Turquoise Ridge Mine), Humboldt Co., Nevada; and the Royal Reward Mine (and Cardinal Reward Mine), in the Green River Gorge, King Co., Washington. Both these localities have produced exceptional crystals of sharp color and relatively large sizes. Other U.S. occurrences are Manhattan, Nye Co., Nevada; Boron, Kern Co., California; and Mercur, Tooele Co, Utah.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Orpiment, Pararealgar, Calcite, Quartz, Barite, Cinnabar, Stibnite, Ulexite, Colemanite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS

Cinnabar and Crocoite - Greater hardness and specific gravity.

The Mineral pararealgar

0 Comments

Pararealgar is the alteration product of the mineral Realgar. It forms when Realgar is exposed to light, which causes a physical change in the structure of the mineral and transforms it into a new mineral. Pararealgar is has the same chemical composition and chemical formula as Realgar, but its crystal form differs. Pararealgar is also different in color than Realgar; whereas Realgar is bright red, Pararealgar is bright orange or yellow, and additionally has a more powdery consistency. Pararealgar is usually associated with Realgar, and specimens can be partially altered. It is not uncommon for specimens to be only partially altered in sections, creating yellow and red color zones. Once a significant alteration has taken place, the mineral will start to crumble. The alteration mineral that Realgar transformed into was generally assumed to be Orpiment, but recent scientific analysis has in fact determined the orange alteration product as Pararealgar. Pararealgar, like Realgar, is photosensitive, and will become unstable and eventually crumble into a yellow powder if left in the light. Specimens should be stored enclosed and covered to prevent their exposure to light. Pararealgar contains a significant amount of poisonous arsenic, and is itself somewhat toxic. Washing hands is recommended after handling specimens, especially if they are powdery.

Chemical Formula AsS Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Crystal Forms and Aggregates Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity Other ID Marks Arsenic sulfide Yellow to orange Yellow 1 - 1.5 Monoclinic As a crusty powder, massive, and on altering Realgar crystals. Translucent 3.5 - 3.6 Resinous to earthy None Uneven Brittle Eventually decomposes into powder upon repeated or prolonged exposure to light. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides Association with Realgar and color.

In Group Striking Features

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

Found in the same deposits as Realgar as an alteration of Realgar. 3 3 3

Pararealgar ON EBAY

POLYMORPHS Realgar, Alacranite USES As an ore of arsenic together with Realgar.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Pararealgar localities are the same as Realgar localities. Click here for Realgar localities. COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Realgar, Orpiment, Calcite, Quartz, Barite, Cinnabar, Stibnite, Ulexite, Colemanite

The Mineral chalcopyrite

0 Comments

Chalcopyrite has a golden yellow color, which often resembles Gold. However, its physical properties such as streak and tenacity are very different from Gold and can easily distinguish it. Chalcopyrite is a beautiful mineral and good crystals and specimens are fairly common, leading it to be a very popular mineral. "Peacock Ore" which is sold to many amateur mineral collectors often as a variety of Bornite, is in fact almost always Chalcopyrite that is treated with acid to produce an iridescent tarnish.

Chemical Formula CuFeS2 Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System Copper iron sulfide Brass yellow to golden yellow; sometimes dark brown to black. Tarnishes to a multicolored purple, blue, and red. Black with a slightly green tinge 3.5 - 4 Tetragonal

3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Crystals resemble tetrahedrons and octahedrons, but they are slightly asymmetrical and therefore are categorized in the tetragonal system. Also occurs massive, grainy, reniform, and as groups of small, distorted crystals. Crystals are commonly striated in different directions on different crystal faces. Opaque 4.1 - 4.3 Metallic Indiscernible Uneven Brittle Tarnishes to an iridescent purple, blue, and red. Soluble in nitric acid, tingeing the solution blue Simple Sulfides Low hardness, crystal form, iridescent tarnish, and brittleness In the sulfide zones of copper deposits, in hypothermal veins and mesothermal veins, hydrothermal replacement deposits, metamorphic schists, and in igneous intrusions and dikes. 2 1 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)

Chalcopyrite ON EBAY

OTHER NAMES Copper Pyrites Cupropyrite Yellow Copper VARIETIES

Blister Copper

- Chalcopyrite in a globular or botryoidal rounded form.

Peacock Ore - Term used to describe Chalcopyrite or Bornite with a colorful iridescent tarnish effect, which is usually artificially enhanced with acid. Most Peacock Ore is sold as a variety of Bornite, when in fact most Peacock Ore is actually Chalcopyrite.

USES Chalcopyrite is the main ore of copper. Chalcopyrite is sometimes polished into beads and pendants as cheap jewelry. NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Chalcopyrite is a fairly common mineral, and therefore only the finest of localities will be mentioned. Large, well shaped crystals occur in numerous places in Cornwall, England, especially at the Carn Brea area. Baia Sprie (Felsobanya) and Kapnick both in Maramures Co., are famous Romanian occurrences. Very large crystals come from Krushev Dol, in the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria. In the Dreislar Mine, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, small Chalcopyrite crystals on white coxcomb Barite occur as an excellent combination with beautiful contrast. In China, large crystals occur at the Yaogangxian Mine, Hunan Province. Many fine crystals occur in Zacatecas Mexico, noteworthy are Concepcin del Oro and San Martn. The Huaron Mine in Cerro del Pasco, Peru is also a classic locality. In the U.S., the Tri-state district of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri provides the notable localities of Joplin, Jasper Co., Missouri; Picher, Ottawa Co., Oklahoma; and Treece, Cherokee Co., Kansas. Other excellent occurrences are the Gilman District, Eagle Co., Colorado; Ouray, Ouray Co., Colorado; the Sweetwater Mine, Reynolds Co., Missouri; and Ellenville, Ulster Co., New York. The Chimney Rock Quarry in Bound Brook, Somerset Co., New Jersey, has produced unique reniform blobs, and the the French Creek Mine in Chester Co., Pennsylvania has produced huge crystals, many distorted and highly tarnished, which are highly sought after by collectors.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Pyrite, Sphalerite, Bornite, Chalcocite, Barite, Dolomite, Fluorite, Quartz, Calcite DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Pyrite and Marcasite - Paler color, harder (6 - 6). Gold - Nonbrittle, much heavier (15.5 - 19.3). Bornite - Usually darker in color, more tarnish.

The Mineral orpiment

0 Comments

Orpiment is known for its strikingly bright yellow color, though it can also be bright orange or lustrous brown. The name Orpiment is derived from the latin Auripigmentum, meaning gold pigment, in reference to its color and historical use as a golden-yellow pigment. Orpiment is often associated with bright red Realgar, and may form in strikingly colored and unique mineral combinations. Orpiment is a photosensitive mineral and will eventually dull and develop a white powdery film upon prolonged exposure to light. Due to the instability of Orpiment, specimens should be stored enclosed and covered to prevent their exposure to light. Occasional exposure to look at a specimen will not cause damage; only prolonged or repeated exposure will cause deterioration. Orpiment contains a significant amount of poisonous arsenic, and is itself somewhat toxic. Washing hands is recommended after handling Orpiment specimens, especially if powdery.

Chemical Formula As2S3 Composition Color Streak Hardness Crystal System 3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model)

Arsenic trisulfide Bright yellow, orange-yellow, orange, orange-red, and brown Yellow 1.5 - 2 Monoclinic

Crystal Forms and Aggregates

Individual Orpiment crystals are usually small prismatic or stubby, and often have chisel-shaped or triangular pyramidal terminations. Crystals are commonly in dense grouping of small crystals rather than individual crystals. Typical habits include micaceous, grainy, encrusting, in veins, and in foliated masses. Also drusy, botryoidal, in rosettes, in rounded balls, and in small crystals radiating from a central core. Crystals are usually striated horizontally and are are occasionally slightly rounded. Transparent to opaque 3.4 - 3.5 Resinous to pearly. 1,1 Uneven Sectile and slightly flexible in thin flakes. Sulfides; Simple Sulfides

Transparency Specific Gravity Luster Cleavage Fracture Tenacity In Group

Striking Features Environment

Striking color, environment, and frequent association with Realgar. In low-temperature hydrothermal veins and volcanic hot springs and fumaroles. Less commonly in arid borate deposits and metamorphic marble pockets. 2 2 2

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

Orpiment ON EBAY

USES Orpiment is an ore of arsenic. It was historically used as a yellow pigment and an ancient decorative stone.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES Relatively large and gemmy butterscotch Orpiment crystals come from Shimen, Hunan Province, China; and outstanding bright spiky crystal plates and drusy crystals from the El'brusskiy mine, near Mt. Elbrus, Russia. Good quality specimens have also come from the Zareh Shuran Mine, Takab, Iran; Allchar, Roszdan, Macedonia; and Lucram, AlpesMaritimes, France. Some of the best examples of Orpiment have come from Peru in Quiruvilca, La Libertad, in the form of bright gemmy orange-brown crystals. Also in Peru is the Palomo Mine, Huancavelica, which produced rounded, ball-like aggregates of this mineral. In the U.S., a relatively new locality has produced some of the finest Orpiment specimens. This locality is the Twin Creeks Mine, Potosi District, Humboldt Co., Nevada, famous for its transparent butterscotch crystal groups. Bright yellow foliated Orpiment almost invariably associated with splotches of Realgar comes from Nevada at the Getchell Mine, Humboldt Co.; and from the White Cap Mine, Manhattan, Nye Co. Bright Orpiment crystals on a contrasting white Calcite matrix come from Mercur, Tooele Co, Utah.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS Realgar, Calcite, Barite, Stibnite, Gypsum, Cinnabar DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS Pararealgar - Occurs as a replacement of Realgar crystals; otherwise difficult to distinguish. Sulfur - Lacks cleavage and has distinct odor. Autunite - Forms in different crystal and environments, and often has a greenish tinge which is lacking in Orpiment.

Оценить