Marshite, Palladium, and Plattnerite

My latest order from Dakota Matrix arrived a couple of weeks ago, consisting of three relatively rare species.  Marshite is my first representative of an applicable copper halide, it’s an iodide with a simple formula of just CuI.  Like many other classic metal halides like Chlorargyrite or Nantokite, this Marshite hails from the Broken Hill Proprietary Mine in New South Wales, Australia.  The specimen seems to be a fragment of gossan matrix with patches of colourless to honey coloured octahedrals of Marshite; also present are yellowish crystals of Miersite, a halide species with a formula of (Ag,Cu)I.

Cu3D.01  Marshite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01 Marshite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01  Marshite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01 Marshite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01  Marshite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01 Marshite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01  Marshite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu3D.01 Marshite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Finding Palladium for sale was a bit of a surprise, but this specimen seems to have been personally collected and owned by William Hyde Wollaston, 1766-1828, and the discoverer of elements palladium and rhodium.  This specimen is attributed as Wollaston’s due to the inclusion his label from 1803.  However, the label is a photocopy of the original, it’s unknown why the original label was not included…  Before Dakota Matrix acquired this specimen, it had been previously owned by Georg Gebhard, 1945-, German chemist and mineral collector for whom the mineral Gebhardite is named.  I inquired of Dakota Matrix why the original Wollaston label is not present, they are attempting to contact Gebhard…  In the meantime I hope it’s not some ploy to falsely authenticate specimens with photocopied labels??  Hmmm…  At any rate this specimen, from Minas Gerais in Brazil,  is a pinch of small silvery grains sealed in a corked vial.  I’m also waiting to see if Dakota Matrix can tell me if the vial is Wollaston’s own.  Of course, there is never really any pure native Palladium found in the wild, it always contains some Platinum, giving a formula of (Pd,Pt).

PdB3/6.01  Palladium Photo by Dakota Matrix

PdB3/6.01 Palladium
Photo by Dakota Matrix

PdB3/6.01  Palladium Photo by Dakota Matrix

PdB3/6.01 Palladium
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Photocopy of Wollaston's original label for PdB3/6.01  Palladium Photo by Dakota Matrix

Photocopy of Wollaston’s original label for PdB3/6.01 Palladium
Photo by Dakota Matrix

The lead oxide Plattnerite (PbO2) is one of those species that should be more commonly available than it is.  One can usually find Plattnerite pictures in somewhat expansive coffee table book about minerals, Pough’s Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals details the species…  But I had acquired other examples of other lead oxides, Minium and Scrutinyite, long before I found this specimen.  This specimen is from the famous Ojuela mine in Mapimi, Durango, Mexico and exhibits the standard acicular habit Plattnerite is known for.

Pb4.3/10.01  Plattnerite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb4.3/10.01 Plattnerite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb4.3/10.01  Plattnerite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb4.3/10.01 Plattnerite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb4.3/10.01  Plattnerite Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb4.3/10.01 Plattnerite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Evenkite, Uzonite, Otavite, Clinocervantite, and Phosgenite

My first minerals for 2013 are additions to my Carbon, Arsenic, Cadmium, Antimony, and Lead suites.  From Dakota Matrix I purchased Evenkite and Uzonite.  The Evenkite is an organic hydrocarbon, C21H44, and this example is the type locality hailing from the Evenki District in Siberia, Russia.  Appearing as several tiny white waxy flakes it’s rather unremarkable looking, but the chemistry is interesting.  The Uzonite is one of eight pure arsenic sulphides applicable for my collection, which of course also includes Realgar, Orpiment, and Pararealgar.  This is another type locality specimen being from the Uzon caldera in the Kamchatka peninsula, Russia.  This specimen is a small 3mm nugget covered in the yellowish powdery crust of Uzonite, with some organge Alacránite present.

I purchased specimens for the first time from www.yourmineralcollection.com, a website operated by Giuseppe Siccardi.  The website has a Systematic Shop section: “rare minerals for demanding systematic collectors”, so naturally I was intrigued…  The website style is very basic and the photography is not as polished as I’ve seen on other sites, but I did find a number treasures seldom seen for sale.  Giuseppe shipped my order expediently without delay, even over the holiday season, and it was really well packaged for protection during transit.  I will definitely continue to look for further purchases from Giuseppe’s site.

I had never seen Clinocervantite for sale before, so I was keen to add another applicable antimony oxide into my collection.  With examples of Cervantite and Valentinite I now only need to obtain some Sénarmontite to have the antimony oxides completely represented.  The Clinocervantite crystals appear as tiny colourless needles in small vugs throughout an antimony rich matrix.  This example is from the Tafone Mine, Grosseto Province in Tuscany, Italy.

Sb4.4/4.01  ClinocervantitePhoto by Giuseppe Siccardi

Sb4.4/4.01 Clinocervantite
Photo by Giuseppe Siccardi

Sb4.4/4.01  ClinocervantitePhoto by Giuseppe Siccardi

Sb4.4/4.01 Clinocervantite
Photo by Giuseppe Siccardi

From Giuseppe I also ordered an example of Otavite, a very rare cadmium carbonate that I almost never see for sale.  This specimen is also from Italy, uncovered from the Su Elzu Mine in the  Sassari Province, Sardinia.  The Otavite crystals are  miniscule white blocky crystals tucked away in a tiny vug.

Cd5.01  OtavitePhoto by Giuseppe Siccardi

Cd5.01 Otavite
Photo by Giuseppe Siccardi

Cd5.01  OtavitePhoto by Giuseppe Siccardi

Cd5.01 Otavite
Photo by Giuseppe Siccardi

Cd5.01  OtavitePhoto by Giuseppe Siccardi

Cd5.01 Otavite
Photo by Giuseppe Siccardi

The last specimen for this post is Phosgenite from the Terrible Mine in Custer County, Colorado, USA.  I’m not sure how the mine got it’s namesake, perhaps because it yields ugly specimens such as this:

Pb5.3/4.01  PhosgenitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Pb5.3/4.01 Phosgenite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb5.3/4.01  PhosgenitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Pb5.3/4.01 Phosgenite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Pb5.3/4.01  PhosgenitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Pb5.3/4.01 Phosgenite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Ordered from Dakota Matrix, this example is not quite as aesthetically pleasing as some other (much more expensive) examples of Phosgenite I’ve seen for sale that exhibit beautiful euhedral crystals with a lovely transparency.  This heavy specimen consists of a couple of cleavage zones of Phosgenite embedded in a mass of Cerussite.  With this rock my collection of lead carbonates is almost complete, with only one more to obtain (Fassinaite.)

All in all, not a bad start to 2013…

Baddeleyite, Villiaumite, Rickardite, Koutekite, and Bismutite

A couple of weeks ago I received my order for 5 new additions to my collection, all from Dakota Matrix

The first is a specimen of Baddeleyite, occurring as tiny black lustrous crystals to 2 mm on a chunk of quartzy matrix; it originates from the Jacupiranga Mine in São Paulo, Brazil.  In the three years I’ve been systematically collecting minerals, I’ve never before seen this species for sale at any of my on-line haunts, so naturally I snapped it up.  This brings my Zirconium suite down to one remaining species left to obtain.  The specimen also has many greenish grey crystals of Forsterite.

Zr4.01  BaddeleyitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Zr4.01 Baddeleyite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Zr4.01  BaddeleyitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Zr4.01 Baddeleyite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Another addition to my Sodium suite is Villiaumite , which completes the Halide section of the suite.  As blocky cherry-red crystals protruding from the matrix, this is a somewhat standard specimen from the mineral rich area of Mont-Saint Hilaire, Québec, Canada.

Na3A.01  VilliaumitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Na3A.01 Villiaumite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Na3A.01  VilliaumitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Na3A.01 Villiaumite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

The next two specimens are members of the copper sulphide family, Rickardite and Koutekite.  The Rickardite is one of three applicable copper telluride species and this example hails from the Hilltop Mine in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, USA.  This specimen has a really nice metallic blue foil-like quality, very similar in appearance to some examples of Covellite; also present are small gold tinged cubic crystals of Altaite.

Cu2E3/3.01  RickarditePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Cu2E3/3.01 Rickardite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu2E3/3.01  RickarditePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Cu2E3/3.01 Rickardite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu2E3/3.01  RickarditePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Cu2E3/3.01 Rickardite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

The Koutekite comes from the Mohawk Mine in the famous copper mining county of Keeweenaw in Michigan, USA.  There are four applicable copper arsenide species for my collection, and it appears they are often found together in various amounts, perhaps unavoidably, as this specimen also contains Paxite.  The original advertised description read “silvery grey metallic mineral with Paxite;” I can’t visually distinguish between the Paxite and the Koutekite…

Cu2B4/4.01  KoutekitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Cu2B4/4.01 Koutekite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Cu2B4/4.01  KoutekitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Cu2B4/4.01 Koutekite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

The last specimen is Bismutite, which I purchased (impulsively) as a sort-of inexpensive after thought.  Apparently this species is somewhat rare, although this is a rather crude example of the only applicable bismuth carbonate…

Bi5.01  BismutitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Bi5.01 Bismutite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Bi5.01  BismutitePhoto by Dakota Matrix

Bi5.01 Bismutite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

This chunk of a specimen is from the Outlaw mine in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA.  With this addition I now start off the somewhat extensive Bismuth suite

Abelsonite, Scrutinyite, Mikasaite, Wattersite, Mercury, Hawleyite, and Witherite

It has been quite a while since my last posting of newly acquired minerals, but I’m back with seven new additions to my collection.  From Dakota Matrix I ordered several specimens, the first being Abelsonite from the Green River Formation in Uintah County, Utah, USA.  This specimen appears as brownish micro crystals on a sub-cm piece of rock, rather unremarkable looking.  I had never heard of Abelsonite before; it appears I had previously overlooked what appears to be the only applicable organic species for my Nickel Suite.  I had to add Abelsonite to my Nickel Suite, bringing the total number of Nickel species to 26.  This also led me to re-check the IMA for all newly added species for 2011-2012 that may be applicable to my collecting criteria.  Eight more species have been added to my overall list, bringing the total to 591 applicable species.

The Scrutinyite, another welcome lead oxide, is from the Blanchard Mine, Socorro County, New Mexico, USA.  It appears as dark needles of micro crystals on several ~5mm shards of Quartz.  This rare species is so named as it is apparently very difficult to distinguish it from Plattnerite, requiring much “scrutiny.”

Next from Dakota Matrix is the Mikasaite from Ikushunbetsu, Mikasa City, Hokkaido, Japan.  This specimen is the type locality and it appears as dull yellowish pseudo-aggregated flaky material sealed in a gel capsule.  Apparently Mikasaite is hygroscopic, so even though I abhor the appearance of gel capsules in my collection I will have to keep this specimen sealed up and not risk humidity damage.

The Wattersite and Mercury both inhabit the same specimen, and as such I have given this specimen two catalogue numbers.  I suppose it might be a little unorthodox for a specimen to be numbered twice, but I couldn’t bring myself to favour one applicable species over the other for the sake of cataloguing.  The Wattersite appears as a single black prismatic crystal, about 1 mm long or so.  The Mercury appear as silvery blebs all along the Quartz(?) matrix, as well as anointing the surface of the Wattersite crystal.  The specimen is from the Clear Creek Mine, San Benito County, California, USA.

Hg7B2/3.01 Wattersite
Hg.01 Mercury
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Hg.01 Mercury
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Hg7B2/3.01 Wattersite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

The last two specimens, Witherite and Hawleyite, I purchased from Dale Minerals International.  I was glad to find a modest specimen of Witherite, from the famous Cave In Rock District of Hardin County, Illinois, USA.  Most examples of these specimens I have seen advertised for sale tend to be on the larger size, as miniatures or cabinet pieces, commanding a price of several hundreds of dollars.  This smaller sized example suited not only my budget, but also my preference for thumbnail sized specimens for the ease of protection and label containment.  The Hawleyite is from Crestmore Quarries, Riverside County, California, USA, and appears as a greenish yellow crust on a small piece of rock.  Not a pretty specimen, but its inclusion into my collection now completes the applicable sulphides for my Cadmium Suite.

Ba5.1/2.01 Witherite
Photo by Dale Minerals International

Cd2.2/2.01 Hawleyite
Photo by Dale Minerals International

On a side note, Richard Dale of Dale Minerals International is going out of business.  Since the end of September 2012 Dale has been discounting all of his  on-line stock with intent to shut down his website sometime in the following December.  There’s still some good deals left to be had – we’ll miss you Dale Rocks!

Platinum Crystals from Russia

saxothingee:

Gorgeous!  I wish I could take credit for owning this little beauty but alas, no…  Sigh, someday I hope to have a Platinum crystal with some nice cubic form..!

Originally posted on Crystal and Mineral Collecting:

6 mm 3.6 carat twinned platinum crystals

Platinum is the rarest and most expensive precious metal – more so than either gold or silver. And platinum crystals are even rarer – so rare that, until a few years ago, they were considered to be the rarest objects on the face of the earth! Because of their scarcity and prohibitively high price, the vast majority of mineral collectors could not afford to buy platinum crystals. As a result, they were usually only seen in very high end mineral collections. This situation changed in the decade following the 1993 appearance on the mineral market of world class platinum crystals that came from an alluvial deposit in Siberia. The cubic, metallic, pale gray, slightly edge-rounded crystals reportedly reach a size of about 1.5 cm. The exact locality is the Konder Massif (also spelled Kondyor), in the village of Konder, near Nel’kan, Aldan shield…

View original 15 more words

Stibarsen and Erlichmanite

Last week I received from Dakota Matrix a specimen each of Stibarsen and Erlichmanite.   I had been aware of Stibarsen for some time, it is one of the two applicable Arsenic Antimony alloys.  This is a welcome addition to my Arsenic Suite which otherwise contains mostly sulphide variants.  This piece exhibits the massive habit of the species rather than those nice botryoidal aggregations I have seen; it hails from The Harz in Germany…

AsB1/2.01 Stibarsen
Photo by Dakota Matrix

AsB1/2.01 Stibarsen
Photo by Dakota Matrix

I was really surprised to come across the Erlichmanite for sale – I bought it instantly.  I never thought I’d ever get a hold of the only sulphide of Osmium, and this specimen is really tiny.  In my Osmium Suite there are only two applicable species, Osmium (which is essentially an alloy of Iridium and Osmium) and Erlichmanite which is OsS2, something of the Osmium analogue of Pyrite…  This specimen, from Goodnews Bay in Alaska, is a cut and polished section of Platinum containing the Erlichmanite, mounted in a disc of  epoxy.  The identification has been confirmed through EDS, energy dispersive spectroscopy.  Also included with the specimen are several backscatter images from the EDS showing the Erlichmanite in pink/red.  With this addition of Erlichmanite my Osmium Suite is now complete, as I had purchased an example of Osmium earlier this year.

Os2.01 Erlichmanite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Os2.01 Erlichmanite
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Os2.01 Erlichmanite – EDS backscatter image
Photo by Dakota Matrix

Phenakite, Fluorapatite, and Smoky Quartz

Last week I received my order of three minerals from John Betts.  I placed the order primarily to get my first Phenakite  crystal and now I have one of the two applicable species for my Beryllium Suite.  The Phenakite specimen exhibits repeated twinning of the re-entrant faces on the termination, known colloquially as “drill-bit” twinning among collectors.  The crystal is from Mount Antero in Chaffee County, Colorado.

Be9.01 Phenakite
Photo by John Betts

The other two minerals were ordered as a bit of an afterthought.  I didn’t have Fluorapatite represented in my collection, so I figured it was about time to get a decent Calcium Phosphate for my Calcium Suite.  This rock hails from Emmons Quarry in Oxford County, Maine.

Ca8.3/4.01 Fluorapatite
Photo by John Betts

The last specimen is a floater crystal of Smoky Quartz, my eighth Quartz specimen overall.  The examples of this species I acquired earlier in the hobby are damaged, so I’ve been since obtaining perfect specimens.  This crystal is absolutely free of damage and doubly-terminated with that nice glassy earthen colour.  It’s from the Crystal Peak District in the Park-Teller Counties, Colorado.

Si9.4/7.08 Quartz var. Smoky
Photo by John Betts