Over the last couple of weeks I received two orders of new additions to my collection. From John Betts‘ website I ordered some Sassolite, my first piece of Scheelite, and another specimen of Fluorite. The Sassolite is something of a rare species, I’ve never seen it posted on his Betts’ site before nor are there any other examples in his “Mineral Museum,” the archive of his sold specimens. I now have one of the three applicable species for my Boron Suite. The specimen consists of several flat glassy crystals resembling ice shavings or flakes of dry skin…
As I was already getting the Sassolite I decided to add the Scheelite and Fluroite to my order. Both specimens were inexpensive; I felt it was time to get a calcium tungstate while Fluorite has been rather underrepresented in my collection.
The other order I had placed was from Dakota Matrix Minerals for some Heazlewoodite, Ericaite, and another specimen of Laurelite. As Millerite is the nickel sulphide most commonly encountered for sale I was quite keen on getting the Heazlewoodite. It is likely this specimen also contains some Awaruite.
With the addition of Ericaite I now have both of the applicable borates for my Iron Suite. However there seems to be some debate as to whether the formula for Ericaite is Fe3B7O13Cl or (Fe,Mg)3B7O13Cl. The webmineral.com site lists Ericaite with the latter formula, citing about 4.78% magnesium as well as 3.6% manganese. The mindat.org website uses the formula of the former with magnesium and manganese listed as common impurities rather than actual compositional components. The International Mineralogical Association Database of Mineral Properties also describes Ericaite as having the formula Fe3B7O13Cl. If the IMA should change the accepted formula to (Fe,Mg)3B7O13Cl then I would remove Ericaite from my list of 582 applicable species for collecting, as this mineral would be an iron magnesium borate rather than a (“pure”) iron borate. Until then I will welcome both Ericaite and Vonsenite as the two applicable iron borates.
A year ago I jumped at the chance to obtain some Laurelite, even though it consisted of a mass of free fibrous crystals in a gelatin capsule. This time I had the opportunity to acquire an example of this lead halide still attached to the matrix.