Tag Archives: cadmium

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…

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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!

Cadmoselite and Hafnon

Yesterday I received two more mineral specimens from Dakota Matrix.  They were ordered from the website’s Rare Mineral Specimen section where the more exotic species are periodically listed, in this case from the collection of Donald F. Phillips.  The first is Cadmoselite, a welcome addition to my cadmium minerals, it appears as a tiny amount of black metallic powder sealed in a gelatin capsule.  This  is the only cadmium selenide and I now have one third of all applicable species making up my Cadmium Suite.  No doubt it’s extremely toxic, but I only have what looks like about 1/16th of a teaspoon…

The next minuscule mineral is Hafnon, the hafnium analogue to Zircon.  According to mindat.org there are only two legitimate mineral species that contain hafnium to any appreciable degree beyond “Hafnian Zircon“:  Hafnon, HfSiO4 and Zektzerite, LiNa(Zr,Ti,Hf)Si6O15.  The Hafnon appears as a very tiny amount of orangey sand sealed in a stoppered glass vial; its inclusion completes my Hafnium Suite.

Cadmoselite, Hafnon, and my beer