Tag Archives: halide

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

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