Tag Archives: lead

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

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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…