We will soon reach 1000 minerals on PHDMinerals! This is a nice milestone. Here are some pictures of minerals we added recently.
Here you have a really superb Cobalto-Calcite. It has vibrant pink and orange colors. So vibrant the picture colors seem enhanced. It’s from Congo (Katanga)
4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 cm
We have a beautiful Amethyst with deep purple tips that look like stars, available. It’s from Boekenhoutshoek, Mkobola, Nkangala District, Mpumalanga, South Africa. The specimen measures 6.7 x 6.5 x 4.5 cm. It’s is much nicer in person.
Vesuvianite, also known as Idocrase, is a calcium-magnesium-aluminum silicate with the composition Ca10(Mg, Fe)2Al4(SiO4)5(Si2O7)2(OH,F)4 which can be variable. It was first identified in 1795 among the ancient ejections of Vesuvius, Mte. Somma, Italy, hence its name.
It can be green (var. Chromian), pink to purple (var. Mangano-vesuvianite), brown, yellow, or blue. Vesuvianite crystallizes in the tetragonal system, often prismatic or pyramidal crystals. It is mainly found in skarn deposits and limestones that have been subjected to contact metamorphism. It also occurs as compact masses and is often associated with Grossularite, Diopside, Clinochlore, Phlogopite and Wollastonite.
The hardness is 6.5 on the Mohs scale and it’s streak is white.
Vesuvianite is found in many countries including USA (Maine and California), Russia (Vilyui River Basin), Italy, Mexico and Canada, which produces highly lustrous and brilliantly-colored forms of this mineral. Best known are the vividly-colored and multicolored varieties that come from the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, which are stunning and classic forms of this mineral.
PHDMinerals offers at reasonable prices Vesuvianite specimens from the Jeffrey Mine.
In January, I decided it was time for me to visit the famous Tucson Mineral show. I gave myself 6 days to visit the town and do as many shows I could. I must say, the amount of mineral we are presented is quite overwhelming. The first stop was in the Days Inn & Suites where you have over 350 rooms to visit. You can get a vague idea of the place from the picture. I was there pretty early, some rooms were still not open but most of them were ready. You can spend sometimes easily 30 minutes to discover all the wonder in one room. A room had impressive Panasqueira Apatite, large cabinet perfect specimens. There was the Dioptase room, hundreds of dioptase minerals from Russia in all sizes and quality, they also had flats available.
Many vendors had Rogerly fluorites, I bought 5 specimens displayed on the right. There was also many minerals from Bulgaria, it is quite impressive to see the quantity of minerals that come from the Madan Bulgaria region. I’m very interested about the melted Galena form we see coming from there. I wonder what phenomenon causes this. Here is an example of melted Galena. I also bought an interesting gem Sphalerite, it’s the little piece down the bottom on the picture. I’ll write about it soon with more pictures, specially when it’s back lit as the green yellowish color is quite sensational.
Below are some pictures of the stands you could find on another site. If you take the time to look carefully, you can always find some nice treasures on the tables and flats. We bought some pyrites, sphalerite, galena minerals from Jean Claude who had many Peruvian mineral specimens for sale.
Adamite is an orthorhombic zinc arsenate hydroxide mineral, Zn2AsO4OH. It is a mineral that typically occurs in the oxidized or weathered zones. Pure adamite is colorless, but usually it possesses yellow color due to Fe, in association with limonite, smithsonite, hemimorphite, scorodite, olivenite, calcite, quartz and iron and manganese oxides .
Color can be green due to trace amounts of copper and or uranium, yellow, rarely white and occasionally purple due to trace amount of cobalt. The yellow to bright lime-green colored crystals make adamite a favorite among mineral collectors. Found in Mapimí, Durango, Mexico; Greece; and California and Utah in the United States.
Adamite was named after the French mineralogist Gilbert-Joseph Adam (1795-1881). It was first described in 1866 for an occurrence at the type locality of Chañarcillo, Copiapó Province, Atacama Region, Chile.
Hardness is of 3.5 on the Mohs scale and a density between 4.32 and 4.48.
Luster is adamantine. Crystals are transparent to translucent. Crystal Habits include diamond shaped, wedge-like prisms sometimes modified with minor prismatic faces and terminated by a double triangle, mostly in druses and radiating clusters that can form wheel and wheat sheaf shapes.
PHDMinerals offers Adamite specimen from Mexico
Pyrochlore is a complex oxide mineral, (Na,Ca)2Nb2O6(OH,F). It is as a solid solution between the niobium end member (pyrochlore), and the tantalum end member (microlite). Pyrochlore crystals are usually well formed (euhedral) crystals, occurring usually as octahedra of a yellowish or brownish color and a resinous luster. Sub-translucent to opaque It can also be dark reddish or blackish brown.
Pyrochlore is brittle with a hardness of 5 – 5.5 on the Mohs scale and a density of 4.2 to 4.36.
It was first described in 1826 for an occurrence in Stavern in Norway.
The three largest producers of niobium ore are mining pyrochlore deposits. The largest deposit in Brazil is the CBMM mine located south of Araxá, Minas Gerais, followed by the deposit of the Catalão mine east of Catalão, Goiás. The third largest deposit of niobium ore is Niobec mine west of Saint-Honore near Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada.
Nice pyrochlore crystals, associated with magnetite were produced at the St Laurence Columbium Mine, Deux-Montagnes Co., Québec, Canada.The mine opened in 1961 and ceased operations around 1977. During its operation it was one of largest niobium mine in the world. Significant reserves of pyrochlore (the main ore mineral) remain at the deposit. The processing plant and headframe were demolished in 1992.
PHDMinerals offers at reasonable prices pyrochlore from Oka.
We recently added 5 Smoky Quartz from the French Alps. It has been a success as two of them were sold less then 3 hours after posting them. Don’t worry since we still have three beautiful Swiss Quartz available. I’ll show you a picture of each, if you want to see more, simply click on the name link.