Rare Mineral Species

Rare Species. We have them!

The term rare species refers to rare or exceedingly rare minerals. There are almost always very unspectacular, and are usually valued by researchers and those wanting them for special reasons like to build an extensive collection. Very often rare species occupy only a very small portion of the piece… with the result that most of the specimen is only matrix!

Rare species are important mineralogically for various reasons one of which is that they account for quite a high percentage of known minerals. We may also mention that most new minerals discovered these days are rare species: in most instances one can say that if they were not as rare as they are, they would have probably been found a long time ago.

Now let’s be clear: we love to photograph minerals and show them off but we have to admit that usually rare species are photogenically a hopeless case! So we will usually just list them and if you have questions we will try to answer them. So Enjoy! Here are some Uglies! Actually a few, VERY FEW, are pretty.

To order send us an email to attard@attminerals.com or call us at (619) 275-2016.

List 1

Andorite
Augelite
Awaruite
Bicchulite
Boracite
Carbonate-hydroxylapatite
Dawsonite
Hisingerite
Hocartite
Isoferroplatinum
Jeromite
Maghemite
Nagashimalite
Nordstrandite
Potosiite
Povondraite
Ruthenium
Sonolite
Takedaite
Valentinite
Waylandite
Woodhouseite
Yoshimuraite
Yugawaralite

List 2

Aerinite
Aguilarite
Aliettite
Argyrodite sold out
Arhbarite
Arsenioplite
Bariumpharmacosiderite
Barysilite
Bergslagite
Betechtinite
Berborite
Bismutoferrite
Boehmite
Brandite
Brendelite
Cheralite
Chiavennite
Chromphyllite
Churchite
Cobaltkoritnigite
Cuspidine
Davidite-(La)
Ferrilotharmeyerite
Fluorcaphite
Forsterite
Gaidonnayite
Gehlenite
Goergeyite
Goldmanite
Hartite
Heulandite-(Sr)
Hexahydroborite
Jeromite
Kaliborite
Karelianite
Kristovite-(Ce)
Krutovite
Lavenite
Litharge
Lomonsovite
Loparite
Lotharmeyerite
Lovozerite
Magnesiumastrophyllite
Moraesite
Mountainite
Nambulite
Normandite
Osumilite
Paulingite-(Ca)
Pearceite
Rinkite
Rivadavite
Romanite
Roscherite
Sal Ammoniac
Serandite
Sodium betpakdalite
Sodium komarovite
Sodium zippeite
Steenstrupine
Studtite
Taeniolite
Teresite
Terskite
Threadgoldite
Trevorite
Tugtupite
Vlodavetsite
Wegscheiderite
Yvonite
Zavaritskite
Zelesiite

List 3

Argyrodite Freiberg – Extremely rare Ag-Ge-sulphide (pure piece from an original find in the 1880’s)
Cheralite – Massive, big piece, X-rayed $50
Chiavennite – Rare, orange crust $40
Churchite – White fibrous, formerly known as weinschenkite from this locality $36
Cobaltkoritnigite – Pink balls, rich $70
Gehlenite – White massive, ugly $25
Hartite – New find described in Amer.Mineralogist (1999), white massive similar to gypsum $30
Jeromite – Red crust on quartz, first natural occurrence (original was from a mine fire) $40
Lithiophyllite – Greenish gray massive, rich $30
Lomonossovite – Brown crystals in matrix $30
Loparite – Nice twinned crystals $40
Lotharmayerite – Extremely rare, type locality, small red-brown crystals (nice in microscope), with adamite $100
Pearceite – Nice metallic crystals with white stilbite, some people describe it as arsenpolybasite but both X-ray and XRF on this material show it to be pearceite ! $50
Parisite – Big crystals, pure, from a classic locality $55
Paulingite-Ca – Nice big crystal $35
Platinum, Russia- 2 mm cue with X- ray spectrum and SEM
sodium-zippeite – Yellow on matrix $38
Steenstrupine – Big black grains with serandite etc., radioactive $40
Terskite – Gray massive, strong green fluorescence, with purple eudialyte $38
Umangite – Metallic on matrix, Russia $60
Zavaritskite – Gray grain in quartz, pseudo after native Bi $48

List 4

Carlosturmanite $32
Ceriopyrochlor $40
Clausthalite $40
Ferrowyelite $40
Johnbaumite $38
Keldyshite $50
Kingite $36
Letovicite $36
Makinawite $28
Manganosite $24
Olenite $50
Olshankite $35
Paisleyite $30
Roggianite $28
Sarcopside $30
Sepiolite $16
Smolianinovite $36

NOW is any of this interesting? Well not to everyone but consider this on just one mineral: Regarding Argyrodite, it is of historic importance because in it the element Germanium was discovered.

If one were to digress a little on Germanium, one may add that it had been predicted by the young British chemist Newlands in 1864 as the missing element in a triad between Silicon and Tin. Seven years later the much older Russian Mendeleev specified the properties it should have using his newly devised Periodic Table of the Elements. A hunt got under way by inorganic chemists and to be brief, in 1886 Winkler found it and named in honor of his country. The source was Argyrodite.

Lest it be thought that this was a straightforward process, one might mention that Winkler having isolated it, nevertheless assigned it the wrong place among the then missing elements! It was not until some time later that another German chemist Lothar Mayer (now of Latharmayerite fame) recognised its proper identity and position in the Periodic Table that the case on Germanium was finally concluded.

Now you know a little more about Argyrodite! From knowledge comes appreciation.

To order send us an email to attard@attminerals.com or call us at (619) 275-2016.