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My Mineral Collection, Miscellaneous Systematic Elements Page

This is my elements collection.

Please see Ira Weissman's diamond-consumer oriented The Diamond Pro
Elements on Other Pages
See another native arsenic on my systematic sulfides page.
Element Info
Silicon and chromium are almost never* found in nature - antimony, bismuth, lead, and nickel rarely are.

* In Dec 2000, courtesy of Jacques Jedwab (Univ. Libre de Bruxelles - Belgium), I was informed that:

  • Russian and Chinese mineralogists have found microscopic native chromium occurrences - more info (Oct 2001, again, courtesy of Jacques Jedwab):
    "Small native chromium grains, found in an unspecified locality from Sechuan heavy sands, are mentioned in Anthony, Bideaux, Bladth & Nichols: Handbook of Mineralogy, vol. I, p. 98. No vein material."
    See here for a typical submillimeter chromium grain.

Titanium only occurs naturally as microscopic inclusions in meteoritic impact quartz (coesite) and kimberlites.

This group also includes intermetallic compounds (native alloys and amalgams) and carbides, nitrides, phosphides, and silicides.

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Specimens on This Page
(links take you to either the first or only specimen)

19 Rows

Altmarkite

Altmarkite (or leadamalgam) is a lead mercury amalgam found in a refinery stack in Salzwedel, Altmark, Germany. It's also found in China and Mexico - the Chinese site is the official type locality for leadamalgam.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Antimony

A brilliant half nodule thumbnail of antimony from the Tom Moore Mine, Erskine Creek mining district, Kernville, Kern County, California. The closeup shows some fine needles of cream-colored valentinite, antimony oxide, and stibnite trapped inside!. The outside is encrusted with a thin (yellow-phosphorescing) layer of various antimony oxides - stibiconite, valentinite, and/or cervantite.

Thanks to Sharon Cisneros at the Mineralogical Research Company for the specimen!

Arsenic

A rare miniature of arsenic in calcite from St. Andreasberg, Harz, Germany.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 2

Awaruite, var.
Josephinite

Usually, josephinite is a synonym for awaruite, a native iron-nickel "alloy" of varying composition - recent studies have shown it to be more complex. Older references consider it to be a nickel-rich awaruite (FeNi3 v FeNi2). It is essentially pieces of the earth's deep mantle that have been brought to the surface (and subsequently weathered out) by magma (mantle) plumes. This thumbnail nodule, like all true josephinites, comes from the Josephine Creek area in Josephine County, Oregon.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Bismuth

This miniature is from a lab in Germany - native bismuth is much less interesting. Note all the "hopper" crystals - their edges grew faster than their centers. Bismuth has also been found in moon rocks.

Bismuth

A bismuth nugget thumbnail from the Vilaque River area in the La Paz department of Bolivia. This location is a fluvioglacial deposit eroded from high-temperature bismuth-cassiterite veins at about 14,000 feet above sea level.

Thanks to Adam Larson's Adam's Minerals auction on eBay for the specimen!

Thanks also to Alfredo Petrov for the location update and information!

Row 3

Bismuth

Another synthetic bismuth "ornament" - this cabinet piece was grown by Ken Keraiff on May 15 2003 at Krystals Unlimited, Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada.

Thanks to Ken Keraiff's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Chromium

One ounce worth of ultra-high purity chromium crystals - some of which are twinned.

Thanks to Susan & Ed Piatek's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Chromium

Small cabinet chunks of high-purity (98+%) chromium from a deposit in Sichuan, China. The larger image shows all three pieces - they weigh about one and a half pounds total and are very hard (9 on the Mohs scale) and shiny. Unfortunately, this is merely leftover slag from the huge Sichuan chromite refinery. MinDat does consider Sichuan to be the type locality) for the submillimeter grains mentioned above.

Thanks to Mike & Pat Torkelson for the specimens!

Row 4

Cobalt

Cobalt's not found in nature - these electrolytic cobalt spheres are from the heterogenite mines found at Shaba, Republic of the Congo. The balancing act (larger image, center) shows the two spheres on a magnet.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Copper

Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula is the most important locality in the world for pure native copper. This large cabinet specimen also has some aurichalcite and green calcite on it.

Thanks to Great South Gems & Minerals for the specimen!

Copper

More copper - this miniature's from Arizona (either Bisbee or Jerome).

Thanks to Robert Winfree's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 5

Copper

A very pretty cabinet piece of copper, epidote, and calcite from Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.

Thanks to Roger Hoek at ARCH Mineralsfor the specimen and the image!

Copper

A pretty half-slab of copper in basalt from Québec, Canada.

Thanks to Ken DeMary's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

;

Copper
"Patricianite"

Copper flakes in compacted chlorite with prehnite veins from Keweenaw County, Michigan is often called "patricianite" and is used for making jewelry.

Thanks to Sharon Burnett's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 6

Copper
after
Aragonite

This is an interesting thumbnail of copper after aragonite from the (essentially the type locality for this pseudomorph) San Agustín Mine, Corocoro, Pacajes, La Paz, Bolivia.

Thanks to Danny Bentley's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Copper
after
Aragonite

From the same locale - a Moroccan-like aragonite "sputnik" mostly replaced by copper.

Thanks to Mike Basal's (From My Collection To Yours) auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Copper Silver
Aggregate

Often, in Michigan, copper and silver occur together in a "halfbreed" aggregate (miniature).

Thanks to Art Day's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 7

Diamond

Yes, a real diamond (0.14 ct) - with a graphite inclusion. A beautiful sharp-edged octahedron from Sierra Leone, Africa. I've included it here rather than with the gemstones since it's essentially uncuttable. It's polymorphic with chaoite, graphite, and lonsdaleite.

Thanks to Tom at Shamrock Crystals for the specimen and the image!

Diamond

A 3.5mm pink diamond from the Argyle Mine, Western Australia, Australia.

Thanks to Tony Nikischer at the Excalibur Mineral Company for the specimen!

Diamond

A beautiful cubic yellow diamond with textured faces from the alluvial diamond deposits in the Kasai River, Tshikapa, Western Kasai Province, Congo. Nitrogen trapped within the diamond lattice causes the yellow color.

Thanks to Eric Greene's (Treasure Mountain Mining) auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 8

Ferrochrome

Though not found in nature, ferrochrome (and its related alloys) are very important to the steel-making industry. These "addition agents" either add desired elements to special-purpose steel or aid the manufacturing process. This silicon-bearing ferrochrome miniature (69.11% Cr, 5.32% C, 0.97%Si) is from Italy and is used to "block the heat", i.e, keep the carbon content at a specific level during the finishing period of the heat. The silicon reacts with the oxygen, preventing its reaction with the carbon.

Thanks to Val Collins' auction on eBay for the specimen!

Gold

A gold flake in a quartz matrix toenail from (probably the) Charity Mine, Warren, Idaho County, Idaho.

Thanks to Greg Ferdock at Gem Finders International for the specimen and the image!

Gold

A miniature of gold and sulfides in a milky quartz matrix from the Idarado Tunnel, Ouray County, Colorado.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Row 9

Gold and
Ferberite

Small "sponge gold" masses with ferberite from the Julcani Mine, Huancavelica Department, Peru. This is both an odd association and an odd locale - the Julcani Mine is a silver and bismuth mine. This miniature was one of only 200 or so specimens taken from this one pocket.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the images!

Graphite

This pure graphite miniature comes from the Ratnapura District, in Ceylon, Sri Lanka. Ex: David Shannon Minerals, Wynne G. Keller collections. It's polymorphic with chaoite, diamond, and lonsdaleite.

Thanks to Tom & Vicki Loomis at Dakota Matrix Minerals for the specimen!

Graphite

Sometimes graphite occurs in small crystals in calcite as in this miniature from the Gouverneur Talc mine near Lake Bonaparte, Lewis County, New York.

Thanks to Dave Hayward at Lucky Strike Minerals for the specimen!

Row 10

Graphite-3R

A miniature of the rare rhombohedral form of graphite flakes in calcite from Spitzkoppe, Namibia.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Iridium, var.
Osmiridium

Osmiridium is the osmium-rich variety of native iridium. The analysis (average of five), done by the Geology Department at New Orleans Univerity is as follows: Os 57.89%, Ir 40.11%, Pt 0.87%, Ru 0.33%, Rh 0.25%, Fe 0.87%. This micromount comes from arguably the type locality of the Nizhne-Tagil'skoye Copper Deposit, Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Russia.

Thanks to Dave Harris' auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Thanks also to Erich Laskowski for the verification of the locale!

Iron

A triangular sawn-cut miniature of native iron from the Khungtukun Massif, Malaya Romanikha River, Khatanga, Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia, Russia.Terrestrial iron is very rare - it either rusts away or makes other iron compounds.

Thanks to Kyle Smith's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 11

Iron, var.
Kamacite

An excellent micro of kamacite (the nickel-rich variety of iron found in meteorites) from the Canyon Diablo meteorite found near Meteor Crater and vicinity, Winslow, Coconino County, Arizona. Some references discredit kamacite but others do not, stating that kamacite is the main componennt of nickel-iron meteorites. Kamacite's crystal grain boundaries create the famous Widmanstatten pattern seen on etches surfaces of such meteorites..

Thanks to Kristen Burgess' auction on eBay for the specimen!

Landsbergite

This silver-mercury amalgam is purportedly landsbergite - the tag (Ex: Scott Williams Collection) says Landsberg, Germany - though landsbergite is not listed in most references. It has the composition Ag3Hg4 and is also called "argental mercury". It's a granular massive with one polished face and the closeups (larger image, bottom row) show a vug with larger, gemmy, deep red crystals.

Thanks to Tony Nikischer's Excalibur Mineral Company auction on eBay for the specimen!

Lead

Lead rarely occurs in its elemental form - this rare miniature from Garpenberg Norra, Hedemora, Dalarna, Värmland, Sweden has a thin sheet of lead on a manganite matrix. This locale has only produced specimens since the mid 1990s.

Thanks to SoCal Nevada's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Row 12

Magnesium

Magnesium's far too reactive to occur naturally - this is a manmade cluster.

Thanks to North Star Minerals's table at the Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Moissanite

Approximately 1cm of synthetic transparent moissanite (silicon carbide) - the low-temperature (beta-cubic form) does occur in nature but mostly in meteorites (e.g., Canyon Diablo, 1905, the type locality), and rarely elsewhere (Green River formation, Wyoming, 1958). The high-temperature (alpha-hexagonal) form is even more rare - it's only been found in kimberlites, some in Russia and one in Bohemia. The synthetic alpha-silicon carbide is marketed as moissanite for jewelry as a diamond substitute - it's doubly refractive and fluorescent so it can readily be distinguished form diamond (though NOT with the currently-in-use thermal probes; silicon carbide's thermal conductivity is close enough to diamond's that the probe test is unreliable). The double refraction limits moissanite's faceted carat weights to one carat or so; the doubled back facets on larger gems gives them a very noticeable and unwanted "sleepy" appearance.

Thanks to SoCal Nevada's auction on eBay for the specimen and image!

Nickel

A beautiful miniature cluster of nickel crystals from a nickel-plating tank, possibly Idar-Oberstein in Germany in the 1950s. In nature, nickel occurs only as submillimeter rounded crystals.

Thanks to Shava J. Spector-Simmons' auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 13

Platinum

A small (6 cubic millimeters) grain of platinum from Fox Gulch, Goodnews Bay, Bethel County, Alaska.

Thanks to Amethyst Galleries, Inc. for the specimen and the image!
Image copyrighted by Amethyst Galleries, Inc.

Platinum

An excellent 0.40gm platinum cube from the Second Broad River in Rutherford County, western North Carolina.

Thanks to Bryon Wolfe's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Shungite

Shungite (schungite) is an amorphous carbon mineral containing fullerenes (C60 and C70) and widely dispersed silicate grains - this group of shungite pieces is from the co-type locality, the Zazhoginskoye deposit near Lake Onega in the Shunga River area in the Karelia Republic, Northern Region, Russia. It's used as a superior quality cool black pigment by artists. There's enough shungite available that it may also be used in industrial applications, replacing coke, graphite, and carbon black.

Thanks to Annie Goldman's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Row 14

Selenium

A very rare thumbnail of selenium on sandstone from Poison Canyon, Grants District, McKinley County, New Mexico. Ex: Bachman collection.

Thanks to Steve & Susan Bringe's (Summit Minerals) auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Siderazot

Siderazot (from the Greek words for iron and nitrogen) is one of the iron nitrides - it occurs here, in this thumbnail from Monte Somma (Mount Vesuvius, Novella Quarry), Naples Province, Campania, Italy, as silvery coatings on basalt.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Silicon

Silicon - the basic building block of quartz and the silicates. The larger picture (right) shows the frost-like growth of the contact surface.

Row 15

Silicon Carbide

This synthetic silicon carbide (essentially moissanite with a high-iron content) comes from a steel blast furnace in Poland. The hardness is 9.5 and the individual crystals are razor sharp!

Silver

Most specimens are tarnished a lot more than this wire silver on quartz matrix from one of the many silver mines in Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Thanks to Rick Green at Uniquely Crystalline for the specimen and the image!

Silver

Two large miniatures of silver in matrix from (possibly the McKinley-Darragh Mine), Cobalt, Timiskaming County, Ontario, Canada.

Thanks to Mike Keim at Marin Minerals for the specimen and the image!

Row 16

Silver, var.
Kongsbergite

Silver containing up to 5% mercury is called kongsbergite - this thumbnail is from the Imiter Mine, Dades Region, Morocco.

Thanks to Graeber & Himes' table at the 2002 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Silver-Mercury
Amalgams

In addition to kongsbergite, there are many other silver-mercury amalgams; (luanheite, eugenite, paraschachnerite, and others) on the silver sheet connecting the matrix pebbles in this extremely rare specimen (nature's tooth fillings) from the Pereval'noe Mine, Khachakchan silver deposit, Yakutia, Eastern Siberia, Russia.

Thanks to Ivan Koutyrev's auction on eBay for the specimen and images!

Sulfur

Sulfur, its own ore, on rhyolitic tuff - probably Mexican. Sulfur is a polymorph - it normally occurs as orthorhombic α (alpha)-sulfur. The monoclinic form is γ (gamma)-sulfur or rosickyite - the amorphous form is sulfurite.

Row 17

Sulfur

An excellent miniature of sulfur of matrix from the famous Steamboat Springs, Washoe County, Nevada.

Thanks to Marvin Schwalb's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Sulfur

A miniature of amorphous sulfur on a volcanic matrix from (probably) Mount Vesuvius, Italy.

Thanks to Lynda McDowell's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Sulfur

A beautiful miniature of gemmy sulfur crystals on matrix from Bolivia, probably the El Desierto mine, San Pablo de Napa, Daniel Campos Province, Potosí Department.

Thanks to Nature's Expressions' table at the 2004 Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show for the specimen!

Row 18

Sulfur

A gemmy 2cm crystal of sulfur on matrix (miniature) from the Vodinskoye Deposit, Samaraskaya Oblast', Povolzhsky Region, Russia.

Thanks to John Hall's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Sulfurite, var.
Arsensulfurite

A beautiful small cabinet specimen of stratified arsensulfurite (the arsenic-rich variety of sulfurite) from the type locality of the crater of the Papandagan volcano, Java, Indonesia. Sulfurite is the (as yet unrecognized by the IMA) amorphous polymorph of sulfur - it occurs when liquid sulfur is rapidly cooled.

Thanks to Donna Stowell's auction on eBay for the specimen and the images!

Tantalcarbide

Once thought to be native tantalum, these are submillimeter grains of very rare tantalum carbide from the Altai Mountains of Russia. It forms an incomplete series with niobocarbide, its tantalum analog.

Thanks to Thomas Bee's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

Row 19

Tetrataenite

Tetrataenite (an iron nickelide) is always meteoritic - this micro is from the meteorite at Nuevo Mercurio, Zacatecas, Mexico. It occurs as an almost 50-50 iron-nickel alloy in nickel-rich taenite.

Thanks to Marco Poli's auction on eBay for the specimen and the close-up image!

Titanium

As mentioned above, titanium only occurs as microscopic crystals in high pressure environments - these crystal aggregates were electrolytically grown years ago. The larger image (bottom right) clearly shows their hexagonal form.

Thanks to Thomas Leary's auction on eBay for the specimen!

Titanium

Supposedly native titanium from Norway, this thumbnail cluster of titanium crystals is more likely lab-grown.

Thanks to Robert Williamson's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!

maintained by: Alan Guisewite

Last Update 4 Feb 2014