tsumeb mine

Descloizite

I love discovering rare minerals that I’d never heard of, and this rare zinc-lead-vanadium composite is a new one on me. Ranging from deep red through orange-brown to black, it was first discovered in the Sierras de Cordoba in Argentina ( a place with fantastic geology, high grade metamorphics intruded by granites) in 1854 and got its name from a French mineralogist. It forms in the oxidised zones of lead deposits, where groundwater has altered the primary sulphide minerals. Many lovely specimens come from the Tsumeb mine in Namibia (see http://on.fb.me/1c2CjkD), though this one hails from another Namibian locality at Berg Aukas, once the largest vanadium nine in the world. This crystal displays characteristic colour zoning and measures 3.6 x 3.1 x .9 cm

Loz

Image credit: Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com