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Maximum number of minerals on a specimen
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David




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 10:25    Post subject: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Hello all,
I have a big question.
Which is the maximum number of clearly visible minerals on a collectible specimen you know of?
Thanks
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Tobi




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 10:44    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

In my personal collection the maximum number is 4, i have specimens with

- azurite, fluorite, baryte, malachite (Aouli, Morocco)
- quartz, hematite (but not really visible, only colouring the quartz), siderite, fluorite (Erzgebirge, Saxony)
- calcite, dolomite, galena, chalcopyrite (Sweetwater Mine, Missouri)

But i've seen specimens with 5 or 6 different minerals and i suppose it can be even more, maybe nearly 10 ...
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mmauthner




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 10:54    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Hi David,
You might want to define "clearly visible" a bit more. Are you including specimens with micro sized crystals? That is, specimens with crystals best enjoyed under a microscope, whether a micro"mount" sensu stricto or not. Even "visible to the naked eye" can be subjected to all kinds of hair splitting. Whose eye and at what distance?

If you are concerned about paragenesis or mineral relationships, why limit to "clearly visible"? Microscopic inclusions can sometimes tell important stories.

Cheers,
Mark
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 11:04    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

The best I can do is a specimen containing Quartz, calcite, epidote, analcime, phrenite and basalt.
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Tobi




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 11:15    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

I would not count basalt as a mineral since it is a rock ...
... well, but the more it could count as several minerals ;-)
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Jordi Fabre
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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 11:26    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Panasqueira is worldwide famous by its richness in different species on the same sample. The specimens mined there frequently has at least 4-5 different species and sometimes it could arrive to ten (or over)

I add an example from there, with 10 different species.



Fluorapatite with Siderite, Arsenopyrite, Pyrite, Ferberite, Schorl, Dravite, Muscovite, Quartz and Calcite - Panasqueira_Portugal.jpg
 Description:
Fluorapatite with Siderite, Arsenopyrite, Pyrite, Ferberite, Schorl-Dravite, Muscovite, Quartz and Calcite
Panasqueira, Beira Baixa, Portugal
Specimen size: 9 × 8.9 × 6.6 cm.
Main crystal size: 2.3 × 2.3 cm.
 Viewed:  20235 Time(s)

Fluorapatite with Siderite, Arsenopyrite, Pyrite, Ferberite, Schorl, Dravite, Muscovite, Quartz and Calcite - Panasqueira_Portugal.jpg


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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 11:44    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

As Mark and Tobias note, a lot depends on how small you go and if you count rock forming matrix minerals. Specimen size matters too as there's more room for more species on a single piece. Complexity of geologic environment is also a major factor as Jordi points out from Panasquiera. Other polymetallic systems, like Santa Eulalia and Naica are also characterized by multiple well crystallized macroscopic species:

Here's a small (toenail) specimen from Naica with

bournonite, galena, sphalerite, pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, quartz, and calcite all growing on a fluorite crystal (does not show in picture)



bournon2.JPG
 Description:
Bournonite and friends
Naica Mine, Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico
5 cm...bournonite is 1 cm
bournonite, galena, sphalerite, pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, quartz, and calcite all growing on a fluorite crystal (which does not show in picture)
 Viewed:  20196 Time(s)

bournon2.JPG



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prcantos
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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 11:44    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

I think this is not a technical question of course, but only for pleasure! I would say that it depends on the size of the specimen. Thus there is an unique and maximum solution: the whole Earth considered as "collectible specimen"!!!

Greetings!

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alfredo
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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 12:29    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Alkaline igneous rocks are famous for including a wide variety of species in a single sample. Finding 8 species in a 'toenail" or "miniature" of the ankerite carbonatite from Bolivia is really easy! I suppose Mont Saint Hilaire collectors must have samples with more species in them.
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Tobi




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 12:52    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

alfredo wrote:
I suppose Mont Saint Hilaire collectors must have samples with more species in them.

Or those who specialize on Clara Mine in Schwarzwald with its 400 different minerals ...
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David




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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 14:25    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Thank you all,
The most mineral rich specimens in my collection contain 4 maybe 5 minerals. Most specimens contain one or two minerals. This is an interesting topic from my point of view since mineral diversity can dramatically increase the beauty of one specimen, especially if those minerals are in contrasting colors or different shapes.
I mentioned clearly visible because a sample may contain minerals in trace amounts which is not really relevant from my point of view. I suppose clearly visible should include micro mounts now that you’ve asked.
I mentioned collectible specimen to make it clear I don’t refer to a ten ton rock which might indeed contain a considerable number of different minerals but again that wouldn’t be relevant for a collector like me. You don’t have to interpret every single word; I just wanted to know what you can tell from your experience. Taking into account all of your answers my conclusion is that collectible specimens containing more than 5 minerals are rather rare, but specimens from certain locations might contain up to ten. Therefore I should keep that in mind when I compare specimens. Thank you, your answers were very useful.
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Carles Millan
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PostPosted: May 23, 2012 15:19    Post subject: Re: maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

prcantos wrote:
Thus there is an unique and maximum solution: the whole Earth considered as "collectible specimen"!!!

Right! The whole Earth contains all the IMA species in a single specimen. No need to travel to Panasqueira nor Naica. Too bad, however, that nobody can keep it in a showcase.
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Tobi




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PostPosted: May 24, 2012 02:26    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Carles Millan wrote:
The whole Earth contains all the IMA species in a single specimen

I suppose it features even some more than the IMA yet knows ;-)

So we can only keep on collecting small pieces of Earth with as many minerals as possible. Another example (though far away from Jordi's 10-species-masterpiece) is this micromount from German Eifel Region, perfectly captured by Ploum and featuring five different minerals:

http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/files/supermacro577_943.jpg
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prcantos
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PostPosted: May 24, 2012 03:46    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Obviously I was only joking before ;-) Now I am serious. If you are looking for many different species together, you should consider these types of rocks and places:

- Pegmatites and rocks in dikes, sills, veins... Here pneumatolitic and hydrothermal processes usually generate idiomorfic crystals of many different minerals.

- Foid syenites: quzart, feldspars, mica, pyroxen, amphibole, foids, zeolites, calcite, apatite, zircon, titanite, eudialyte, eucolite, rinkite, aenigmatite, pectolite, lorenzenite, opaques... (from Maresch/Medenbach, Rocks, Munich 1987; spanish ed. Barcelona 1990). Of cours it's not supposed to have all together and visible!

- Cavities in volcanic rocks: geodes, druses, miaroles...

- Carbonatites (as was said before) usually bear odd mineral species, sometimes with good crystals.

- Metasomatic rocks (such skarns).

- Oxidation zones often show good and colourfull different crystals as well.

I wish it would help you.

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PostPosted: May 24, 2012 06:03    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Unfortunately not all minerals can be seen: Quartz; epidote; calcite; phrenite and analcime. What about hematite and other inclusions, do they count?


101_0031.JPG
 Description:
Mixed
Brandberg, Namibia
53 x 35 mm
 Viewed:  19961 Time(s)

101_0031.JPG



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PostPosted: May 25, 2012 23:23    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Hi all
I have this specimen with 10 (and more) crystals and minerals .
A small collection in one specimen.
Fluorite, Lazurite, Malachite, Azurite, Galena, Baryte, Quartz, Calcite, Limonite, Hematite…



0194245001291623157.jpg
 Description:
Fluorite, Lazurite, Malachite, Azurite, Galena, Baryte, Quartz, Calcite, Limonite, Hematite…
Komshejeh Mine (Komshecheh Mine), Komshejeh (Komshecheh), Ardestan County, Esfahan Province (Isfahan Province; Aspadana Province), Iran
Field of view: 58*66 mm
 Viewed:  19774 Time(s)

0194245001291623157.jpg



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PostPosted: May 26, 2012 02:18    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
What about hematite and other inclusions, do they count?

Good question. Actually they should, but David started this thread with asking for the maximum number of "clearly visible" minerals. It always depends on how you define "visible". Do you mean inclusion that are visible as crystals, or such ones that are too small to see them? You mentioned hematite, good example! I have a specimen from Erzgebirge/Saxony that includes quartz, siderite and fluorite:

http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/files/ehr1_177.jpg

The quartz has a red colour, caused by hematite - but should i count this as a part of this specimen though the hematite is microscopically small and not visible an individual mineral?
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PostPosted: May 26, 2012 13:52    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

I lag far behing with only 8... Maybe more, but hard to say.

Christophe



CRhub.jpg
 Description:
Quartz, sphalerite, tetrahedrite, pyrite, hübnerite, bornite, fluorite, chalcopyrite
Sulfide pocket, Sweet Home Mine, Alma, Colorado, USA.
18x10 cm
 Viewed:  19646 Time(s)

CRhub.jpg


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PostPosted: May 27, 2012 08:14    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

I had in the past (maybe still have, but I don't know where, not at home...) a Panasqueira sample.
Carbonates: dolomite calcite siderite and apatite, mica, tourmaline, quartz, pyrite and chalcopyrite (millimetric for both), arsenopyrite included in the quartz.
But, ferberite, fluorite and cassiterite were missing....
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PostPosted: May 28, 2012 08:49    Post subject: Re: Maximum number of minerals on a specimen  

Hi to everybody!
As the biggest majority of you should know (and I'm sure we all DO), almost all of the specimen (but for loose crystals and the majority of gemstones) contain at least 3 or 4 different mineral kinds! Quartz, calcite and mica (or serpentine) are contained in almost all of them and often we consider them "mother rock", thus accounting just of what we think "interesting" for our collection. Let me take an example of what I saw here above just now: the specimen Pierre showed here. What is interesting is the "rarest" mineral or minerals, in this case prehnite and analcime. Or, we coud start from the most "coloured" mineral, which gives a different appearance to the specimen, for example a well-coloured fluorite, or an azurite, or a malachite, etc.
But I think they are all subjective evaluations. Then take what I wrote here as a personal opinion, not an exact truth.
Greetings from Italy by Riccardo.

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