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Witherite xls from KY
  
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dontgogreen




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PostPosted: Jun 26, 2017 16:25    Post subject: Witherite xls from KY  

Hello, recently I found some old specimens from a road cut in Kentucky. Some of them have colorless fluorite cubes, massive black sphalerite, and a colorless mineral with a tan coating identified as "Witherite?". I have attached some pictures of this "witherite?" which I originally took for calcite. I haven't done much to them yet other than remove some of the coating, which is probably a result of sitting in newspapers for 50 years. They have a hardness of ~3. What do you all think?


IMG_20170626_170623838.jpg
 Mineral: ?
 Dimensions: 3-4cm
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IMG_20170626_170623838.jpg


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dontgogreen




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PostPosted: Jun 26, 2017 16:27    Post subject: Re: Witherite xls from KY  

more pics


IMG_20170626_170634041.jpg
 Mineral: ?
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dontgogreen




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PostPosted: Jun 26, 2017 16:29    Post subject: Re: Witherite xls from KY  

A couple more


IMG_20170626_170513626.jpg
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Pete Richards
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PostPosted: Jun 26, 2017 18:21    Post subject: Re: Witherite xls from KY  

Well, it's certainly possible that they're witherite; the grooved patterns on the "prism" are consistent with witherite twins. If they are calcite, they should show the typical calcite cleavage; witherite will not. Calcite fizzes quite readily in dilute HCl; witherite also dissolves but more slowly (this might require a comparative test). A flame test will show orange for Ca from calcite, but green for Ba from witherite. Make sure to use a very clean platinum wire for this test to avoid false positives from previous experiments! Optical examination would be instructive.

Based on your earlier posts, I think you are not a beginner, so you may well be able to do these tests that are one step up in sophistication.

Let us know your findings!

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Collecting and studying crystals with interesting habits, twinning, and epitaxy
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Bob Carnein




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PostPosted: Jun 27, 2017 09:54    Post subject: Re: Witherite xls from KY  

Witherite has a much higher specific gravity than calcite (4.3 vs. 2.7), which may be helpful. the crystals appear to have rhombohedral terminations, which suggests calcite.
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dontgogreen




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PostPosted: Jul 03, 2017 21:32    Post subject: Re: Witherite xls from KY  

Well, as much as I would have liked to stumble across uncommon minerals from an unreported locality, the very intense 3.03 angstrom peak does not lie. They're calcites.
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