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Vesuvianite?
  
  Index -> What is it? - Where is it from?
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Josele




Joined: 10 Apr 2012
Posts: 291
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2017 11:45    Post subject: Vesuvianite?  

These days when we are seeing a lot of fabulous specimens displayed in the Munich Show, let me present an ugly piece. A few days ago I received a sample labeled as Unknown with blue calcite from Badakhshan, Afghanistan.
At first I was thinking that it could be grossular garnet but after handling it I saw clearly that it is not isometric. Beveled edges made me think of a pyroxene (diopside) but some turns later I recognized with no doubts the tetragonal symmetry. It is a group of crystals in parallel growth except a lateral minor crystal which is in a different orientation. In fact crystals look like scapolite: an eight-sided prism (a beveled square prism with 135º angles between prism faces) with tetragonal pyramids at terminations.
I measured the density with Archimedes method and find out 3.2 but as the sample contains a few of calcite (it fizzes with HCl) the SG of the green stuff must be somewhat higher, maybe 3.3 or 3.4
It is not scratched by a knife, it scratches glass but not quartz, so Mohs hardness must be about 6 - 6.5
The only thing that comes to my mind with these data is vesuvianite but this species is not still listed in Badakhshan.
Any clue of what else it could be? Comments will be welcome. Thanks.



P1190947.jpg
 Mineral: Vesuvianite?
 Locality:
Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
 Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm - 145 g
 Description:
View from about c axis
 Viewed:  295 Time(s)

P1190947.jpg



P1190972.jpg
 Mineral: Vesuvianite?
 Locality:
Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
 Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm - 145 g
 Description:
At reflex, tetragonal prism face (100)
 Viewed:  296 Time(s)

P1190972.jpg



P1190951.jpg
 Mineral: Vesuvianite?
 Locality:
Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
 Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm - 145 g
 Description:
At reflex, another tetragonal prism face
 Viewed:  295 Time(s)

P1190951.jpg



P1190973.jpg
 Mineral: Vesuvianite?
 Locality:
Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
 Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm - 145 g
 Description:
At reflex, a bevel face (110)
 Viewed:  295 Time(s)

P1190973.jpg



P1190957.jpg
 Mineral: Vesuvianite?
 Locality:
Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
 Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 cm - 145 g
 Description:
This is a lateral fractious crystal which is not parallel to the rest, seen from a a point of view close to c axis. Can see the beveled tetragonal section of the prism and the tetragonal pyramid in the termination with one face at reflex (101) and one an a half faces deformed by contact.
 Viewed:  295 Time(s)

P1190957.jpg



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Bob Carnein




Joined: 22 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Oct 29, 2017 12:01    Post subject: Re: Vesuvianite?  

You're right--it certainly looks like vesuvianite. The locality information may be incorrect. I recently purchased a nice Mexican raspberry garnet from a Pakistani dealer, which he said came from Gilgit. I'm pretty sure he knew better.
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