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Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels
  
  Index -> What is it? - Where is it from?
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Pete Richards
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PostPosted: Oct 21, 2019 20:41    Post subject: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

This is a familiar topic, I fear. I am volunteering at Oberlin College, which has recently received two donations of "mineral collections". I am sorting through them, and trying to salvage the mineral specimens that are worth cataloging and preserving. Unlike the former cockscomb marcasite that is now a grey powder in an old sandwich bag...

In the best of circumstances, a promising specimen is accompanied by a label which identifies a reasonable locality, but not in much detail. Many of these are Wards labels, and many of the specimens may date from the 1940s or before.

I intend to post pictures of some of these, hoping that the collective wisdom of FMF can provide details of locality. Or a statement like "That could be from any of 20 places in Cornwall".

Thanks in advance for any help!



IMG_5988.jpg
 Locality:
Cornwall, England, United Kingdom
 Description:
Any info about the age of the label?
 Viewed:  746 Time(s)

IMG_5988.jpg



IMG_5993.jpg
 Mineral: Chalcopyrite coated with chalcocite?, on quartz with pyrite
 Dimensions: Specimen about 6 cm wide
 Description:
 Viewed:  748 Time(s)

IMG_5993.jpg



IMG_5992.jpg
 Mineral: Chalcopyrite coated with chalcocite?, on quartz with pyrite
 Dimensions: same specimen
 Description:
 Viewed:  746 Time(s)

IMG_5992.jpg



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Tobi




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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2019 00:58    Post subject: Re: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

Hi Pete,

I'm no expert for minerals from Cornwall and I have no idea where this specimen could be from. But I think these kind of Ward's labels are from the late 1910s or from the 1920s ...

Tobi
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2019 05:18    Post subject: Re: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

Tobi

I would go for later than that, as it says 'Inc' on the label and the earlier ones did not

I am not an expert on Cornwall either, sorry.

James

Tobi wrote:
Hi Pete,

I'm no expert for minerals from Cornwall and I have no idea where this specimen could be from. But I think these kind of Ward's labels are from the late 1910s or from the 1920s ...

Tobi
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R Saunders




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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2019 06:46    Post subject: Re: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

Can you tell us what the words mean? I've seen Dana before (83) ?
Dana 83 and (2631) Then "No" to me that would be a place for the item number. I assume it is the 2631. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2019 08:32    Post subject: Re: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

A great source for information on labels is the Mineralogical Record biographical archive: https://mineralogicalrecord.com/labelarchive.asp

Helpful tip: after you click the box to look for an entry, if you type the first letter of the last name (in this case "W" for Ward's), it will jump to that letter in the list.

If you don't get an answer here for the location you may want to consider asking the folks on Mindat.

Lastly, if/when you get an opinion where this came from, it's still just a guess so I would label the specimen as "attributed to ..."
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Michael Shaw
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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2019 08:43    Post subject: Re: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

R Saunders wrote:
Can you tell us what the words mean? I've seen Dana before (83) ?
Dana 83 and (2631) Then "No" to me that would be a place for the item number. I assume it is the 2631. Thanks.


The numbers relate to the classification system developed by American mineralogists James Dwight Dana and his son Edward S. Dana. Each class has a number and the minerals within the class also have numbers. The Chalcopyrite Group is number 263 and has two species: chalcopyrite is number 2631 and stannite is 2632. I'm not sure what the 83 refers to.
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Pete Richards
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PostPosted: Oct 22, 2019 09:53    Post subject: Re: Older specimens with poor and sometimes mixed up labels  

Michael Shaw wrote:
R Saunders wrote:
Can you tell us what the words mean? I've seen Dana before (83) ?
Dana 83 and (2631) Then "No" to me that would be a place for the item number. I assume it is the 2631. Thanks.


The numbers relate to the classification system developed by American mineralogists James Dwight Dana and his son Edward S. Dana. Each class has a number and the minerals within the class also have numbers. The Chalcopyrite Group is number 263 and has two species: chalcopyrite is number 2631 and stannite is 2632. I'm not sure what the 83 refers to.


Thanks for this information, Michael. I looked in my 1892 Dana's System Sixth Edition, and surprise! Chalcopyrite is number 83. The numbers 263 and 2631 refer to a later scheme, which was used in the Seventh Edition of Dana's System, 1945 for Volume 1.

The current Dana number for chalcopyrite is 2.9.1.1, following a totally different scheme which, wisely, allows for expansion within the classification when new species are described. In this case, 2: class - sulfides, selenides, and tellurides, 9: type - somewhat vague but reflecting aspects of the structure, 1: Chalcopyrite group, CuBX2, 1: Chalcopyrite. The chalcopyrite group of the seventh edition has grown to four species, and stannite, part of the chalcopyrite group of the seventh edition, is now the "archetype" for its own group, 2.9.2.x, that includes 10 species.

The fact that this label has both the first and second numbering schemes but the second number is in parentheses indicates that the newer scheme had been developed, but perhaps fairly shortly before the label was written. Dana's System Eighth Edition indicates that work on the Seventh Edition began as early as 1927. Was the classification used therein already coming into use then?

Does anyone know the details of the history of the Dana classifications?

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