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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
To test or not to test
  
  Index -> What is it? - Where is it from?
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Bob Harman




Joined: 06 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Jul 31, 2020 15:42    Post subject: To test or not to test  

This subject, on its face, seems straight forward, but looking closer there are some gray areas. Both on this website and MinDat, geologists and mineralogists tout testing to identify mineral species.......do this and do that.......hardness, specific gravity, reactions to acids, eds analysis etc etc. What is the specific mineral present??
Non-geologist collectors, especially those whose specimens are higher end aesthetic and fragile with real $$$ value, are not so anxious to test for fear of damaging or ruining the specimen. To those collectors, the precise mineral species present is not as important as preserving the quality, integrity, and $$$ value, of the specimen.

The pictured example, from my collection, self-collected about 15 years ago in Monroe county Indiana got me personally interested in this subject.
It is honessite(?) on quartz with minor dolomite. The example is a very fine display quality example of honessite(?); one of the finest display quality examples from Indiana with several acicular sprays up to 3.5 cm in size. Also with some $$$ value.
But is it truly honessite? Nickel sulfide oxidation products, I am told, include jamborite and pecorite. Some tested examples of honessite have been found to actually be millerite, jamborite, or pecorite or even a mixture in the acicular sprays. So what might my specimen really be?
The only way to tell would be to have several acicular strands from the several sprays tested. Only a non-collector mineralogist ever suggested testing my specimen. Not one collector ever suggested having my specimen submitted for testing.....damaging or ruining my display quality specimen. So there is where the testing stopped. My untested hi quality example is labeled "honessite (?)" and remains untested and intact. Test low end or stout examples, but think twice about testing delicate or higher end specimens. BOB



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alfredo
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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2020 05:30    Post subject: Re: To test or not to test  

I love testing, it makes mineral collecting more fun. But I agree with you, Bob, about not doing destructive testing on aesthetic specimens (or even ugly ones) when there is only one sample available. I have no problem with having question marks on labels, and there are LOTS of "?" on labels in my collection.

Eventually better technology will be available, we'll all have high-tech idiot-proof pocket-size mineral ID instruments, and it will take all the fun out of it ;))
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Peter Megaw
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PostPosted: Aug 02, 2020 11:36    Post subject: Re: To test or not to test  

We should be doing MUCH more testing...only way to corral C 19!!!

Oops, automatic response to your title!!! Been inside too long with no access to mineral testing faclities.

I'm with Alfredo...always more fun knowing what you have and getting there (doing the testing) is at least half the fun.

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