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Carmeltazite
  
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2019 09:09    Post subject: Carmeltazite  

Some claim that this new mineral discovered in Israel, is harder than diamond. Does anybody know just how hard it really is?
https://www.mindat.org/min-53294.html

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Roger Warin




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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2019 11:49    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

I doubt it is a substitute for diamonds. It was discovered in the form of inclusions inside a Carmel sapphire, hence its name.
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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2019 14:02    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

I have read the abstract on the IMA site, and Mindat, and found nothing about hardness.

May be a bit of over enthousiasm
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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2019 14:36    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

Philippe Durand wrote:
I have read the abstract on the IMA site, and Mindat, and found nothing about hardness.

May be a bit of over enthousiasm


Strange that we have a new mineral without a hardness. A number of sites boldly claim that this is the hardest rock on earth.

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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2019 15:19    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
Philippe Durand wrote:
I have read the abstract on the IMA site, and Mindat, and found nothing about hardness.

May be a bit of over enthousiasm


Strange that we have a new mineral without a hardness. A number of sites boldly claim that this is the hardest rock on earth.


When you consider that the material consists of grains less than 1/10 mm maximum size, embedded in a silicate glass, it is perhaps not surprising that the hardness was not determined. This also makes claims that this is the hardest mineral on earth rather dubious....

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Pete Modreski
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PostPosted: Jan 18, 2019 16:02    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

Since we're talking about this mineral, I'll express my "well done" to its describers, for choosing such a good name for the mineral! The name (though it may not mean anything to someone looking at it without prior information) includes something about both the locality name and the mineral's chemical composition. One could hardly ask for more!

Cheers to all, Pete
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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: Jan 19, 2019 03:13    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

The mineral is probably not harder than corundum . It is said: ' The largest stone discovered so far has 33.3 carats (0.25 oz).' So, I can not see why the hardness could not be tested.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressan/2019/01/14/carmeltazite-a-new-unique-gemstone-from-israel/#275359f1570a
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PostPosted: Jan 20, 2019 17:56    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

However, I'm thinking that the "33.3 carat stone" refers to corundum containing inclusions of the new mineral, not to solid carmeltazite. The original article refers only to 80-micron grains, and it's described as black (reddish-brown streak) with metallic luster. I think the photo in Forbes of a blue cabochon is of corundum with inclusions, some of which are carmeltazite, and that's what they are wanting to be marketing.
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Jan 20, 2019 19:47    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

Keep in mind that most journalists are a lazy bunch with little training in science. All the photos I've seen in the popular on-line media related to carmeltazite seem to have used stock photos of sapphire gem rough that have no relation to the specimens that carmeltazite was found in.
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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2019 02:40    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

The whole story sounds very suspect to me. How can they accurately/confidently proclaim this to be a new species when all they have to work with are small granules of a mineral?
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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2019 03:06    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

Hi,

This story reminds me of the cubic phase of zirconium oxide or Cubic Zirconia (CZ). CZ is only a synthetic stone, although CZ very rarely exists in its natural state in a very unusual state, so that its discoverers did not give it a mineral name. This cubic form of zirconium oxide is dimorphic to baddeleyite, or monoclinic ZrO2 (natural). Not being recognized as a natural mineral, IMA does not mention CZ and its name is not found in Fleischer's Glossary. Baddeleyite was discovered in 1892.

In 1937, German mineralogists M. V. Stackelberg and K. Chudoba discovered naturally occurring cubic zirconia in the form of microscopic grains included in metamict zircon. This was thought to be a byproduct of the metamictization process, but the two scientists did not think the mineral important enough to give it a formal name. The discovery was confirmed through X-ray diffraction, proving the existence of a natural counterpart to the synthetic product (wiki).
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PostPosted: Jan 21, 2019 13:09    Post subject: Re: Carmeltazite  

Pierre, many new species are characterized and described only on the basis of such small size grains (in the 10s of microns size range). Grains that big--say in the 20 to 50 micron size range--are quite large enough for the now-classical techniques of electron microprobe and SEM-EDX analysis, single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and optical measurements in either transmitted or reflected light, polarized, light microscopy. And other techniques. It's when they start getting down to the less than 10 micron size range, that the measurements start to become difficult and problematic.
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