Tuesday 8 August 2017

When Crocoite was worth its weight in gold

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Crocoite PbCrO(red) with associated Pyromorphite Pb5(PO4)3Cl  (green) and Vauquelinite CuPb2(CrO4)(PO4)(OH) (grey)
Field of view 1.5cm, photo by Didier Descouens 

The above specimen of crocoite is from the type locality for the mineral. When discovered at the Berezovsk gold mine in 1766 the mineral became known as Red Lead-Spar. The crystals were highly prized by collectors -

A Dictionary of Chemistry and Mineralogy by Arthur Aikin, 1807

It wasn't until around 1888 that, digging in the Heazlewood lead-silver mine, miners discovered the Tasmanian deposits of crystallised lead chromate. The specimens recovered from the Dundas mineral field, in particular the Adelaide mine from 1891 to the present, are spectacular to say the least.

4.0 x 4.0 x 2.5 cm
Adelaide Mine, Dundas mineral field, Zeehan District, Tasmania, Australia

Extraction of specimens continues, those collecting must rate the experience as being worth its weight in gold. Bringing beauty to light.

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"Hodges emitted a scream the like of which
I hadn't heard since his scrotum was burned off
during my experiment with fluorine gas last year."

The Exotic Experimentation of Ernest Glitch,
Victorian Science with a Smile

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Unrelated to this post, below is an example of
eclectic science esoterica 

cis-1,4-polyisoprene being collected
photo Ji-Elle

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WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.