Azurite owes its name to its beautiful azure-blue color, which makes it a very popular and well-known mineral. It usually occurs with green Malachite, which may form green stains or specks on Azurite crystals or aggregates. The two minerals sometimes occur admixed or banded together, forming what is called “Azure-malachite” in the gem and mineral trades.
Just like with Aragonite and Calcite, Azurite over time turns to Malachite, which is one reason they are seen together so much in specimens. This is due to Azurite being more unstable is open air, and then is pseudomorphically replaced by Malachite.
Smoky quartz on albite.
I hope you guys don’t mind if I post my minerals here, but I think they are pretty and I want to share them with YOU.
Azurite with Malachite - National Mineral Collection
Everyone knows the quartz variety called citrine, but did you know most of the “citrine” you find for sale isn’t natural at all? Yep, there’s a good chance you may actually just have some super heated amethyst or smoky quartz that’s been treated to resemble citrine.
Natural citrine can be just as you may find commercial citrine: pale yellow to darker shades of brown, but natural citrine is very rare.
The Empress of Uruguay
Read more on The Empress of Uruguay.
Photos by The Crystal Caves. Check out their Flickr page!
One of the world’s largest amethyst geodes, the Empress of Uruguay, is located in Australia’s Crystal Caves. It stands an alarming eleven feet tall and is filled with magnificent, deep violet crystals.
you’re all gawking in amazement now until you realize that’s actually part of the sky that has fallen
elta i found your dragon throne
As amazing as this beauty is, this isn’t The Empress. You can see The Empress of Uruguay’s photos on the official “The Crystal Caves” website.
Not So Fun Fact: In 2011, a
bloody sod person vandalised the geode (source: 1 & 2), but was quickly captured. They removed crystals around the size of a tennis ball, which not only lowered its value, but damaged one of Earth’s most amazing creations.
A few days ago, I posted about proper handle, care, and organisation of minerals (and fossils). I wrote about how there are times you may receive a specimen with no identification, and I’ve had another one of those times!
Here’s one of my latest additions a friend picked up for me that came with no information card, so I thought it could be fun to post and see what you guys may think is there! You can’t always 100% identify just by sight - which is why you then do physical tests - but I’d love to see the results you all come up with just from looking at the images. I will reveal what’s in the photos at a later date to give enough time for people to do some detective work.
Hey, everyone! I know I’ve barely been (actively) on Tumblr in the last few months, but I’m slowly trying to get back into the swing of things. With that said, here’s a little bit of information for all you aspiring or current mineral (and fossil!) collectors out there.
It’s always good to make sure your specimens are labelled. Most minerals are bought and traded at shows, societies, online, etc. They will most likely come with all the information you’ll need to keep them organised. Though, there are the situations where you hunt for your own minerals, friends give them to you, buy unidentified specimens off other local hunters, or what have you. It’s always good to own a few guide books for those types of situations, especially when you’re unfamiliar with a new mineral you may want to purchase or need to do some detective work when a friend gives you a box full of them! There have been times I’ve run into specimens for sale with no label that need proper handling and care, so it’s always good to know what you’re looking at before you buy something.
Since they come in all sizes, displaying minerals can be really fun! I have many from the size of a fingernail up to over half a metre in height/length, and many more boxed up. Most collectors, like myself, group them by carbonates, silicates, etc. Most display props, cases, and boxes can be purchased online or at shows, depending how big your specimens are. It’s also best to not bunch them tightly together as this can damage the minerals, and can block awesome views.
Certain minerals need proper storage and care, which is another reason to have plenty of books at your disposal. Even though the internet is just a few clicks away, I enjoy having a nice stack near my specimens at all times, and I always carry a pocket guide when out in the field. Many minerals can become victims of decay, fading, morphing, breaking (due to certain crystal habits), and much more, so knowing all about your specimens will keep them well preserved! Special display cases and tools can help moderate humidity, temperature, and overall preservation of your specimens. Some minerals should be kept out of constant, direct light as they will fade over time, or others kept out of dry or humid conditions; it really all depends on the mineral as each react differently to their surroundings. I also use gloves to handle my specimens (depending) and do my best to not handle them unless I truly need to.
This generally goes for fossils too! All minerals and fossils should be handled with extreme care no matter what, but certain ones need a bit more help than others.
I hope this information is of help for anyone curious to start a collection or others wanting to know more about mineral care.
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in materials science. The method of comparing hardness by seeing which minerals can scratch others, however, is of great antiquity, having first been mentioned by Theophrastus in his treatise On Stones, c. 300 BC, followed by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia, c. 77 AD.
it’s like a chunk of the night sky
With all those little Chalcopyrite dotting the Fluorite? This specimen is perfect.
Beautiful Celestite/Celestine specimens by Scorpions and Centaurs on Flickr.
That’s some really nice watermelon tourmaline. Whew! Looks to also be naturally terminated on some very nice matrix.
Okay, just join my collection, please.