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Mineralpedia Details for Acanthite

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Acanthite

Acanthite

Named after the Greek word "acanthi", meaning “thorn,” in reference to the mineral’s common crystal habit. Acanthite is a common mineral that occurs in medium- to low-temperature hydrothermal sulfide veins and in secondary enrichment zones. It can be found in association with silver, pyrargyrite, proustite, polybasite, stephanite, aguilarite, galena, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, calcite, and quartz. A widespread mineral, but fine crystals can be found in localities in the Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, the United States, Canada, and Chile. Found in silver rich deposits as lead grey to black tarnished, soft, metallic pseudocubic crystals or elongatic prismatic crystals with rounded corners commonly associated with Silver. Sectile and easily cut by a knife.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/acanthite.pdf

Formula
Ag2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Blocky, Skeletal, Arborescent 
Cleavage
poor to none 
Luster
Metallic 
Color
lead gray, gray, iron black 
Streak
shining black 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Sectile 
Hardness
2-2.5 
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Acanthite from Linqiu, Shanxi Province, China

Acanthite
            from Linqiu, Shanxi Province, China

1.3cm grey, cubic Acanthite crystal with Silver.

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Acanthite from St. Andreasberg dist., Harz, Lower Saxony, Germany

Acanthite
            from St. Andreasberg dist., Harz, Lower Saxony, Germany
Special Info
Antique Specimen

Old specimen with an inked label. This specimen is loaded with cubic, dull silvery Acanthite crystals throughout the brecciated matrix. The largest crystal is 5mm across with dozens smaller. Excellent older specimen from this classic locality.

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Acanthite from Freiberg dist., Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany

Acanthite
            from Freiberg dist., Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany

Numerous well-formed Acanthite crystals in singles and clusters from 2-3.5mm. This is simply a superb specimen not only for the region but also for its crystals.

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Acanthite from Jachymov, Erzgegirge, Bohemia, Czech Republic

Acanthite
            from Jachymov, Erzgegirge, Bohemia, Czech Republic

A small specimen with two very nice crystals of Acantite, the largest to 5mm. Classic locality.

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Acanthite from Cobalt-Gowganda dist., Ontario, Canada

Acanthite
            from Cobalt-Gowganda dist., Ontario, Canada
Special Info
EDS Confirmed

A 5mm cube of Acanthite in matrix with some Silver. There are several other smaller crystals of Acanthite not shown.

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Acanthite from Burro Mountains dist., Grant Co., New Mexico, United States

Acanthite
            from Burro Mountains dist., Grant Co., New Mexico, United States

A layer of compact dull silver Acanthite, presumably crystallized in thin fracture of carbonate rock. 

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