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Butte, Montana Mineral Specimens

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 03:00 PM

Mineral Specimens from the Butte District in Montana. Read all about Butte mining history, geology and minerals.

Acanthite

with Polybasite & Pyrargyrite - #PD31824
Locality
Lexington mine, Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana, United States 
Availability
Sold
Size
8 x 9 x 6 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
sulfide , ore specimen  

The David New label for this specimen says that it was collected in 1905 by R. Mackay with detailed information on the exact locality which was the Chief Joseph vein, 400 ft level. It was collected from the Lexington mine, one of the premier early silver producers in Butte, according to Jenkins & Lorengo (Min. Record v. 33, n. 1 2002). The piece is a large ore specimen with several sulfides, all massive.


Acanthite

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 
Collection
Phillips Collection

David New label

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Calcite

with Bornite - #PD31827
Locality
Butte dist., Silver Bow Co., Montana, United States 
Formula
CaCO3 
Availability
Sold
Size
9 x 5 x 3 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
carbonate  

Colorless to faint pink discoidal crystals of Calcite to 1cm on a matrix of Bornite.


Calcite

Formula
CaCO3 
Crystal System
Trigonal 
Crystal Habit
Crystalline - Coarse, Stalactitic, Massive 
Cleavage
Perfect, Perfect, Perfect 
Luster
Vitreous (Glassy) 
Color
colorless, white, pink, yellow, brown 
Streak
white 
Class
Trigonal - Hexagonal Scalenohedral 
Fracture
Brittle - Conchoidal 
Hardness
Collection
Phillips Collection
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Chalcocite

with Quartz - #PD31830
Locality
Mountain Consolidated mine, Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana, United States 
Formula
Cu2
Availability
Sold
Size
7.5 x 6.5 x 4 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
sulfide , ore specimen  

Outstanding specimen with stell grey free-standing swords of Chalcocite to 9mm generally averaing 5mm. There is a slight iridescence of a blue tone. Very little damage to this specimen for being so old and historic.


Chalcocite

Formula
Cu2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive, Granular, Euhedral Crystals 
Cleavage
Indistinct, None, None 
Luster
Metallic 
Color
blue black, gray, black, black gray, steel gray 
Streak
grayish black 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Conchoidal 
Hardness
2.5-3 
Collection
Phillips Collection

Chalcopyrite

on or replacing Enargite - #PD31474
Locality
Leonard mine, Butte dist., Silver Bow Co., Montana, United States 
Formula
Cu1+Fe3+S2 
Availability
Sold
Size
11 x 5.5 x 4 cm - Cabinet 
Tagged
sulfide  

Cabinet specimen with an iridescent coating of Chalcopyrite on/or a total replcement of tabular, 5 to 7mm Enargite. Very clean, damage free, outstanding specimen which naturally sits well.


Chalcopyrite

Formula
Cu1+Fe3+S2 
Crystal System
Tetragonal 
Crystal Habit
Euhedral Crystals, Striated, Druse 
Cleavage
Indistinct, None, None 
Luster
Metallic 
Color
brass yellow, honey yellow 
Streak
greenish black 
Class
Tetragonal - Scalenohedral 
Fracture
Brittle 
Hardness
3.5 
Collection
Phillips Collection

Chalcopyrite

#PD32427
Locality
Stewart mine, Butte, Silver Bow Co., Montana, United States 
Formula
Cu1+Fe3+S2 
Availability
Sold
Size
7 x 5 x 3.5 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
sulfide  

Outstanding botryoidal habit Chalcopyrite crytals composing the face of pristine specimen.


Chalcopyrite

Formula
Cu1+Fe3+S2 
Crystal System
Tetragonal 
Crystal Habit
Euhedral Crystals, Striated, Druse 
Cleavage
Indistinct, None, None 
Luster
Metallic 
Color
brass yellow, honey yellow 
Streak
greenish black 
Class
Tetragonal - Scalenohedral 
Fracture
Brittle 
Hardness
3.5 
Collection
Phillips Collection

Corundum

variety sapphire - #PD32435
Locality
Butte dist., Silver Bow Co., Montana, United States 
Formula
Al2O3 
Availability
Sold
Size
4.5 x 3 x 3 cm - Miniature 

Not exactly sure on the locality of this specimen. The old Shale's label claims it to be "Butte". This is probably somewhere in the outlying country of the north or south plates and not the intrusives of the Butte district. Any guesses out there? There are 3cm lavendar crystals in the matrix.


Corundum

Formula
Al2O3 
Crystal System
Trigonal 
Crystal Habit
Euhedral Crystals, Tabular, Prismatic 
Cleavage
None, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous (Glassy) 
Color
blue, red, yellow, brown, gray 
Streak
none 
Class
Trigonal - Hexagonal Scalenohedral 
Fracture
Tough 
Hardness
Collection
Phillips Collection
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