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Phosphate Rare Minerals for the Collector

Friday, 26 August 2016 12:00 PM

Primary and Metasomatic phosphates are found mostly in pegmatites, but also occur in many sedimentary deposits. Most of these phosphates look the same. We will attempt to unlock the mystery of these unique minerals which can often contain secondary phosphate minerals. 

Lithiophilite

with Sicklerite - #PD41616
Locality
Custer Mountain Lode, Custer Co., South Dakota, United States 
Formula
LiMn2+PO4 
Availability
Sold
Size
12 x 7 x 4 cm - Cabinet 
Tagged
phosphate , pegmatite mineral  

A large cabinet specimen of salmon colored Lithiophilite partially altered to lithian Hureaulite and brown Sicklerite.

Lithiophilite is the Mn-end member of the series with Triphylite, the iron-end member. It is widespread in fractionated pegmatites across the world. It forms excellent secondary crystals at the Foote mine, but is usually massive at most other pegmatites. The type locality is the Fillow quarry in Branchville, Conn.

This is an old "Black Hills Minerals" specimen with tag, which is Bill Roberts mineral dealership in Rapid City.


Lithiophilite

Formula
LiMn2+PO4 
Crystal System
Orthorhombic 
Crystal Habit
Prismatic 
Cleavage
Perfect, Very Good, Imperfect 
Luster
Vitreous - Resinous 
Color
brown, yellowish brown, salmon, brownish, blackish 
Streak
gray white 
Class
Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Conchoidal - Uneven 
Hardness
4-5 
Collection
Phillips Collection
SOLD
Montebrasite - 39102
Montebrasite - 39102

Montebrasite

#39102
Locality
Midnight Owl mine, Yavapai Co., Arizona, United States 
Formula
LiAlPO4(OH) 
Availability
Sold
Size
6.5 x 5 x 5.5 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
phosphate , pegmatite mineral  

An old David Shannon stock specimen showing the hydroxyl end member of the amblygonite-montebrasite series. This I believe takes Raman analysis.

Montebrasite is a primary phosphate which occurs in zoned lithium-rich pegmatites.


Montebrasite

Formula
LiAlPO4(OH) 
Crystal System
Triclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular, Prismatic 
Cleavage
Perfect, Good, Distinct 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
bluish, colorless, greenish, greenish gray, gray white 
Streak
white 
Class
Triclinic - Pinacoidal 
Fracture
Brittle - Conchoidal 
Hardness
5.5-6 
SOLD
Montebrasite - 43831
Montebrasite - 43831

Montebrasite

#43831
Locality
Vernéřov, Bohemia, Czech Republic 
Formula
LiAlPO4(OH) 
Availability
Sold
Size
2.5 x 2 x 2 cm - Thumbnail 
Tagged
phosphate , pegmatite mineral  

White mass with Quartz.


Montebrasite

Formula
LiAlPO4(OH) 
Crystal System
Triclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular, Prismatic 
Cleavage
Perfect, Good, Distinct 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
bluish, colorless, greenish, greenish gray, gray white 
Streak
white 
Class
Triclinic - Pinacoidal 
Fracture
Brittle - Conchoidal 
Hardness
5.5-6 
SOLD
Purpurite - PD41614
Purpurite - PD41614

Purpurite

#PD41614
Locality
Newry Mica mine, Oxford Co., Maine, United States 
Formula
(Mn3+,Fe3+)PO4 
Availability
Sold
Size
5.5 x 3.5 x 2 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
phosphate , pegmatite mineral  

Purple grains to 5mm in Muscovite matrix. It is a metasomatic product of oxidized parent triphylite with lithium removed.


Purpurite

Formula
(Mn3+,Fe3+)PO4 
Crystal System
Orthorhombic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular 
Cleavage
Perfect, Perfect, None 
Luster
Earthy (Dull) 
Color
brownish black, violet, dark pink, dark red, reddish purple 
Streak
red 
Class
Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Brittle - Uneven 
Hardness
4-5 
Collection
Phillips Collection
Mineralpedia
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SOLD
Rosemaryite - PD41894
Rosemaryite - PD41894

Rosemaryite

#PD41894
Locality
Buranga pegmatite, Gatumba dist., Western Prov., Rawanda 
Formula
NaMn2+Fe3+Al(PO4)3 
Availability
Sold
Size
Capsule 
Tagged
phosphate , pegmatite mineral  

Very rare species. Dark brown grains in a few 1-3mm grains. Very rare, first found in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is known from only seven worldwide localities all of which are pegmatites. The type locality of Rosemaryite is the Rock Ridge pegmatite west of Custer, South Dakota. 

Rosemaryite falls within the Wyllieite group to which was redefined in 1979 by Paul Moore and  Jun Ito in Moore P B, Ito J (1979) Alluaudites, wyllieites, arrojadites: crystal chemistry and nomenclature, Mineralogical Magazine, 43, 227-235. The nomenclature of this group created the name "Rosemaryite" , which is named after Mrs. F. Rosemary Wyllie, the wife of Professor Peter J. Wyllie.


Rosemaryite

Formula
NaMn2+Fe3+Al(PO4)3 
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular 
Cleavage
Distinct, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Metallic 
Color
bluish green, dark green, deep brown, reddish brown 
Streak
greenish white 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Hardness
4-4.5 
Collection
Phillips Collection
SOLD
Sarcopside - 43825
Sarcopside - 43825

Sarcopside

with Graftonite - #43825
Locality
Berg, Sollefteå, Ångermanland, Sweden 
Formula
Fe2+3(PO4)2 
Availability
Sold
Size
2 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm - Thumbnail 
Tagged
phosphate , pegmatite mineral  

Sarcopside is a pegmatitic phosphate, although oddly enough found in meteorites. It is usually found with thin layers or lamellae with Graftonite. Although it is found in many pegmatites worldwide, it is a relatively rare phosphate considering the number of pegmatites with phosphates.

The ideal formula is shown above, but there is usually Mn and Mg in the mix. It is typically reddish brown, like this specimen. It has never been found as crystals. For a more in depth discussion of Sarcopside refer to Paul Moore's article in the May/June 1973 issue of the Min. Record.  It is found at the Bull Moose and Victory pegmatites in the Black Hills, Chandlers Mill pegmatite and Palermo.

This specimen was acquired from Dr. Jaroslav Hrysl. 


Sarcopside

Formula
Fe2+3(PO4)2 
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Fibrous 
Cleavage
Good, Good, Poor 
Luster
Silky 
Color
red, purplish blue, green, reddish brown 
Streak
white 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Splintery 
Hardness

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