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Rare Earth Minerals

Thursday, 27 February 2020 12:00 PM

Introducing the "Rare Earth Minerals" gallery which is part of our Special Edition galleries. This gallery contains mineral specimens for sale including bastnasite-(ce), bastnasite-(la), calcioancylite-(ce), churchite-(y), decrespignyite-(y) and more from places like Mountain Pass mine, San Bernardino Co., California, United States, Paratoo Cu mine, Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia, Australia, Afrikanda Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia, Ploskaya Mt, Western Keivy Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia.

Bastnasite-(Ce)

#PD34285
Locality
Mountain Pass mine, San Bernardino Co., California, United States 
Formula
CeCO3
Availability
Sold
Size
5 x 4 x 4.5 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
carbonate , REE mineral  

This was the main ore and source rock for the major REE elements mined at Mountain Pass. The specimen comes with a small vial of Bastnasite ore.


Bastnasite-(Ce)

Formula
CeCO3
Crystal System
Hexagonal 
Crystal Habit
Prismatic, Massive - Granular 
Cleavage
Imperfect, Indistinct, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
yellow, reddish brown 
Streak
white 
Class
Hexagonal - Ditrigonal Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Uneven 
Hardness
4-5 
Collection
Don Phillips Collection

Bastnasite-(La)

#36348
Locality
Paratoo Cu mine, Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia, Australia 
Formula
LaCO3
Availability
Sold
Size
4.5 x 3 x 1 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
carbonate , REE mineral  

Thin light blue crusts on shaley matrix with Malachite. Basnasite-La is a rare mineral that occurs in carbonatites at its type locality in the Belaya Zima REE-Nb deposit in Russia. The blue in this bastnasite is due to an impurity of copper.


Bastnasite-(La)

Formula
LaCO3
Crystal System
Hexagonal 
Crystal Habit
Prismatic, Massive - Granular 
Cleavage
Imperfect, Indistinct, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
yellow, reddish brown 
Streak
white 
Class
Hexagonal - Ditrigonal Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Uneven 
Hardness
4-5 

Calcioancylite-(Ce)

#PD52167
Locality
Afrikanda Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia 
Formula
(Ce,Ca,Sr)CO3(OH,H2O) 
Availability
Sold
Size
3.5 x 2.5 x 2 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
carbonate , REE mineral  

White to colorless crystal plates to 1.3cm. 


Calcioancylite-(Ce)

Formula
(Ce,Ca,Sr)CO3(OH,H2O) 
Crystal System
Orthorhombic 
Crystal Habit
Pseudo Octohedral 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
colorless, gray, pale yellow 
Class
Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 
Hardness
4-4.5 
Collection
Don Phillips Collection

Churchite-(Y)

in amazonite - #PD52166
Locality
Ploskaya Mt, Western Keivy Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia 
Formula
YPO4·2H2
Availability
Sold
Size
3 x 2 x 2 cm - Thumbnail 
Tagged
phosphate , REE mineral  

White grains of Churchite-(Y) in green Microcline, variey amazonite.


Churchite-(Y)

Formula
YPO4·2H2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Platy, Acicular, Aggregates 
Cleavage
Perfect, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Pearly 
Color
colorless, gray, snow white 
Streak
white 
Class
Monoclinic 
Fracture
Conchoidal 
Hardness
Collection
Don Phillips Collection

Decrespignyite-(Y)

#36350
Locality
Paratoo Cu mine, Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia, Australia 
Formula
Y4Cu(CO3)4Cl(OH)5·2H2
Availability
Available
Price
$125.00
Size
6 x 5 x 1.5 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Tagged
carbonate , copper , REE mineral  

Bright sky blue globular crystal aggregtes to 0.75mm and as large patches or crusts 3 x4mm in area. Decrespignyite-(Y) is a yttrium - copper bearing REM and a carbonate. It is according to Mindat composed of individual tiny pseudohexagonal, often curved platelets. It is found at only one locality worldwide.

As noted by the mineral name, Decrespignyite-(Y), contains the rare-earth element yttrium. Major applications of yttrium are extensive and include fluorescent lamps, phosphor compounds in computer monitirs, lasers, lighting applications, abrasives, bearings, and high-temperature alloys amongst others. Recent cost for yttrium oxide in 2019 was $14/lb down from $65/1b in 2011. The main source for yttrium is China, but worldwide reserves are found in Australia, Brazil, and India.


Decrespignyite-(Y)

Formula
Y4Cu(CO3)4Cl(OH)5·2H2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Efflorescences, Globular 
Cleavage
None, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Pearly 
Color
intense royal blue, turquoise blue 
Streak
pale blue 
Class
Monoclinic 
Hardness

Decrespignyite-(Y)

#23221
Locality
Paratoo Cu mine, Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia, Australia 
Formula
Y4Cu(CO3)4Cl(OH)5·2H2
Availability
Sold
Size
3.5 x 1.5 x 0.6 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
carbonate , copper , REE mineral  
Special Info
Type Locality 

Superb, rich specimen of Decrespignyite-(Y) with bright royal blue layers. 


Decrespignyite-(Y)

Formula
Y4Cu(CO3)4Cl(OH)5·2H2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Efflorescences, Globular 
Cleavage
None, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Pearly 
Color
intense royal blue, turquoise blue 
Streak
pale blue 
Class
Monoclinic 
Hardness
Special Info
Type Locality

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