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Rare Earth Minerals

Tuesday, 19 April 2022 02:30 PM

Introducing the "Rare Earth Minerals" gallery which is part of our Special Edition galleries. This gallery contains mineral specimens for sale including aeschynite-(ce), allanite-(ce), allanite-(y), bastnasite-(ce) and more from places like Urstad pegmatite, Hitterø, Vest-Agder, Norway, Yates mine, Sandy Creek, Otter Lake, Quebec, Canada, Pacoima Canyon, Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles Co., California, United States, Mineville, Moriah Twp., Essex Co., New York, United States, Conqueror No. 9 Claims, Lincoln Co., New Mexico, United States, and Mountain Pass mine, San Bernardino Co., California, United States.

Aeschynite-(Ce)

#BW58040
Locality
Urstad pegmatite, Hitterø, Vest-Agder, Norway 
Formula
(Ce,Ca,Fe,Th)(Ti,Nb)2(O,OH)6 
Availability
Sold
Size
4.5 x 3 x 3 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
REE mineral  
Special Info
Radioactive!! 

Crystalline mass of Aeschynite-(Ce). Of all the rare earth elements, cerium is the most abundant. 

Rare Earth Elements (REE) are a distinct group of 17 elements on the periodic table. These elements are among the heaviest naturally occuring non-radioactive elements, and are extensively used in energy and manufacturing technology. The REE's are extremly important in the high-tech manufacturing industry. These sectors include energy and military applications.


Aeschynite-(Ce)

Formula
(Ce,Ca,Fe,Th)(Ti,Nb)2(O,OH)6 
Crystal System
Orthorhombic 
Crystal Habit
Massive, Acicular 
Cleavage
None, None, None 
Luster
Adamantine - Resinous 
Color
brown, brownish black, yellow, black 
Streak
brownish black 
Class
Orthorhombic - Dipyramidal 
Fracture
Brittle - Conchoidal 
Hardness
5-6 
Collection
Bill Wilson Collection
Special Info
Radioactive!!

Allanite-(Ce)

with Thorite - #BW58041
Locality
Yates mine, Sandy Creek, Otter Lake, Quebec, Canada 
Formula
CaCeFe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) 
Availability
Sold
Size
4.5 x 3 x 2.5 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
REE mineral  
Special Info
Radioactive!! 

Thick plates of black Allanite to 5mm and 3cm wide. Excellent specimen with black Thorite between the plates of Allanite. 

Although rare earth elements are relatively abundant in the Earth's crust, they are rarely concentrated into mineable ore deposits. For instance, cerium ranks around 25th in the lising by abundance in the Earth's crust of all naturally occuring elements. The ores of rare earth elements are mineralogically and chemically complex and commonly radioactive. This specimen contians the rare earth element, cerium. Cerium makes an excellent oxidizer. It is typically used for catalytic converters. 


Allanite-(Ce)

Formula
CaCeFe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) 
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular, Disseminated 
Cleavage
Imperfect, Imperfect, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
brown, reddish brown, black 
Streak
grayish brown 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Conchoidal 
Hardness
5.5 
Collection
Bill Wilson Collection
Special Info
Radioactive!!
SOLD
Allanite-(Ce) - RS58167
Allanite-(Ce) - RS58167

Allanite-(Ce)

#RS58167
Locality
Pacoima Canyon, Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles Co., California, United States 
Formula
CaCeFe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) 
Availability
Sold
Size
3.3 x 2.5 x 2 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
REE mineral  

Black crystalline mass.


Allanite-(Ce)

Formula
CaCeFe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) 
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular, Disseminated 
Cleavage
Imperfect, Imperfect, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
brown, reddish brown, black 
Streak
grayish brown 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Conchoidal 
Hardness
5.5 
Collection
RC Stamberg Collection

Allanite-(Y)

with Kasolite - #BW58057
Locality
Mineville, Moriah Twp., Essex Co., New York, United States 
Formula
CaYFe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) 
Availability
Sold
Size
12 x 11 x 3.5 cm - Cabinet 
Tagged
REE mineral  
Special Info
Radioactive!! 

Dull black thin tabular crystals of Allanite on the order of 1 to 1.5cm. This is an interesting specimen. It is porous and is mostly of feldspar matrix. The Allanite is randomly oriented throughout the matrix. It is clearly pegmatite. But a 1956 report by the USGS does not classify this deposit as a pegmatite. However there are several mines in the district. The USGS report states that "magnetite deposits at Mineville are in complexly folded highly metamorphosed sedimentary rocks and interlayered igneous rocks of Precambrian age. Kemp (1908) described them as "augite syenites and related types."

Further the USGS report states: "Laboratory studies indicate that most of the rare earths, thorium, and uranium in Old Bed ore are in fluorapatite. Monazite, bastnaesite, and hematite fill fractures in and form rims around some of the apatite.

There is no mention anywhere of secondary uranium minerals such as Kasolite and Uranophane. But on this specimen light yellow and lemon yellow secondaries can be seen. 


Allanite-(Y)

Formula
CaYFe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) 
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Crystal Habit
Massive - Granular, Disseminated 
Cleavage
Imperfect, Imperfect, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Greasy 
Color
brown, black 
Streak
grayish brown 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Conchoidal 
Hardness
5.5 
Collection
Bill Wilson Collection
Special Info
Radioactive!!

Bastnasite-(Ce)

with Fluorite - #BW58033
Locality
Conqueror No. 9 Claims, Lincoln Co., New Mexico, United States 
Formula
CeCO3
Availability
Sold
Size
4 x 3 x 2 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
carbonate , REE mineral  

Pink grains of Bastnasite from 1 to 5mm in spongy Fluorite mass. The specimen probably also contains lanthanum. 

The claims are adjacent to the Red Cloud mine, which was a large producer of lead-copper-silver ore from 1920-1922. The Conqueror mine was developed during World War II for Fluorite but ore shipments were not made until the 1950's.  In 1954-55, about 60 tons of Bastnasite concentrate was produced from the Fluorite. The Fluorite ore contained about 1% bastnasite. 


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
Bill Wilson Collection

Bastnasite-(Ce)

#RS58164
Locality
Mountain Pass mine, San Bernardino Co., California, United States 
Formula
CeCO3
Availability
Sold
Size
2.8 x 2.9 x 3.3 cm - Miniature 
Tagged
carbonate , REE mineral  

Light pink segregations of Bastnasite-(Ce) in brown carbonate matrix.

The REE content of the Mountain Pass district was first discovered in 1949 by uranium prospectors. Mountain Pass is a massive carbonatite called the Sulfide Queen, which host the rare earth minerals. The typical ore contains 10-15% Bastnasite. It is the largest known mass of high-grade REE deposit in the USA. 

The first operator was Molycorp which ceased mining in 2002 when its permit expired. Molycorp had plans to reopen, but by 2105 they went bankrupt. The mine's new owner is MP Materials. In December of 2021 General Motors and MP Materials entered long-term supply agreement to supply rare earth magnet production in the U.S. In 2021 production of 42,413 metric tons represents highest annual primary rare earth production in U.S. history. In February of 2022 MP Materials secured Department of Defense contract to supply processed heavy rare earths. MP produces primarily neodymium and praseodymium for powerful magnets used in electric cars, windmill turbines, drones, robuts, and military jets. Please click here for a good video overview of Mountain Pass as operated by MP Materials.


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
RC Stamberg Collection

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