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Mineralpedia Details for Switzerite

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Switzerite

Switzerite

Named for Dr. George Shirly Switzer who was the Chairman Emeritus at the Department of Mineral Sciences of the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., USA. Switzerite is found in complex zoned pegmatites in locations including the USA, even here in the Black Hills of South Dakota at the Tip Top mine, Canada, Germany, Portugal, Finland, and South Australia. Switzerite will, upon exposure to air, have a rapid and irreversible topotactic transition, a structural change by gain of loss of material, to metaswitzerite. As such most specimens of Switzerite are likely to be metaswitzerite as this transformation occurs within minutes.

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

Formula
Mn2+3(PO4)2ยท7H2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Cleavage
Perfect, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Pearly 
Color
brown, pink 
Streak
white 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Hardness
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Switzerite from Tip Top mine, Custer Co., South Dakota, United States

Switzerite
            from Tip Top mine, Custer Co., South Dakota, United States

Fine pearly pinkish white, very thin, acicular, fibrous looking (but brittle) crystals too nearly 1mm in an altered Hureaulite vug. Most of the matrix is Triphylite altered to Hureaulite with areas of Luecophosphite and some lime green Tavorite. Switzerite is a fairly rare mineral at the Tip Top mine. The Switzerite on this specimen occurs in a 2-3mm area.

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Switzerite from Foote mine, Cleveland Co., North Carolina, United States

Switzerite
            from Foote mine, Cleveland Co., North Carolina, United States

Brassy brown platy, flat-lying crystals to 3mm with dark blue scales of Vivianite. Collected in 1971 per old label.

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Switzerite from Iron Knob, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, Australia

Switzerite
            from Iron Knob, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, Australia

Silvery white thin platy crystals of Switzerite to 1mm. Very rich.

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