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Cyprine (?) with Thulite & Piedmontite


Cyprine (?) with Thulite & Piedmontite

7 x 4 x 4.5 cm - Sm Cabinet 
Ca19Cu2+Al4(Al6Mg2)(☐4)☐[Si2O7]4[(SiO4)10](OH)(OH)9 (RRUFF)
Picuris Range, Glenwoody dist., Taos Co., New Mexico, United States

There are several dark to fair blue crystals of Cyprine on the specimen, some are fairly well-formed, others are formless. Cyprine at one time was regarded as a variety of Vesuvianite. Dana first introduced the mineral as a variety, but only recently it was elevated to a distinct species on the basis of having an ordered crystal site for copper (+2). It is not known whether or not this locality was analyzed to determine if this material has enough copper in the structure to qualify for the accurate designation of Cyprine. Otherwise it is a Vesuvianite with copper impurities. 

Likewise, I assume the red Piedmontite from this locality,was authenticated by analysis. Mindat does list the mineral as occuring from this locality. Piedmontite is a member of the Epidote group, which contains at least 40% Mn(+3). Otherwise some red Epidotes may just be a variety, also called piedmontite. Confusing I know!

The Thulite is the light red or even pink spongy areas of the specimen. I don't see any micro crystals however. Thulite is a pink variety of Zoisite. 

Arnold G Hampson Collection

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