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gary moldovany February 02, 2012 12:46AM
This is the sphalerite specimen from the unknown or mistaken "Juslin, Illinois" locality. Any help with locality apperciated. Thanks, Gary
D Mike Reinke February 02, 2012 03:56AM

Thanks for the picture, I haven't yet got to photorgraphing my stuff,(I'd rather just go look for more!) But sphalerite is all over the place in Illinois. You be better off asking the seller what he knows, or who he knows. If you look long enough through bridge rip rap, you'll find plenty, it'll be ho-hum after awhile...well maybe after quite awhile.

gary moldovany February 03, 2012 01:19AM
Thanks Mike. The person whom I traded it from doesn't know anymore than what's on the label, he probably got it in trade from someone else years ago. I will just label the locality "Illinois" unless someone else has something more specific. I am hoping that the crystal groups will clean up well. Is "Iron Out" ok to use on sphalerite? Gary
D Mike Reinke February 03, 2012 03:22AM

I've never used it, I just scrub them w/ a toothbrush and soap or maybe a gritty kind, but I don't have nice pieces, except one Elmwood mine sample. What i find on my own is small, and dull, but it is cool to spot it. Iron out probably is ok, since sphalerite is zinc, as you know. Iron is a whole 'nother animal...

Bob Harman February 03, 2012 12:37PM
GARY I collected the Illinois fluorite district dumps many times several years ago and came home with the usual combos of fluorite, calcite, barite, sphalerite, galena and probably small crystals of several other minerals. While none of the finds was great, many had small seams, vugs and cavities of respectable crystals. Cleaning them up, I experimented and used (besides soapy water with a soft toothbrush) iron out, vinegar (weak acetic acid), and diluted muriatic acid. The carbonates cleaned well, but were partially dissolved with any (!) prolonged acid. The fluorite got its luster back. The sphalerite got its luster back as did the barite. However the shiny silvery fresh cleavage surfaces of the galena were promptly dulled by the dilute acid and (?) iron out to dull "battleship" gray. The words of caution from me: watch the use of these household chemicals when cleaning galena and, of course, limit acid use to very dilute and very brief time on any calcites etc.
Regards and good hunting BOB
gary moldovany February 03, 2012 09:07PM
Thanks Bob. I will try the high pressure water gun and soap before I try any chemicals. I think that Iron Out may ruin the pyrite crystals. There does not appear to be any trace of galena on the specimen. Gary
gary moldovany March 04, 2012 01:15AM
Mystery solved! The locality is Rock River Stone Quarry, Joslin, Rock Island Co., Illinois. Thanks to Martins De Pedra's photo posted today. My specimen is almost exactly the same. Gary
D Mike Reinke March 04, 2012 05:03AM
Glad to hear it, Gary! Mindats galleries sure are a huge help, aren't they. Enjoy.

msysto April 18, 2012 11:00PM
I have collected some fluorite from the southern Ill. area. I used weak muritac acid to clean them. I believe that I have ruined the luster of my finds! Is there any way to reverse this?
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