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Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?

Posted by Patrick Haynes (2)  
Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
July 30, 2010 08:39PM
Jessica, you're becoming a good mineral photographer - How much easier our lives would be on the Identity Help forum if everyone's pix were as clear as yours!

It might be a good idea to do some tests to see whether that clear crystal inside the hollow galena crystal is a calcite or a quartz. Check whether it bubbles in a weak acid. One minute in lemon juice or white vinegar should be enough to tell, which won't hurt the galena.
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
July 30, 2010 08:57PM
    
Thank you Alfredo!
The acid tests are a good idea. We don't currently have permission to do any more potentially destructive tests, but we can ask of course. Also, it might be better to wait until later (after I have taken micro photos and anything else I need of the crystal) to do the acid tests if we do get permission since they could harm the crystal. Good idea, I will keep that in mind!
Jessica
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
July 30, 2010 09:18PM
    
Hello,
that is already very long topic... I never did not written here my opinion because I was not sure, and I am still not sure. But I would like to share with you my observations.
I am visiting Madan frequently and I have access to majority of new pockets etc. And during my all trips I never saw any small, even broken specimen from this "find" in Madan. I asked all miners working in this business there and local dealers - nobody did not herd about this specimens. In every other "found" it is easy to track, to see some samples etc - but not this time.
Skeletal and heavily etched galenas are very frequent in Madan but it does not mean that THIS ONES are not faked. We collect all strange, unusual shapes, varieties etc of minerals, and we have huge selection of galenas also. All them looks completely different than THIS specimens. Some of them are almost hollow - but still you can easily see that they are natural.
As I mentioned I am not 100% sure but I think that it were skeletal galenas and later somebody "help" them to be more hollow and more showy. If my opinion is true they can be called "faked".
Tom

-------------------------------------
"Spirifer" Geological Society
Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
July 31, 2010 08:30AM
The second specimen "not known to be fake" in the galena article looks like a typical krushev dol specimen, for me. Because of the quartz crystalls and the shape of the hollowed out galena, wich was maybe the typical tabular spinell law twin type before etching (natural or man made).

It was said, that all the specimen were from a unique find in deveti septemvri. Deveti septemvri and krushev dol are different locations and deposits
producing optical different specimen.
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
July 31, 2010 10:22PM
    
Hi everyone
Thanks for pointing that out, Erik! I looked through the Mindat gallery of galena from that location and the habit on the outside of the crystals look like most of the other ones. On the inside of the crystal, though, it shows the same lines as the other ones. Do you think it could be a galena from Krushev Dol that was enhanced or faked in the same way as the ones from Deveti Septemvri?

At the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines show, we met a Bulgarian dealer who was selling galena from the same location. We asked him about the hollow crystals and he said, "Oh, you mean the drilled ones?" According to him, nobody has ever seen one come out of the mine.

The other day I was able to look at the galena under the microscope and take some micro-photos. I noticed that the calcite crystal in the galena has small specks of galena on it. The specks are not crystals and under the microscope it does not seem that there are any under the surface of the calcite. I took some pictures of those, and I also got some pictures of significant damage at the base of the calcite where it is attached to the matrix. I updated the article to include these photos, you can read the new version here: new galena article
Jessica
Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
August 01, 2010 08:03AM
The quartz habit on the second specimen is, as i think definitely more like krushev dol. It is also different to the depicted R.L. specimen for me.
I didnĀ“t see Deveti septemvri quartz like this in the local collections, but there was a wide range of different quartz over the last decades.

The last time i have been in Madan was in april and i asked local collectors and dealers what they think about this galenas. There was no one who believed that they are natural and as Thomas mentioned nobody heard about this find, even miners who were working in mogila and osikovo for a long time. Some of them are surprised about the high prices people pay for this galenas and there is gosip about that.

But this is all no argument if they are natural or not, sorry!

Erik
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
August 01, 2010 05:48PM
    
While the comments of locals can be useful indicators and often true, some who sell specimens will tell you outright that something they don't have is faked or stolen or whatever, hoping you would buy what they have instead. However it is the specimens themselves that will tell the tale.
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
August 19, 2010 02:20AM
    
Agree completely Rob, if we can find the right tests.

At the Springfield show we found a dealer who had one which he claims was found 6 years before the find everyone is selling from.We had the chance to loupe it and even microscope it. You could easily see the impact craters on the cleavage planes. They were very obvious. We didn't remember seeing these on Ed's pieces. When we get home we need to look at them again, take pictures, and see what can be learned. Maybe, just maybe the microabraded galenas show this cratering if you look in just the right paces.

The Man Made Hollowed Galena from Jessica's article shows the cratering, but not very clearly. We will get better pics when we are home.

Bob



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2010 03:05AM by Jessica and Robert Simonoff.
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
September 19, 2010 08:34PM
    
Hi everyone,
I have updated the article with some new information.
Three different acid tests (hydrochloric) revealed that the "calcite" crystal inside the first unknown specimen is in fact quartz - so not as relevant because of the huge hardness difference. However, we also found that in the same crystal as the quartz crystal, there is some chlorite. We are almost sure of this identification because of a hardness test and microscopic examination. Chlorite is found at the locality according to Mindat.
Here is the link for the article:
Newest galena article

Jessica
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
September 27, 2010 08:37AM
    
Good work!!! At the main show last Tucson the specimens I saw clearly showed the inpact craters and the dealer was positive they were natural !!! Using smaller or softer abrasives might minimize the cratering. I strongly doubt there would be any recrystallization, but an SEM might show the cratering more clearly.
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 01:01AM
    
Hi everyone

Lance Kearns offered to let me use the SEM at James Madison University to look at the specimens.
We had a time limit, so I chose three to examine: one definitely man-made and two unknowns.
Both unknown pieces are definitely fakes.
They had spherical indentations, and all three had remnants of the abrasive material used partially embedded in the surface of the galena.

Craters on previously unknown©


Glass sphere on previously unknown©


I was only able to test two samples! The fact that these two were proven fake DOES NOT mean that all similar pieces are. The only test that was able to tell the difference was the SEM, and it would be impossible to test every hollow galena in existence that way. Many more would have to be proven fakes before I (personally) would feel comfortable drawing a conclusion about all of them.

For more information and photos (including more SEM photos) please read the Mindat article I wrote -- [www.mindat.org]

Jessica
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 01:48AM
    
Great article Jessica!!
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 09:31AM
    
Very interesting article.
During my last trip to Madan (maybe 4 weeks ago) I conformed at 100% that all them are faked, I know people who did that even.

Tomek

-------------------------------------
"Spirifer" Geological Society
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 02:32PM
The conclusion that is fair to draw at this time is that at least some of these Madan hollow galenas are fake.

What I would like to see in addition to this in the future would be:

a) a reference SEM of a fresh Galena surface to compare with the pitted/cratered one

b) an examination of some of the dissolution/odd surface texture features on some of the Dal'negorsk galenas (for example), which are assumed to be natural, but bear some resemblance to the textures seen on the Madan hollow galenas.

Jolyon
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 02:41PM
Also, look at this photo:

[www.mindat.org]

I know Jessica says it was placed in acetone overnight, but doesn't it look to you like it's glued on the bottom? There are glues that acetone won't touch.

Jolyon
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 03:00PM
Do I smell a potential senior thesis or MS project here??
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 03:13PM
    
In Madan there are also natural "hollow" galenas but looks completely different than this ones. When I will find a time I will post some of this.

Tomek

-------------------------------------
"Spirifer" Geological Society
avatar Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 03:49PM
    
thanks everyone.
Tomasz - how did you prove that they are all fake??
I completely agree with you on the conclusion Jolyon. obviously some are definitely fake. I'm not sure how it could be proven one way or another for all of the specimens (not saying it can't be done just that I don't know how).
i think that the quartz crystal in that photo is definitely glued. That specimen was one of the ones I looked at with the SEM, and it had the glass balls... i guess the quartz could have been an inclusion in the galena that was exposed as a result of the microabrasion but that doesn't seem too likely (especially because it is not actually touching the galena on the bottom, it is on chlorite, which I would have thought would be completely destroyed by then.)
Jessica
Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 03:58PM
    
Hello Jessica

You have done another wonderfull Article ! Congradulations on being able to have use of the SEM at James Madison University ! You have done a verry through job on the specimens that you had access to. I'd love to see many more examined with the SEM !
Maybe some day you or others will finally figure it out.
Maybe some day you or others will finally actually SEE these being mined and still in place ?
Guess time will tell !
Keep up the great work Jess ! ! !
B)
Wayne Corwin
Re: Have the reverse-skeletal Madan galenas been faked?
December 23, 2010 04:18PM
I've been reading this with interest - you may like to have a look at these - here are photos of hollowed galenas found last year in Burtree Pasture mine, Cowshill, Weardale. Crystals are around 5-8mm across. Found in a quartz lined cavity, with a layer of quartz slabs in the base of the cavity - with hollowed galenas on the reverse of the quartz. I have some specimens with the galenas still attached to quartz crystals.


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