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Vesuvianite

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Vesuvianite
November 10, 2008 07:25PM
©




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Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?




Vesuvianite idocrase
Ca19(Al,Mg,Fe)13Si18O68(O,OH,F)10 tetragonal
There are a great many good localities for this mineral that need descriptions and we need a vesuvianite expert to step in here and help with general comments about the mineral and descriptions of the specimens from various localities. Dr. Joel Arem of Harvard and the Smithsonian, before fell into the flesh pots of commerce made a nice long list of Vesuvianite localities in his doctoral thesis.


Vesuvianite
USA
Maine, York Co. Sanford, Goodall Quarry
Vesuvianite, 2.8 cm across.© Rob Lavinsky


Line drawings from this old locality have been used to illustrate many mineralogical texts and specimens from this locality are classics even though specimens from this locality have been surpassed by more impressive specimens from other localities. “Dark brownish green square prismatic crystals to 1”, in groups in calcite… .”1 This means that the crystals are not freestanding and for display purposes the calcite must be removed, usually with dilute hydrochloric acid solution. At this deposit is a massive form of vesuvianite called egeran after Eger, Norway. “Egeran has frequently been reserved for massive material which can have a crudely columnar texture, usually with a radial texture. Due to the relatively low value of massive vesuvianite, you don’t see much even in ofd reference collections. …The dump has chunks of vesuvianite up to a 30 cm thick with no intergrown minerals. The massive stuff is usually featureless, although the masses can have crystal faces lining the vugs. I Have seen crystals 20 cm x 7 cm x 5 cm in clusters with other crystals. The color is a dark olive. Crystals are the same color. The contact zone is not very thick, perhaps only 3-4 m.”3 “The…deposit, located off lower School Street (eastern end) in the Town of Sanford, Maine, is a classic example of the mineralized cal-silicates commonly encountered in northern New England. Variously known as the Goodall quarry, Goodall Farm mine, and Webster quarry.”2 A Stephen Goodale a mineral enthusiast and college professor, also did a lot of work at the locality in the mid 1800s and his name is also associated with the locality and it is sometimes given that spelling. “The deposit consists of one primary and two smaller shallow pits. This locality has been a producer of collector-quality specimens for almost 150 years. It still offers promise to diligent collectors today. …The Sanford deposit is essentially a calc-silicate granofels with minor marble…bounded on all sides by the Lyman Pluton, an acidic non-foliated biotite granite.”2 “There are three principal pits. The Webster prospect is named for John White Webster who first blasted at the locality sometime in the 1840’s. John White Webster was Irving Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University. In 1849, Webster was arrested for the murder of Francis Parkman to whom Webster was indebted to the level of one or two years equivalent of a professors salary. It is generally believed that Webster used some of this loan money to finance his mining in Sanford. Webster’s object was to acquire what was then some of the world’s finest, if not largest, terminated vesuvianite crystals. By the 1850’s crystallographers everywhere were illustrating their systematic mineralogy works with Sanford vesuvianite. As part of the suite of minerals there were andesine crystals…world-class clinozoisite (then identified as epidote)…and meionite (then called scapolite crystals. The dyke strikes to the Northwest toward a gravel pit. There are two other pits (the 200 meter prospect and the 600 meter prospect) along the strike which have produced good specimens and a variety of minerals including very nice low-iron titanite crystals. The names relate to how far from the Webster prospect the other prospects are. Currently, the most productive area is the 600 meter pit.3 The locality is not much more than a few mostly filled in trenches in the woods although a newly opened site has been producing some specimens if you are willing to work long and hard for them.
1 Mineralogy for Amateurs, Sinkankas,1964 p 517
2 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 24, 1993, p 359-64.
3 Vandal King gösipmeister without equal and we love him dearly, personal communication 2002 .
[Rock Currier 10 November 2008]



Click here to view Best Minerals V and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.



Edited 12 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2013 01:47PM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 18, 2009 10:01PM
    
Rock !

Suggested addition:

Norway.

Arendal, Aust-Agder.
Vesuvian is common in the skarn-localities and old mines of the Arendal-area. Schumacher in 1801 writes that vesuvian had been found there in "older times". The mineral occurs as crystals to a few cm and rounded grains in limestones and skarns.

Kongsgårdsskogen og Eeg, Kristiansand, Vest-Agder.
These localities are famous for large, to 20 cm, sharp crystals of vesuvianite which can be seen in museums and old private collections.

Hamrefjell, Eiker, Buskerud.
This locality belongs to the contact metamorphic deposits of the Oslo-region and was extensively studied by V..M. Goldschmidt in 1910. It has produced large plates of sharp vesuvianite-crystals to 5 cm which can be found in museums and private collections. The locality has been protected as a geological heritage site since the 1970`ies and collecting at the locality is strictly forbidden. Many specimens were collected in the 1960`ies and can still be found when old collections are recirculated.
There are many other important localities for vesuvianite in the Oslo-region including Myrseter and Sauesetra near Drammen, Lierskogen and Hørtekollen.

Kleppan, Sauland, Telemark.
This is the first known locality for the blue variety of vesuvianite, "cyprine", which was described from this locality in 1810. It occurs as prismatic aggreagtes and crystals to 2 cm partly embedded in quartz with manganoan zoisite ("thulite").

Gråtådalen, Beiarn, Nordland.
At this locality brown crystals to 2 cm of Vesuvianite occur with red grossularite (hessonite) in a metamorphosed limestone. The locality was probably discovered by Knut Eldjarn in 1963 and good specimens with hessonite and scapolite can be seen in museums and private collections in Norway. There are also other scattered localities of vesuvianite in the Norwegian caledonides in Western and Northern Norway.

Knut
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 18, 2009 10:24PM
Knut,
Would you like to take a crack at starting work on the Vesuvianite article? It comes from a huge number of localities, but if you look at the pictures on mindat, the number of "good" localities isn't anything like quartz or calcite. It is something that someone could do without going crazy.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 19, 2009 07:50AM
    
Rock,

Being President of a Biotech company with a large and rapidly expanding international activity and with other obligations added, my time is limited and I use the minerals to create short breaks in a very busy schedule. But as for vesuvianite, I have been doing some research on this mineral group in context with publishing an article on the composition of vesuvianite-group minerals from Norway. Thus I think I could give a try at making a draft vesuvianite article. But there has to be a clarification. I understand you will be treating Wiluite, Manganvesuvianite and Fluorvesuvianite in separate articles ? And of the draft articles prepared so far, which one would you suggest I use for comparing the structuring of the information ?

Knut
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 19, 2009 09:50AM
Knut,
I understand about the need to do your business as opposed to play around with minerals which many of us would rather do. I am not sure how to advise you about the other minerals like Wiluite etc. I think we want to keep the Vesuvianite thread mostly about vesuvianite. If you want, you could mention the other minerals and link their names to images that would appear when the reader clicks on them if they want to see the pictures. When you get a chance, why don't you post a sample of what you have in mind and let me take a look at it and see how we can fit it into the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 19, 2009 06:04PM
    
Rock,
I think there should be separate articles on the other minerals in the Vesuvianite group. I think only rarely will you have problems classifying "best mineral specimens" correctly.

I would suggest the following introduction:

Vesuvianite is by far most common mineral of the vesuvianite-group which also includes wiluite, manganvesuvianite and fluorvesuvianite.
Vesuvianite is named after the classic finds of this mineral in metamorphosed limestone ejecta from the vicinity of the famous vulcano Vesuvius in Italy. It is a very common mineral in contact metamorphic localities and skarns which also host the largest crystals of this mineral. Vesuvianite usually forms yellowish green to brown crystals, more rarely emerald green or purple. A bluish green cuprian variety called "cyprine" can also be found in aesthetic specimens.
There are many localities around the world for crystallized specimens. Crystals to 20 cm have been found at Kongsgårdsskogen and Eeg in Kristiansand, Vest-Agder, Norway, crystals to 14 cm have been reported from Coahuila, Municipio de Sierra Mojada, Mexico and large crystals to at least 12 cm have been found in the Kayes region, Mali. The specimens most often seen on the mineral market have been the emerald green or purple vesuvianites from Jeffrey mine, Quebec in Canada, the flattened, bipyramidal brown to greenish crystals from Fushan, Hebei in China and the shiny and partly transparent greenish to brown crystals from Ala Valley and Aosta Valley and other localities in Italy. Recently similar looking specimens to the ones from Italy have appeared on the market from Alchuri, Pakistan. Excellent specimens from the classic localities in Norway, Madagascar, Mexico and the USA are also sometimes being offered, most often from old collections.

ROCK - this would be my suggestion for the introduction to the vesuvianite article. Therafter the different important specimen producing localities could be presented with pictures based on the alphabetic listing of the countries. There are many pictures that can be taken from the Mindat galleries (Including one I have posted of the largest well formed crystals I have seen from Mali and and a specimen of a large and very good crystal from Hamrefjell in calcite.) I wonder how we should procede as I have limited options not being a manager.

Knut



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2009 09:07PM by Knut Eldjarn.
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 19, 2009 06:14PM
I agree, there should be a separate thread for each mineral in the Vesuvianite group. Yes, what you say above and more should go into the general discussion of vesuvianite specimens at the top of the vesuvianite article before you start talking about specimens from various localities. A number of species have varieties like the cyprine example you talk about. Like actinolite with byssolite (fibrous varieties) and nephrite. They should all easily be accommodated in the thread for the mineral when you talk about the locality that produces them and show pictures of them.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 19, 2009 07:41PM
    
Rock,

See my edited draft introduction to the Vesuvianite article.

Knut
avatar Re: Vesuvianite
March 20, 2009 11:08AM
Knut,
Your introductory remarks look good to me. You need to pick out a picture of the best vesuvianite specimen you can find and place it at the top of the article and follow it with your introductory remarks. You will need to follow the format of some of the more finished articles like Actinolite. Do you have any idea of how many localities you will need to include in the article? But remember, we need to live normal lives and we should not spend more than 60 hours a week working on this stuff.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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