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Sulphur

Posted by David Von Bargen  
avatar Sulphur
July 28, 2009 05:51PM
    
Click here to view Best Minerals S and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.


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? After each set of pictures there should be some descriptive text. If none appears it means that we need someone to tell us about the specimens from that locality and something about the geology of the occurrence.


Sulphur
S Orthorhombic

Cianciana, Sicily, Italy 10 cm

Probably the best known sulphur specimens come from Italy, but they tend to be a bit difficult to find. The Bolivian sulphurs are relatively easy to obtain, there is some mining for local consumption and the specimen market. Some Italian specimens were claimed to be artificially produced. Although there were probably good sulphur crystals in the Gulf Coast of the US, since these were mined using the Frasch process, only some drill cores were recovered.


Sulphur has been long known (the "brimstone" of the ancients) and has been used in many commodities over the years (including gunpowder). Sulphur was obtained commercially by mining the native element (mines and the Frasch process) and from pyrite. With the desire to decrease air pollution, today the majority of the production comes from scrubbing the emissions of smelters and removing sulphur from hydrocarbons. Except in local situations, these sources now provide all the needed commercial sulphur requirements.


Sulphur is formed in a number of different environments. It can be directly deposited by fumaroles (volcanic gas vents) or underground fires, oxidation of some sulfide minerals, and as a microbial product acting on gypsum and anhydrite. The best specimens from Sicily, Michigan and the US Gulf Coast are all products of microbial action.



Bolivia, Potosí Department, El Desierto mine

Production from the mine started in the 1940's. Production is currently only used for the sugar industry and specimen mining (~1-2000 tons per year). The solfatara deposit measures 5 meter wide, 2 meter deep and 75 meter long in size. Crystals vary from 1 to 4cm in size and are either yellow or a greenish yellow color.

7 cm
9 cm
6 cm
6 cm


China, Guizhou Province, Liupanshui Prefecture

Alteration of sulfides

On valentinite 8 cm


China, Hunan Province, Xikuangshan Sb deposit

7 cm
1.5 cm


Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, Anna Mine

4 mm
3 mm
Red selian sulphur 10mm


Germany, Thuringia, Ronneburg U deposit

3 cm
8 cm


Italy, Pesaro-Urbino Province, Perticara Mine

28 cm
4 cm
12 cm



Italy, Sicily

Although mining started in about 1250AD, large scale mining did not commence until the late 1700's and lasted to the late 1900's. There were about 1400 sulphur mines in the southern portion of Sicily extending from Gibellina to Centuripe. The largest crystals are up to 9 cm in size.

6 cm
4 cm



Italy, Sicily, Agrigento Province

3 cm
On aragonite 6 cm
5 cm
7 cm
18 cm
7 cm


Italy, Sicily, Agrigento Province, Cozzodisi Mine

7 cm
2 cm
2 cm
2 cm



Italy, Sicily, Agrigento Province, Cianciana

10 cm
2.5 cm



Italy, Sicily, Agrigento Province, Gibellina mine

4 cm


Italy, Sicily, Agrigento Province, Racalmuto Mine

On calcite 10 cm
7 cm



Italy, Sicily, Caltanissetta Province

4 cm


4 cm


Italy, Sicily, Caltanissetta Province, Gessolungo mine

15 cm


Mexico, Baja California Norte, San Felipe

2 cm
4 cm


Netherlands, Limburg, Willem-Sophia mine

1.5 mm



New Zealand, North Island, Lake Rotokawa

Fumarole deposits.

7 cm
20 cm


Poland, Tarnobrzeg, Machów mine

2 cm
5 cm
6 cm
On barite 14 cm


Russia, Samaraskaya Oblast', Vodinskoye Deposit

3 cm
4 cm


UK, Wales, Llangynog Mine

cm
Sulfur crystals to 0.5mm on corroded galena with anglesite

Yavorovskoe, L'viv Oblast', Ukraine

10 cm


USA, Michigan, Monroe Co., Maybee

Found in vugs in limestone with celestite, calcite and gypsum. Vugs from a few centimeters to over a meter have bben found. Single crystals to 15 cm are in the Seaman and Cranbrook Insitute museums and aggregates up to 30cm have been found. Possibly some pseudomorphs of sulphur after celestite have been found.

7 cm
5 cm


Steamboat Springs District, Washoe Co., Nevada, USA

Located in an active geothermal area, it has produced several thousands of sulfur specimens. Elongated hoppered crystals to 5cm on matrix and individual crystals to 7cm have been found.

2 cm
5 cm



USA, Pennsylvania, Schuylkill Co., Kehley's Run Mine

8 mm

Pale yellow dendritic crystals of Sulfur on hornsfel matrix. Deposition caused by the burning Anthracite coal within the mine (non-native).



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



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2010 11:32AM by Rock Currier.
avatar Re: Sulphur
July 29, 2009 08:27PM
Dave,
You are doing lots of good work, but at the top of every Image/Locality block you need to put the name of the species, country and then the rest of the locality in reverse order of course.

Sulfur
USA
Pennsylvania, Schuylkill Co., Kehley's Run Mine

Then a space before the image(s)

Image

Then two spaces between the first line of image(s) and the second

Then one line of space after the last image and any text used to describe the locality and its specimens.


I have finished scanning in all my decent copper specimens and will start on covelites and sulfurs for you. After scanning, which really takes the least time to do, I must Photoshop them and upload them. Ill get to them as fast as I can. If you can project a list of species that you want to work on in best minerals, that will help me try and keep current on the images I can provide you to work with.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Sulphur
July 29, 2009 08:53PM
    
I agree that a lot of people coming to the site might have a rather short attention span, but from one locality to the next is probably a bit too short. I would hope that most people would remember that they were looking at sulfurs (I might understand your quartz pages though).

Don't worry about keeping up with the photos. One of these days I will get back to doing some serious work on the site and you can catch up then. I do look at the most popular list, but me plan? You must be joking. This morning I decided to whack out the covellite. I really dread when I need to take some photos (it won't be pretty).
avatar Re: Sulphur
July 31, 2009 05:33AM
Dave,

Yes, I too dread getting back into photography. I used to do it a lot, but not for many years. I have now a good camera, but I need to spend more than the camera cost on good lighting and photography setup. I stopped taking pictures about 30 years ago and have a whole lot of stuff that I need to take pictures of.

The reason that I want the name of the species at the top of the pictures and again in the caption line is that some day the pictures may not all be presented in the way they currently are in Best Minerals. When you get around to creating a tagging system for images and for the data blocks in best minerals, we will find a way to put all the picture/locality/data blocks in a database and use the tags to call out all sorts of arrangements. Like all the minerals from Washington or all copper minerals or all hexagonal minerals or all Japan Law twins or pseudomorphs. Your own specalized mineralogy of fine specimens on demand. That will be the future.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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