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Steve Stuart June 23, 2012 03:20AM
I finally started breaking up and examining some material I obtained at the 2012 PMA Symposium in Redlands, CA. Need help with IDs of the minerals shown in the attached images.

Thanks for any and all input!

Steve Stuart
open | download - Garnet- Washington Pass OR 1b.JPG (62 KB)
open | download - Unknown- Washington Pass OR 1b.JPG (58.4 KB)
open | download - Unknown- Washington Pass OR 2b.JPG (313.8 KB)
Dan R. Lynch June 23, 2012 06:14AM
The bottom two photos look like gadolinite to me, comparing it to one of my gadolinite-(Ce) specimens from Washington Pass and to other photos in the locality gallery. Not certain though.
Peter Andresen June 23, 2012 07:54AM
Wild guessing, WP is not a locality I'm very familiar with, but still they remind me of zircon. Try imagine a tetragonal pyramid {111} and the prism {100}/{010}. Quite easy to be confused with a garnet, which I've done several times. :-)

Johan Kjellman June 23, 2012 08:44AM
Steve Stuart June 23, 2012 11:22AM
Thanks! All images are about 2 mm FOV in length. My first thought for # 1 was a garnet of some kind, but I didn't see any of the garnet group listed on Mindat for Washington Pass. The last two images are of the same crystal. Gadolinite-(Ce) came to mind after looking at the Mindat gallery, but I wanted some other opinions.

So, to summarize so far-

#1 could be zircon instead of garnet
#2 and #3 could be gadolinite-(Ce)

Any other suggestions?

Johan Kjellman June 23, 2012 03:34PM
1, 2 and 3 zircon for their apparent tetragonal symmetry. I cannot, as much as I would, match them with the gado-images in the gallery. But to be sure you should have someone familiar with the locality verifying this. Saul Krotki is probably your man..

Steve Stuart June 23, 2012 06:55PM
I'll check for fluorescence this evening. See if that adds anything.
Bart Cannon June 23, 2012 09:35PM
I have spent considerable time collecting Washington Pass, starting in 1967.

The lower two photos look as though they are hexagonal prisms without pyramidal terminations.

My guess is bastnaesite / fergusonite / parisite.

The dark cube like crystal in the upper photo is not like anything I've seen before from Washington Pass.

The micro mineral experts for Washington Pass are Randy Becker, Rudy Tschernich, Russell Boggs and Bob Boggs,

Perhaps I can nudge them toward this post.

Bart Cannon
William C. van Laer June 23, 2012 09:44PM
I vote for zircon in all three pictures...Bart, I just don't see a cube in the upper photo, and no hexagonal form in any others...I have found many similar specimens with the same identical form and every one turned out to be zircon.

William C. (CHRIS) van Laer: "I'm using the chicken to measure it..."
Keith Wood June 23, 2012 09:58PM
Zircon or Xenotime
Zircon or Xenotime

Just my guesses based on appearance only, never having collected there.
Saul Krotki June 23, 2012 11:31PM
Here are a few zircon crystals from Goldschmidt's Atlas. You can see how
various photo angles would emphasize different face shapes. In one orientation,
you have an obvious tetragonal zircon and in another, you have a zircon that may leave the
impression of an isometric garnet.

There are no garnets at Washington Pass (...a budget description for a locality.
since many of the celebrated specimens are found miles from the pass...but that
is another story.)

Gadolinite! No way! These are zircons! I have collected the most remarkably
flattened crystals in the GHB. Sent a few to Bart Cannon for ID. Yup, zircons
"that look like wulfenite," as Bart reflected!

Photos can make deceptive impressions unless the crystals are oriented in the image
to represent their species symmetry. You a Dana textbook image!
open | download - GoldZircon.jpg (60.6 KB)
Ben Schumer June 23, 2012 11:51PM
The crystal in the first picture could be a betafite group mineral, based on the dodecahedral (?) habit and the red halo around it. Betafite group minerals in the Zapot Pegmatite, MIneral Co., NV show similar halos (radiation damage) in feldspar and any quartz nearby is smokey. I am unfamiliar with Washington Pass mineralogy, though, so I don't know if the paragenesis would support the betafite idea.
Bart Cannon June 24, 2012 12:43AM
Only a fool such as myself tries to identify a mineral from someone else's photograph.

But I stand by my opinions.

The upper photo shows a dark roughly cubic crystal, and the others are not simple tetragonal prisms. Plus the fractures and coloration are not seen in zircons from Washington Pass.

Back to the color chart project.

Bart Cannon June 24, 2012 12:51AM
The bigger point.

I'm not even sure that these specimens are from Washington Pass.

Steve Stuart June 24, 2012 01:12AM
I have to go by what the labels says on this material from the micromineral symposium in Redlands, CA thsi past January. Also, I have found blue fibrous riebeckite on specimens from the same lot, so I think that it is indeed Washington Pass material.
Steve Stuart June 24, 2012 02:04AM

Here is a shot down the c-axis as suggested by Saul Krotki. Tetragonal (distorted) or orthorhombic? No observable fluorescence under LW, MW or SW UV light.

Now for the bad news! My specimen now looks like a mouth with a missing tooth! In closing the micromount box , I dislodged the crystal and it is lost. There is a smaller crystal of similar habit still there, but it is not nearly a photogenic.


open | download - Unknown- Washington Pass 3b.JPG (53.8 KB)
Bart Cannon June 24, 2012 02:13AM
Blue, fibrous amphibole would be good evidence for a Washington Pass origin for THAT specimen.

I shall respectfully retire from this discussion until I have the specimens in hand under my stereo-microscope.

Douglas Merson June 24, 2012 02:53AM
Zircon for all three.
Johan Kjellman June 24, 2012 10:29AM
told you Saul was your man...

Steve Stuart June 24, 2012 10:12PM
Thanks for all the responses! I'll go with zircon. Although I mourn loss of the crystal shown in #2 and #3 images, I have found a few more zircons in the material I obtained in Redlands last January. See below (all about 2 mm FOV):


open | download - Zircon 1b.JPG (337.2 KB)
open | download - Zircon 3b.JPG (45.9 KB)
open | download - Zircon 5b.JPG (310.1 KB)
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