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Posted by Peter Haas  
Peter Haas April 03, 2009 04:45PM
Click here to view Best Minerals G and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

I've decided to write an article on greenockites. There are relatively few localities that need to be mentioned:

- Bishopton (TL), both the classic occurrence and the highway cuts
- Old Kilpatrick
- and another one or two quarries in the area which produced small greenockite crystals

Czech Republic:
- Crystalline sublimates from a burning coal seam

- Kreimbach

If there is any other locality that produced greenockite crystals (Russia ?, Australia ?), please tell me.


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

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2010 09:09AM by Rock Currier.
David Von Bargen April 03, 2009 06:41PM
Fairfax Quarry, Virginia 2-3mm xls
Patterson NJ with zeolites
San Vicente, Bolivia
Rock Currier April 03, 2009 09:09PM
I am delighted that you have decided to jump in and do Grennockite. I have just rewritten the introductory remarks for Best Mineral including a section on the current format that we are using. You may want to read this, although it has been plane from your suggestions in the various Best Minerals forums that you have been watching what we have been doing. If I can be of any help, let me know. I may chime in from time to time with suggestions.

I have heard for some years that Germany has produced some awesome grennockites from Kreimbach but so far the only one I have seen is the 1 cm one in the Mindat Gallery. These are the only rivals I think the the ones from Bishopton. Perhaps you can get some pictures of good ones for the Mindat gallery. Ill check my slides and see if I have any pictures that would be worthwhile to contribute.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Peter Haas April 05, 2009 09:12AM

The largest greenockite from Kreimbach has 1.8 cm and resides in a private collection. Two important finds were made in this quarry, one in the early 1970s and another one by a local collector around 2002. The very large ones (> 1 cm) came from the latter find and were sold to private collectors, many of them in the US (the latter for crazily exaggerated prices, even when the rarity and quality of the specimens is considered). There have been sporadic finds inbetween, but these were less important in that they only produced small numbers of specimens. The greenockites all come from a narrow sulphide-bearing zone (they were often associated with galena crystals), which is now largely quarried away. Unfortunately, the photo you refer to shows a plan view of the base pinacoid and does not give an impression of the perfect crystal shape; there's another photo by Rob Lavinsky, in which the crystal is not even easily spotted. To demonstrate the shape, I only have the photo of my own 2 mm crystal (which was incredibly difficult to obtain - I'll try to shoot a better photo, but this doesn't make the crystals any larger ...). I know of some pretty good ones in local collections (they do not only have fantastic greenockites, by the way) but these collectors are very reluctant to see any of their specimens depicted somwhere on the interet. I've asked on several occasions and I've been told the same reasons all the time <"I don't want anyone to know that this specimen resides in my collection" because "If XXX ever finds out that I got the specimen, I'll never get anything again from YYY. He just sold it to me because he didn't want XXX to get it.", or "because I promised ZZZ not to tell anybody that I got the specimen from him because there would be trouble if somebody knew">. Psychologist say that relatively few adults are emotionally mature, because the learning processes stop for obscure reasons at an age around 16. Well, I am convinced that this fraction is particularly high among mineral collectors.

According to Livingstone (Minerals of Scotland - Past and Present, 2002), the largest Scottish crystal has just 1 cm and comes from Old Kilpatrick (these were collected long before the Bishopton occurrence was discovered). From dumps remaining from the railway tunnel excavation, an incomplete 6 mm crystal was collected in 1951. There are, however, grains to over 1 cm across preserved from the Heddle collection which are included in massive prehnite. The quarries at Barrhead, Loanhead and Erskine have produced small crystals in the mm-size range.

The crystals from the Czech locality have typically less than 2 mm, but they are unique for the habit, which is due to the particular conditions of formation (direct deposition from the gas phase or growth on cadmium sublimates in contact with sulphur-rich vapours ?).


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/05/2009 09:13AM by Peter Haas.
Rock Currier April 06, 2009 05:39AM
What you say about the grenockites is fascinating and just the kind of stuff that we want to put in the article. Do you know who dug the stuff? Can you find out about how many specimens were found in each find? Any idea who in this country got the high priced specimen(s), perhaps I could lean on them for a picture. When you do the writing on it I would certainly hope you will much of what you have just said above in the article. Perhaps you will eventually have success in getting some good pictures especially if you could promise that their name would not be mentioned. I think it is probably true that our rate of learning goes way down as we leave childhood behind. Young kids seem to absorb languages and computer skills without effort, but later in life if we try and learn them it is only with great effort that we can master them. I have seen some evidence that some rare individuals can learn languages quickly as adults. One guy they sent to Iceland and two weeks later he was on their national television talking in Icelandic. I think they need to develop a pill we can all take that would enable us to do such things.

I went to my photo file and found three pictures of greenockites that I took in the British Museum back in 75. I ran them through Photoshop and uploaded them to Mindat. One of them isn't too bad and probably an improvement on what we had in the galleries. If you think any of them good enough, you can use them in the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
John A. Jaszczak April 11, 2009 03:44PM
Dear Peter,
There was a fairly recent, and perhaps surprising, find of nice micro greenockite crystals in Michigan, USA.
A fairly complete article was published in Rocks & Minerals by Shawn Carlson et al. (2007)
Greenockite and associated uranium-vanadium minerals from the Huron River Uranium Prospect, Baraga County, Michigan. Rocks & Minerals 82 (4) pp. 298-308.

A few photos are also posted here on Mindat:

I can supply additional photos if


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2009 02:48PM by John A. Jaszczak.
Alfredo Petrov April 11, 2009 05:29PM
Maximum crystal size in Bolivia is about 4mm. Bolivian crystals are usually red instead of yellow.

Mindat doesn't have a photo of any really good bolivian greenockites yet; best so far is probably

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2009 07:18PM by Alfredo Petrov.
Jim Daly April 11, 2009 05:44PM
Paterson, New Jersey is spelled with one t.
Jim Daly
Anonymous User April 11, 2009 06:08PM
This is somewhat tangential, but I just purchased a Lengenbach quadratite associated with what looks like (and was sold as) greenockite. Greenockite is not listed as occuring at Lengenbach, but given that so many sulphides and sulphosalts are, as well as cadmium minerals, has it been found there and is just not listed?
Also, the "cadmian smithsonite" is technically coloured by CdS (never explicitly stated it wasn't Hawleyite, but I've assumed Greenockite), right? Because there are some pretty impressive specimens of that out there (maybe not so much as single crystals)
John Sobolewski April 11, 2009 07:44PM
Many years ago, a prominent dealer and collector told me that Greenockite was quite a rare mineral and much less common than Hawleyite. Can anybody confirm or deny this? The vast majority of specimens labelled Grrenockite he had seen proved to be Hawleyite upon analysis and he was still loking for a real Greenockite for his collection. John Sobolewski.
Robert Meyer April 11, 2009 07:52PM

Very good! greenockite is one of my favorites.

I have a nicely crystallized greenockite from Tsumeb, and have largely completed an article on the specimen. I also have a number of crystallized greenockite specimens from Llallagua. I can try to get a photograph from both locales. I also have a few good pieces from Vranice.

There are outstanding crystals of greenockite from the traprocks of New Jersey, although I do not have a good one. One or two are depicted among the photographs on Mindat, but with all due respect to the photographers and collections represented, there are much better specimens out there.

One of my favorite photographs of greenockite can be seen here. Perhaps Mindat could gain permission from Mr. Bode to use it.

Evan, I saw a specimen such as you describe offered recently. How is it? Can you get a photograph of the greenockite?

Bob Meyer
Anonymous User April 11, 2009 09:17PM
Sure, I'd be happy to take pictures once it arrives (it's in the post now). Just setting some stuff up (got my first DSLR camera- hopefully the macro mode will work sufficiently well for such small crystals, otherwise I do have an old scope camera), it should be in a week or two.
Peter Haas April 14, 2009 11:12PM

Your material is probably wurtzite. Greenockite is not reported from Lengenbach.

John A. Jaszczak April 15, 2009 12:27AM
A few more localities and references include:

Yellow crystals (not tranparent) crystals on galena and sphalerite from the Sterling Mine (1680 stope, 1400 level), Ogdensburg, New Jersey. Mineralogical Record 10 (1979) p.164.

Transparent dark yellow crystals in prehnite-line vugs. Summit Quarry, Springfield, New Jersey.
Mineralogical Record 4 p. 234; Rocks & Minerals 62 p150; Rocks & Minerals 42 p483

Jolyon & Katya Ralph June 13, 2009 07:49PM
I have photos of several good greenockite specimens from the National Museums of Scotland collection, for example:

I have several more to upload.

Apologies for poor photography, they were quick snapshots due to time limitations.

Rock Currier June 13, 2009 08:20PM
Not so great photography is better than no photography. We will certainly put one or more of them in the article till we can get better. Perhaps an email to the curator begging for good photos of his best grennockites for Best Minerals would produce results?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
al mar November 07, 2009 09:00AM
I´m a mineral collector from Biscay, in Spain.
Two or three weeks ago, I found a mineral (I think it can be greenockite but I´m not sure ) in a local basalt quarry.Do you can help me with this specimens. I don´t know English very well, sorry.
View of two crystals
Crystal about 1-2mm
al mar November 07, 2009 09:36AM
al mar Wrote:
> Hello.
> I´m a mineral collector from Biscay, in Spain.
> Two or three weeks ago, I found a mineral (I think
> it can be greenockite but I´m not sure ) in a
> local basalt quarry.Do you can help me with this
> specimens. I don´t know English very well,
> sorry.
> mg_0832_825.jpg
> View of two crystals
> 2250205_533.jpg
> Crystal about 1-2mm

The Urls of of the Photos weren´t good. Now there are good.
al mar November 07, 2009 09:49AM
Sorry, I´m new and I don´t know editing messages.

The photos are here.
Uwe Ludwig November 07, 2009 10:43AM
I would like to add two smaller locations for Greenockite both located in the Saxonian Erzgebirge. One is the site of an ancient limestone mine: Kalklager am Heidelbach. Here the Greenockit is a microcrystalline layer on Sphalerite. The second location is an ancient dump of a mine named "Richard" near the village Breitenbrunn. Here the Greenockit are deep yellow layers an micro clefts.

Uwe Ludwig
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