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Pyromorphite, Germany

Posted by Roger Lang  
Sebastian Möller January 24, 2010 05:25PM

Here is a first writeup on Schauinsland Mt. The next days I will ad some more and literature.

Schauinsland Mt., Freiburg, Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The Schauinsland (means "look into the countryside") is a 1284 m high mountain 10 km SE of the town of Freiburg. An older name has been Erzkasten ("ore box"), which is written in topographic maps up to today as a second name in brackets.
Since 13th century silver and lead ore had been mined (argentiferous galena and pyromorphite!). The first mention is from 1213. In medieval times the mining activities mainly took place in the south of the ore field next to the village of Hofsgrund, where the ore is more oxidized (mainly limonite, pyromorphite, cerussite and hemimorphite with less sulfides). The silver ore had been sent to the smelters next to the mines, the silver then sent to Freiburg, which has been one of the wealthiest towns in Southern Germany. At the end of the 14th century Freiburg and a big part of the Southern Black Forest came to Austria ("Vorderösterreich" or K. und K. Österreichische Vorlande").
The medieval period lasted till the 16th century. Later on mining took place at small scales in 17th and 18th century. In 1805 the area came to the Grand Duchy of Baden, which tried to reactivate the mining activities, but it lasted until mid 19th century. Then sphalerite, the main ore of the north field gained importance as zinc ore. In 1876 the modern phase began, which took place only in the north field at the summit. It lasted till October 31st, 1954. Today the old mine is used by a research group, parts of it are open to visitors. Sometimes there are guided underground troips for collecting.
The ore field consists of 22 veins, striking mostly NNE.
Those are divided into two ore fields, separated by a vein-less zone:
1)The north field at the summit. Mining in 19th and 20th century. Mostly unoxidized baryte-quartz veins with sulphides (galena + sphalerite).
2)The south field at Willnau, Hofsgrund and Stohren. Old mining district (13th to 16th century). Mainly quartz pseudomorphs after calcite/fluorite with oxidized sulphides, rich in secondary minerals such as pyromorphite, cerussite, hemimorphite.
Pyromorphite in the South field is a very common mineral and one of the ore minerals mainly mined in medieval times.
The Pyromorphites from this locality are mostly green, but differs from more yellowish green, grass green, olive green to more brownish shades. Brown or yellow xls more rarely have been found, the brown colour being the rarest. Some brown xls have been labelled mimetite, but proved to be vanadinite. Such specimens have ever been rare and are only known from old collections.
<...will be continued>
Literature (will be completed), all in German:
METZ,R., RICHTER, M. und SCHÜRENBERG, H. (1957): Die Blei-Zink-Erzgänge des Schwarzwaldes. Hannover

Erzengel Gabriel Mine, Einbach Valley, Hausach, Kinzig Valley, Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germanyedit: Text incorporated in article, RL

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2010 04:01PM by Roger Lang.
Paul De Bondt January 24, 2010 07:11PM
Hi Michaël,

Thank you for the message. To the question about selling you the specimens, I must announce you that should have to wait for awhile.
I cherish these relics. But I will not play the Pharao and take them with me in my tombe.
I can make you a pic of the back but will send it to you as a PM. Nobody have a message on the ugly back of a specimen. We can always add it as a child photo if it's to typical. A question that other collectors can recognize their specimens. You choose.

Hope to see you in Ems this spring.
Take care and best regards.
David Von Bargen January 24, 2010 08:27PM
On uploading photos. It is much easier to do it from the locality page (or even the detail mineral page - via the "i" icon or stars). You don't have to fool around with picking a locality from a list.
Michael Berghäuser January 25, 2010 10:15AM
Hi Paul,

how old are you? -)))

I do hope to meet you in Bad Ems, maybe you can bring some Bad Ems specimens there and I can have a look a them ...

BTW till then my minera room is ready for you!

Glückauf and Greetings
Roger Lang January 25, 2010 05:05PM
Hi all,
Sebastian, great! I will put your text into the article (with some minor changes if that is ok for you). When i am done (i will post then to announce) please check it and after that we could edit your post and cut the text out to shorten the thread a bit ;)

Keep the pyro´s coming!!! Also glad to tell that we got contributions from Marko Burkhardt .. hope he will stay with us on the work,
Sebastian Möller January 25, 2010 08:47PM

Roger: The text is not complete. I will do the rest on wednesday. There is a very informative article I need to reread and write a text on typical localities in the Schauinsland ore field and how the pieces from there do look typically. You can shorten the text if you want.

What I can definitely say: The worth of those specimens: Smaller ones with tinyxls up to 2 mm can be bought in Germany for less than 10 Euros (14 US$), some better ones can be bought for under 100 Euros, but top-level specimen with hand-sized matrix and rich botryoidal aggregates of xls even here in Germany usually cost about 300 Euros.

Sebastian Möller
Roger Lang January 25, 2010 09:22PM
i understood that is is not complete .. so i only put on the Erzengel Gabriel text up to now, could you check? I will wait until you´re finished of course. But it is growing folks ;-)

Holger Klapproth January 26, 2010 10:47PM
Hello Roger,

I have a few nice pyromorphites from black forest. Attached is a specimen from Willnau / Schauinsland for you to use in your article if you like. In the Black Forest area there are some really good locations for green pyromorphites in Sehringen and Badenweiler and superb yellow pyromorphites (not mimetites) from Clara Mine. I have good specimens from Farnacker (from the dumps not from the famous "raid" of the mine a few years ago) and from Clara Mine in my collection. Please let me know if you like more photographs. Especially the Clara pyromorphites are really stunning (but hard to photo).

best regards

open | download - P1040069.jpg (264.7 KB)
Sebastian Möller January 27, 2010 09:49AM
Hello Holger,

Thanks for posting the photos. Very nice. We do need every help we can get. Writing an article on the localities you mentioned is on top of my to-do-list. I will do it the next times. Do you have one of the Erzengel Gabriel pyros (the greyish green, bigger ones on flesh-coloured baryte?), we need a photo of those.

I have uploaded a photo of a specimen from Badenweiler. See here: pyro badenweiler. I also uploaded one from Erzengel Gabriel mine, but I don't think it's sharp enough. Unfortunately I'm not able to take better micro photographs with my old russian microscope.

Roger: The article on Erzengel Gabriel Mine is fine. Thanks.

Badenweiler is a locality to add to the list of good German pyromorphite localities.

Badenweiler mining district, Black Forest, Germany
Badenweiler, a spa town 40 km SW of Freiburg is known for it's warm springs since ancient roman times (roman bath ruins can be visited today as a museum). Less known to the public are the ancient lead mines. Lead had been mined there since roman times. Last activities have ended mid 20th century.

The mining district of Badenweiler reaches from the Vogelbach Valley north of Hochblauen Mt. to Sehringen in the South. The east end is marked by Hochblauen Mt., whereas the west end is sharp and related to the main thrust faults of the Upper Rhine Graben.

Lead has been by far the main product of the mines. Galena from here is very poor in Ag. Later on, some mines tried to produce baryte for colour production.

There are two kinds of mineralizations, both rather similiar:
1) baryte-quartz veins in hercynian granitoids and granitic gneisses (Blauen palingenites). Pyromorphite is quite common in those veins, which do occur in the north and south of the district (Vogelbach Valley (Fürstenfreude Mine) and Sehringen). Pyromorphite often forms green to yellowish or brownish green sinter-like crusts or good xls.
2) Silicified Muschelkalk (mid triassic limestones) directly at the main fault zone of the Upper Rhine Graben. Those do occur directly east of the town of Badenweiler (Sophienruhe and Hausbaden mines) and have produced by far most of the lead minerals. Galena occurs as blobs or cubic xls in quartz, baryte or directly in silicified limestone (very hard rock, more silex than limestone any more). Fluorite as purple cubes does occur, too. Pyromorphite can occur as orange to yellow spheres (often being mimetite-pyromorphite series, sometimes P dominant) or nice grass green xls.

Quartz, Baryte, Galena and Wulfenite are typically associated with pyromorphite. Anglesite and Cerussite can occur, too. Some parts of the "Quarzriff" (the very hard silicified rock, outcropping SE of Badenweiler in the forest as a steep cliff) have been mined for lead using mine-fireing. This lead to the formation of rare lead minerals. At some samples of heat-treated rocks pyromorphite occurs together with lead oxides (litharge, minium) and hydrocerussite.

Sebastian Möller

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2010 11:04AM by Sebastian Möller.
Roger Lang January 27, 2010 12:01PM
great you joined in! Any pictures are appreciated (and the one you posted very nice). Best would be if you asked the site managers to allow you posting pictures into the database .. so you can put all your pictures directly to the appropriate localities and it is much more easy for us to select and add pictures to the article. Otherwise i would have to put it into the database and it would appear under my name gallery. ... i´d like to give the credits to those who contributed of course. So please go ahead and your help and input is very welcome!

Sebastian, i will try to add the Badenweiler info later... maybe i find half an hour later this afternoon B)-

Thanks so far, keep the pyros coming B)

Rock Currier January 27, 2010 10:38PM
You guys are doing a great job but you need to put a size designation in the caption below each image. I wish we had your kind of help for all the articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Roger Lang January 28, 2010 10:22AM
done ... i thought it wouldn´t be critical as the infos are on the picture detail pages but you are right, that´s better.
Still some way to go ;)
Holger Klapproth January 28, 2010 11:08PM
Hi Sebastian and Roger,

thank you very much for your friendly replys. I really like your work about pyromorphites. Until a few years ago we were still able to get some nice specimens from the old Schauinsland dumps (Barbara and Farnacker). I especially collect Schauinsland material as I live in Freiburg and can see the mountain from my office window. The good "pyro" dumps are all grazing land now and therefore it is difficult to find specimens. But you can still get some reasonably good specimens at the mineral fairs in Wolfach or Freiburg, though this is much less fun than finding on a field trip.
Unfortunately I do not have a Erzengel Gabriel Pyro, but I will ask a friend with a really big collection. Regarding Badenweiler I have a stunning globular pyro with approx. 7mm yellow spheres (an old timer from underground) on and I have on specimen with dark green prisms up to 5 mm. Your recommendation to get permission to post is a good idea. I will ask for permission and post these pictures. Actually your request for pyromorphite specimens made me join mindat... and browse through my collection to see if I find more things to add. Long hidden in a drawer I found some good Odenwald specimens. Green pyros from Bergweg/ Gadernheim and Hohenstein/Reichenbach. And last not least there is Callenberg in Saxony where nice pyros together with crocoite were found.
May need a few days to get the pictures and have them posted.


Roger Lang January 28, 2010 11:24PM
thats great .. keep the pics coming .. may i ask what office that is you are looking out :) ... geological survey?? I worked on my diploma thesis on the Caroline mine at Freiamt/Sexau together with colleagues from the LGRB long time ago...

Hope to see some stuff of you soon!


P.S. Sebastian, had not much time so only update on Annenberg and the sizes in the picture captions today .. your posts will be worked tomorrow or monday
Roger Lang January 29, 2010 04:04PM
Hi all,
Sebastian, i put in the text for Badenweiler with a bit of tweaking, please check if it is ok for you. If yes i will edit the text out of your post to straighten the thread (i already did with Erzengel Gabriel). We need Badenweiler pyro pictures. If you may be able to finish the Schauinsland text next week that will be the next thing to do for me .. there is a bit less time at the moment.

Have a nice weekend all of you,
Holger Klapproth January 29, 2010 10:57PM
Hi Roger,

just put a really good Badenweiler pyro and two from Schauinsland (Willnau and Farnacker) into mindat. My office is at the Faculty of Applied Sciences. In my work life I deal with semiconductors and photoreactive polymers and keep my mineral hobby for recreation only. . Good thing is, I have lab access and can do some analysis there from time to time.

Unfortunately Erzengel Gabriel specimens seem to be very rare. The answer the my question here was.... where is this mine?. But I will keep inquiring, some of the ususal suspects (the diggers who entered every open mine shaft and dug holes on every dump) should have something. I will try to get more photos done over the weekend.

Glück auf

Roger Lang January 30, 2010 12:48PM
Holger, Sebastian, all
i just added Schauinsland pictures to the article (there are not very much in the database unfortunately) and you´ll find your pictures used ;) - they are fine! Now i´ll wait for Sebastians text on Schauinsland and maybe he will also add a few pictures. If i find the time this weekend i will start to add photographs to the article and i hope that some of Black Forest locality texts can be done next week - depends on the time Sebastian may have to work on this. I will proceed with the Rhineland-Palatinate texts meanwhile. Anyone volunteering for the Saxony texts ? ;) .. i could do Zschopau but the Erzgebirge addicts are invited to do it,

have a nice weekend
cheers - Glückauf
Roger Lang January 31, 2010 05:55PM
i received a mail concerning my note below the Mechernich part of the article where i wrote that we need more pictures and that some are placeholders for the draft. This may have been misinterpreted. I did in no way intend to say that the pictures i chose are of bad quality or bad specimens (i wouldn´t have put them in then). But as this is dedicated to be a best of i wanted to improve and to encourage people to add pictures. And of course i will replace pictures in the article if there will be better ones than the ones i have now at hand. I changed the note of course and removed one picture as demanded - and i am sorry that this has been asked but i feel obliged to follow that request. Again, you are all invited to improve the article, to add pictures, to reveal mistakes and errors etc. - we are doing this in our spare time and certainly not for our own fame. And again, no offense was intended.

Sebastian Möller February 03, 2010 12:34PM

I will try to finish the Schauinsland article tomorrow.

Unfortunately I won't come to the Black Forest until April (very unlikely) or June to take some photos there.

There are only a few specimen trom Erzengel Gabriel Mine, I know. The one I uploaded is the only remarkable specimen from there in my collection.

Sebastian Möller
Holger Klapproth February 04, 2010 09:52PM
Hi Roger,

just added another Pyro, this time from Giesenbach (Lahr): The green pyros from Badenweiler proved very hard to photograph with my camera. May have to wait till after my vacation to get some pics. I also checked with several of my mates from the VFMG here in Freiburg. No luck with Erzengel Gabriel. But there were new finds of pyros in Münstertal. Have not seen pictures yet, but will have a look next month when we prepare some samples for EDX analysis. No looking through my collection of local specimens make me wish the snow was gone and I could start the mineral collecting season on this weekend. But I guess Schauinsland will be covered with snow for some more weeks.

Best Regards

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