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Modris Baum January 10, 2012 05:25PM
This is a "talk page" thread. Click on the topic header at the top of the page to see the photo.

OK. I admit it. After neary 40 years of collecting I still can't tell amphiboles from pyroxenes. (But at least I don't sleep with a teddy bear.)

So it should be easy for the rest of you - right?

Shape wise, this looks like a lot of the tremolite from this quarry. But the latter is mostly dark silvery/gray, rather dull and opaque, and fluoresces very bright pale blue. But that's not always the case.

As for diopside - I never "knowingly" found any here. But it's supposedly common and can have a similar UV response (blue or yellow).

This particular xl fluoresces a moderate greenish yellow.

In any case, it's the only example I ever found that looks like this.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2012 06:16PM by Modris Baum.
Chester S. Lemanski, Jr. January 10, 2012 09:25PM

A rule of thumb lies in the fluorescence. The bright baby blue fluorescent material is almost always diopside. The greenish yellow or greenish blue fluorescent stuff is usually tremolite. Since there are pseudomorphs of tremolite after diopside, the crystal morphology is not an accurate guide in many cases.

Steven Kuitems January 10, 2012 09:34PM
Modris, looks like the typical tremolite and you described its fluorescence correctly. Some of these crystals can be lighter colored or almost white and some can look almost black when there is heavy graphite inclusions in the tremolite.
Modris Baum January 10, 2012 11:20PM
Thanks Chet and Steve - I was hoping you would take the "bait".

I think I get it now - at least for Farber. But I still can't tell amphiboles from pyroxenes :-(

Modris Baum January 10, 2012 11:24PM
BTW Steve,

Now I know why so much of the tremolite at Farber looks silvery gray! I guess it should have been obvious.

But why is it that this sort of tremolite is the kind that has the most intense pale blue SW response? I mean really, really bright.
Don't tell me it's really still diopside - with graphite inclusions. Or better - do tell me if that's the case!

Thanks - Modris
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