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Identity HelpUnidentified minerals from Afghanistan

23rd Jul 2019 14:16 BSTAymeric Longi

04680930015652056634456.jpg
Greetings everyone,


Lots of new Pakistani sellers on ebay are listing unidentified crystals and specimen and, since I enjoy indulging in "the unknown", I've lately acquired a few of these (4 pieces for 3 different minerals).


Here is the first one with a lovely, slightly burnt, orange colour and very intense and brigt olden flashes. Although showing a somewhat "blade-like" shape I'm wondering if it's not rather a multitude of smaller crystals that have grown together into a single one of this shape.


Eosphorite comes to my mind, anyone some insight ? I haven't checked the hardness.


Cheers! :)

05307900015653552701476.jpg

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23rd Jul 2019 14:33 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager

Is it heavy?

23rd Jul 2019 14:47 BSTWayne Corwin

calcite?

23rd Jul 2019 14:52 BSTErik Vercammen Expert

Titanite?

23rd Jul 2019 14:53 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager

Siderite? Monazite?

23rd Jul 2019 17:44 BSTIan Nicastro

Titanite seems possible, but I feel it could also be a really funky shaped Bastnasite crystal, as I have seen all sorts of odd shapes for that mineral.

23rd Jul 2019 20:27 BSTJosé Zendrera Expert

Please check hardness and density, with some data our crystal ball works really better.

Why not fluorite?

23rd Jul 2019 21:10 BSTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

the color is also reminiscent of chondrodite or clinohumite. And at least in thin section, aggregates of parallel growth are not uncommon.

23rd Jul 2019 21:34 BSTLouis Zulli

Maple sugar candy? Does it dissolve in hot H2O? Does it taste good?


Like José suggests, please supply some basic information.

27th Jul 2019 18:38 BSTAymeric Longi

04028740015652058326322.jpg
Greetings everyone and thanks for stopping by! :)



About hardness, I could scratch fluor-apatite, but not epidote, so I guess that puts it somewhere between 5 & 6.


Uwe, it weights 12,50gr (2,97cm x 3,48cm x 1,05cm).


Monazite is one of the possibilites that came through my mind, but siderite is too hard.


Wayne, no clean calcite cleavages to be seen so I guess not.


Eric and Ian, Titanite would fit hardness-wide at least, but bastnäsite, wow, it sure would be a pretty funky one ! But the crystal comes from Badakhshan, no Zagi Mnt.


José, not fluorite either (that would be a funky-looking crystal too ! )


Frank, from what I have seen of the local orange clinohumite, the burnt hue doesn't really fit.


Here is a photot of the chipped base, in case that can provide some info...





Also, I actually have a crystal/faceted stone set, and the crystal which yielded the stone seems to be quite blockier than mine, with nothing of the blade-like shape visible. I only have a single photo of it, it was shot by the seller, not me.
09470440015653552716995.jpg



Cheers!

27th Jul 2019 19:46 BSTLouis Zulli

Scapolite?


Can you get an actual specific gravity?


12,50gr (2,97cm x 3,48cm x 1,05cm) suggests a density of 1.2 g/(cm)^3. That would make it maple sugar candy.

27th Jul 2019 21:25 BSTSteve Hardinger Expert

Axinite, but (assuming the measured value is correct) the hardness is too low.


Not sugar because the fracture is wrong.

27th Jul 2019 22:22 BSTPavel Kartashov Manager

Titanite.

27th Jul 2019 22:50 BSTJosé Zendrera Expert

Triplite could be another possibility, it fits the measured hardness range and is not rare in Pakistan.


As is a monomineral sample you can easely check specific gravity using Archimedes method.

27th Jul 2019 23:29 BSTPavel Kartashov Manager

Did you saw a lot of triplite crystals?

28th Jul 2019 01:15 BSTJosé Zendrera Expert

0336156001426112688.jpg
A few years ago this material was offered by some Peshawar's ebay dealers, mostly broken massive pieces as raw material for carving / faceting but also some subhedral crystals.


9th Aug 2019 22:54 BSTAymeric Longi

Greetings everyone,

Well, I've tried to measure the specific gravity but all I have at hand right no is a small plastic pitcher with 2ml graduations, not only that but sicn it's plastic the water level is not just all flat neat and leveled on the side. Displaced volume could be around 3,8ml, but I'll need some glassware for proper mesuring.

Steve, thanks a lot. I've been telling myself the shape reminded me of some mineral in particular but I just couldn't remember the name (handling actual axinite crystals in the meantime didn't help...).
Talking about Axinite, could it look like some humongous Tinzenite crystal ?

José, it is from Badakhshan, not Pakistan, so unless some very new find, triplite is out.

Pavel, can Titanite be this much orange? I don't think it is, there's none of the dispersion titanite is known for and it's all the same orange from all angles.

Cheers!

10th Aug 2019 04:07 BSTFrank K. Mazdab Manager

I think we've moved beyond the guessing game, and likely now we're at the stage where the ID will perhaps necessitate some instrumental analysis (either XRD, Raman, and/or EPMA) at a nearby university or natural history museum.

14th Aug 2019 15:58 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager

Aymeric: feel free to send me a 0.1 mm fragment and I'll check with single-crystal XRD.
 
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