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GeneralElongated galena crystals from the Viburnum Trend, Missouri, USA

8th Oct 2019 01:55 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Earlier this year there was a find of elongated galena crystals in Fletcher Mine.   I was told that the pocket contained a considerable amount of dickite, and many of the crystals were "floaters" in it.   I have some double terminated crystals that support this.   Some of the others show small points of contact on one end.   This is understandable considering how slender the crystals are, and knowing that the mining method in the Trend isn't very specimen-friendly.   In fact, out of all of these that I saw at the miner's house there was only one matrix specimen.   I'll post some photos tomorrow, but here's a video showing one of the crystal forms from the find.   Most of these have varying degrees of natural iridescence (NOT like the chemically enhanced chalcopyrites from the Trend!).

8th Oct 2019 19:03 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

This flattened galena crystal is on matrix that also has cube-octahedral galena crystals with small cream to tan colored dolomite crystals.   The flattened crystal is only about 1 millimeter thick.   The top photo is from the front, the bottom one from the rear.

8th Oct 2019 19:06 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

These elongated galena crystals are pretty average, but the association with the pseudohexagonal habit calcite crystal (which was normally found in Sweetwater Mine, not Fletcher) is unusual.

8th Oct 2019 19:08 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Several views of an elongated crystal on a twisted "stem".

8th Oct 2019 19:12 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

A complex crystal cluster.   I tried to keep the high luster of the galena to a minimum in the photos, because as you can see from the last view (which shows the iridescence) it causes some over-exposure.

8th Oct 2019 19:40 UTCScott Rider

Wow those are really cool!!  Some look like the have some spinel twining.  That matrix specimen with the elongated on regular crystals is stunning and very unusual!!  Thanks for sharing! 

8th Oct 2019 22:35 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Thanks Scott!   I think that some of these do exhibit spinel law twinning.   I've even heard the term "spineless spinel twin" used to describe these.

8th Oct 2019 22:24 UTCEd Clopton Expert

Very interesting!  Too bad galena isn't striated like pyrite often is to help orient the individual crystals.

Each of the crystals you show twists in the same direction.  Is that true of all of the ones you have seen, or do some go the other way?

One can't avoid comparison with the famous pyrite "bars" found decades ago at the Buick mine a few km to the north.  Amazingly there are no photos in Mindat to reference.  I'd show you mine, but I see no way to paste a photo into the new messageboard format unless it's already been uploaded as a permanent, official Mindat photo, and this quick snapshot isn't upload-worthy, so we'll just have to use our imaginations.

Some elongated pyrite from the Rensselaer quarry in Indiana such as the one above (2.6 cm, which I hoped would appear below--how do we control that?) bear a strong resemblance to these new galena crystals.

8th Oct 2019 22:34 UTCScott Rider

Here is a purported pyrite bar.  I too am surprised no images are in mindat for this particular pyrite morphology.  If anyone reading this has one, please post, it would be a great addition to Mindat's pyrite images!  Anyway I figured this will help peoples imagination!!  ; )

8th Oct 2019 22:42 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Hi Ed!  All of mine that show twists are in the same direction.  I'm not sure if this is coincidence or true of all.   I wasn't even looking for that when I had a few hundred of these in front of me.

I miss collecting at the Rensselear Quarry...   Messy as it was, there were some great things found there.

8th Oct 2019 23:22 UTCDavid Von Bargen Manager

To add a photo from your machine, you just click the "Click here to add photo or video" area.

9th Oct 2019 01:23 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

I still can't do this from my phone..... :-(

9th Oct 2019 04:56 UTCJobe Giles

I couldn’t either until I cleared my cache. 

18th Oct 2019 13:42 UTCEd Clopton Expert

Silly me!  I missed that giant "Click here" box entirely; I thought to "Insert [an] Item" like a photo I would to click the "Insert Item" button below the text box.

18th Oct 2019 17:07 UTCDonald B Peck Expert

It's the Coriolis effect.  ;<}

9th Oct 2019 00:52 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Ed, I wasn't sure if you meant bars like those in Scott's link, or ones like Kelly's above which are MUCH rarer.  I've seen a few from Buick mine that looked like one elongated crystal with no modified overgrowths, but these are rarer still.

9th Oct 2019 08:53 UTCKeith Compton Manager

There are several Pyrite bar photos for the Buick mine on Mindat

18th Oct 2019 13:39 UTCEd Clopton Expert

Following your link, I see three pages of Buick mine pyrite, including the ones I uploaded today believing I was filling a void--but on the Buick mine page, there is no little camera icon next to pyrite, indicating (incorrectly) that there are no photos of that mineral for that locality.  I even tried clearing the cache a few times with no change.  What's up?

18th Oct 2019 13:59 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Hi Ed,

I can see the camera icon near pyrite on the Buick Mine page, and saw your photos with no problem (nice specimens!).

18th Oct 2019 21:51 UTCEd Clopton Expert

I can see the pyrite photos when I display all the Buick mine mineral photos, but there's still no camera icon on my screen beside Pyrite to tell me they're there.  Yes, I'll admit the larger specimen is nice--thanks for the compliment--but if I had seen the existing photos I would not have spent half a day photographing, Photoshopping, and uploading redundant material!

Incidentally, the pyrite bar was advertised on eBay as (and sent with a label saying) marcasite from Renssalaer, Indiana, obviously an error.  Much later (years) the same seller advertised what was clearly a Renssalaer marcasite specimen with a label for pyrite from the Buick mine from the same collection.  Obviously the labels had been switched accidentally.  He evidently is a prickly sort and had disabled all direct inquiries and communications via eBay, so I have been unable to inquire, and I refuse to pay his asking price (several times the value of the ~$8 marcasite specimen) just to get the correct label--but I saved the online photo showing the Buick label that surely goes with my specimen.

9th Oct 2019 13:51 UTCKelly Nash Expert

Kevin, my Buick Mine pyrite bar specimen, and some of the others I've seen, have a hole running down the middle, indicating they are stalactites. Have you seen that on any of these galenas?

9th Oct 2019 14:26 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Kelly, there does seem to be a hole in the galenas, but for the most part not the classic round hole seen in the pyrite bars and the usual cave formation carbonate stalactites.   I looked at all of them this morning through my microscope, and I did find one that has a good clean round hole, so now I'm thinking that at least some of these are stalactitic in nature.   The flattened-type crystal definitely does not have a hole, nor do the floater double terminated crystals (that I'll post a photo of later today).

9th Oct 2019 17:55 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Here are a couple of the "floater" double terminated crystals.

Below is a flattened crystal with hoppered faces.

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