SUPPORT US. If is important to you, click here to donate to our Fall 2019 fundraiser!
Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat ArticlesThe ElementsBooks & Magazines
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsUsersMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day GalleryMineral Photography

Identity HelpAre these samples Columbite?

6th Nov 2019 03:14 UTCDerek Lowe

I picked up these samples this past weekend while field collecting, and they look exactly like the Columbite pics on Mindat (sample from the Beryl Pit, in Renfrew County), but I am not sure.   Can anyone help confirm that these samples are Columbite?  Has anyone else found Columbite at the Beryl Pit?  I know that it is one of the minerals listed on Mindat for that location, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it has been found there (lately). 



btw, I also found Euxenite crystals at Beryl Pit (pic already posted), so it's not a stretch that Columbite would be there as well...

6th Nov 2019 10:13 UTCLouis Zulli

Can you determine even an approximate specific gravity?

7th Nov 2019 12:51 UTCJohan Kjellman Expert

better photos are needed - especially of a fresh surface of your suspect mineral

7th Nov 2019 13:17 UTCHarold Moritz Expert

Yes much better photos needed. From the one above, they just look like staurolite in biotite schist. Do some closer shots of the best ones. Try streak test, columbite can have a dark red streak that is lighter than the crystal's black color. Generally blocky, tabular crystal shape and iridescence is typical. But gravity will really help.

7th Nov 2019 13:37 UTCRobert Nowakowski

I have collected allanite from here that are very similar to your crystals.  Testing is needed.

7th Nov 2019 17:25 UTCDerek Lowe

Thanks everyone.  I will work on better pictures, but I will have to find another camera.  I don't have any apparatus (yet) to do further tests, but I will look into that as well.  Perhaps the ROM clinic is my best bet...

7th Nov 2019 18:21 UTCMatt Courville

Hi Derek, before you buy another camera I would suggest buying a $10 small tripod online somewhere.  You would be surprised just how much things improve this way without any shaking from your hands.  I like to use the common setting of macro that uses typically a flower image on any Canon; meant for close-ups.  You can also use any setting in the camer that has a timer - I like to use 10 seconds to clear the area from any motion.

For the specimens, both columbite and allanite are the most likely guesses from my experience collecting there.  You should be able to deduce which one by a simple density check - even on a cheap kitchen balance/scale should be good enough. Use the larger squar-ish piece since it has the least amount of other matrix attached to it. 

You can find the easy steps for density/ specific gravity here if you poke around - I'm sure I have seen it explaned a number of times


7th Nov 2019 19:14 UTCDerek Lowe

Thanks for the suggestions Matt.  I managed to take pics with steady hands, but my camera just doesn't have very good focus.  I will look at setting up something better, especially since I hope to continue finding new samples in the future.

As for these samples here, the Columbite pic on Mindat from the Beryl Pit looks exactly what I have, but that is not to say all 4 samples in my pic are the same mineral.  I also found quite a bit of Euxenite, so it certainly isn't unexpected to find Columbite and similar minerals as well.

7th Nov 2019 19:18 UTCScott Rider

Matt's suggestion is a must!  You seem to be finding some interesting and exciting minerals, but the images have been little hard to see what they are.  So get a tripod or some kind of mount for the camera.  Then, put a 2-5 second delay on the timer (if you can), and that way you'll get much more stable and better focused images!!

7th Nov 2019 20:54 UTCDerek Lowe

Thanks for the photo tips.  My dad is the photographer in the family, so I will see if he can get me set up with something good.

8th Nov 2019 13:54 UTCHarold Moritz Expert

Allanite and euxenite (and many other dark pegmatite minerals) are typically radioactive, but not columbite (though it can be in a parallel growth with one of the former, so look carefully), so that may help if you know someone with a scintillometer.

8th Nov 2019 17:40 UTCDerek Lowe

That is great advice.  I don't know someone who has one, but I plan on attending the Walker Mineralogical meeting next week, so perhaps I will meet someone there who has one

19th Nov 2019 01:37 UTCDerek Lowe

Well, after attending the recent Walker Mineralogical Club meeting with my samples, the verdict is that YES, these samples are Columbite, as well as two other samples that I had that are in the matrix.
Mineral and/or Locality is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: November 19, 2019 11:15:16
Go to top of page