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Posted by Roger Lang
Roger Lang January 19, 2010 04:49PMClick here to view Pyromorphites other than Germany and here to view Best Minerals P and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.
Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?
This is a subsection of the best of pyromorphite article designated to make work easier as it probably will be a large section of the whole. Please feel free to contribute .
(compiled by Roger Lang (RL), Sebastian Möller (SM), Marko Burkhardt (MB ), Harjo Neutkens (HN) & ...)
The Bad Ems district maybe the most famous area for german pyromorphites. The mines of the district yielded excellent samples which also have been subject of numerous publications in the mineralogical literature. Siegerland, Sauerland, Taunus Mts., Black Forest, Erzgebirge are just some more examples for the provenance of german pyromorphite specimens. A detailed overview of the most important german localities will be given below. (RL)
Erzengel Gabriel Mine, Hausach
Old Pb mine, mined for silver-bearing galena. The ancient miners had used mine fires for weakening the rocks producing a typical secondary mineral paragenesis. In the 20th century fluorite mining. The hydrothermal vein consists of violet to pale blue fluorite with small galena lenses, quartz and minor baryte. The most abundant secondary Pb mineral is cerussite, another common mineral is pyromorphite. Pyromorphite occurs as spindle-shaped to long prismatic crystals up to 1 cm, which usually occur on flesh-coloured baryte sheaves or directly on limonite covered gneiss. Smaller crystals can be grass green and occur as bundles and sprays of needles. Also yellow crystals do occur, but those are rarely larger than a millimeter (and could be mimetite or mimetite-pyromorphite series members as well). Ref.: Bliedtner, M. & Martin, M. 1986: Erz- und Minerallagerstätten des Mittleren Schwarzwaldes. (SM)
we need pictures of pyromorphite from this mine!
Clara Mine, Rankach Valley, Oberwolfach
Very famous for its rare and unique minerals (up to 400 valid species found there). On quartz pseudomorphs after Baryte with galena lenses, yellow groups of Pyromorphite xls up to about 1 cm can be found as well as beautiful needles and barrel shaped ones. Those are often pyromorphites (with P>As) as opposed by the labels of many collectors who label the yellow ones mimetite. Green, colourless (usually on Baryte, often with Segnitite/Beudantite) or even brown ones can be found, but those are usually micros.
Friedrich Christian and Herrensegen Mines, Wildschapbach Valley, Schapbach
old, abandoned mining district close by and very similiar to the Clara Mine. There quartz pseudomorphs after Baryte occur, too. Pyromorphite forms Pseudomorphs after cm-sized galena cubes and nice needle-shaped xls (usually grass-green). Whereas those old-time findings are almost all from Friedrich-Christian Mine, new findings with greyish green botryoidal aggregates on quartz come from Herrensegen Mine (I will upload a photo of my piece the next days).
Middle Black Forest
Giesen Valley, Reichenbach, Lahr
very old mines (12th century), old small-scale mines and dumps. On baryte, limonite (botryoidal) and/or triassic Sandstone very good prismatic grass-green to greyish green prismatic or cigar shaped xls
Schauinsland Mining District
Badenweiler mining district
Badenweiler, a spa town 40 km SW of Freiburg is known for it's warm springs since ancient roman times. Less known to the public are the ancient lead mines. Lead ore had been mined there also since roman times. The last activities took place in the middle of the 20th century. The Badenweiler mining district reaches from the Vogelbach Valley north of Hochblauen Mt. to Sehringen in the South. The eastern margin is marked by Hochblauen Mt. whereas the western margin is very sharp and congruent with the main thrust fault system of the Upper Rhine Graben. Pb was the main target of mining as galena from here is very poor in Ag. Most recent mining was on baryte for white pigment production. Two rather similar kinds of hydrothermal mineralization can be distinguished:
1) Baryte-quartz veins in hercynian granitoids and granitic gneisses (Blauen palingenites). Pyromorphite is quite common in those veins, which occur in the very north and south of the district (Vogelbach Valley (Fürstenfreude Mine) and Sehringen). Pyromorphite abundantly forms green to yellowish or brownish green sinter-like crusts or distinct crystals.
2) Silicified Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic limestones) at the main fault zone of the Upper Rhine Graben, directly east of the town of Badenweiler (Sophienruhe and Haus Baden mines), the source of the far most of the lead minerals. Galena occurs as blobs or cubic xls in quartz, baryte or within the hydrothermally silicified limestone. Also Fluorite as purple cubes is known. Pyromorphite (abundantly Mimetite-Pyromorphite series, sometimes P dominant) occurs as orange to yellow spheres or grass green xls typically associated with Quartz, Baryte, Galena and Wulfenite, also Anglesite and Cerussite. Parts of the "Quarzriff" (i.e. the mentioned silicified rock of the fault system, outcropping SE of Badenweiler as a steep cliff) have been mined for lead using mine fires, resulting in the formation of a typical secondary paragenesis with rare lead minerals. Samples of heat-treated rocks show pyromorphite together with lead oxides (litharge, minium) and hydrocerussite. (SM)
We need more photos of pyros from Badenweiler!
Southern Black Forest
Gottesehre Mine, Urberg and Steinenbächle (Neue Hoffnung Mine), St. Blasien
Tanzfleck, Freihung, Upper Palatinate
Old lead mining district of Freihung, with sulfidic and mainly oxidic lead ore as impregnations in Keuper sandstones. The Beim Stollen locality used to be a prolific outcrop which yielded numerous specimens of bright green prismatic pyromorphite crystals on bleached sandstone, sometimes in nice contrast to iron or manganese coatings of the clefts in the host rock. Good quality specimens are hard to obtain nowadays, but examples are still available at mineral shows. (RL)
Max Mine, Krandorf, Upper Palatinate
The 1975 abandoned Max mine worked on a NW-SE striking fluorite-quartz vein system with some Pb mineralization hosted by granite. At the mine and in outcrops and workings of the northwestern continuation of the veins bright to deep green pyromorphite crystals on quartz have been found. Crystal sizes exceeded 1 cm. Ref.: Schmeltzer, H. 1977: Mineralfundstellen Bd.2 Bayern (RL)
Hesse has a lot of historic and some still actual localities for good pyromorphite finds. The best specimens come from several locations in the Taunus Mountains. Most of the samples to be considered important were found at Jeanette mine near Kransberg, Vereinigung mine near Eisenbach and Emilie II mine near Altweilnau, the latter also known as 'Hexentisch'. All those mines worked on hydrothermal vein type deposits. The main period of ore mining was the 18th and 19th century. Today all mining has ceased, only dumps and remnants of shafts and adits are left, mostly almost forgotten by the people living in the area and recovered by nature. There maybe still some potential for pyromorphite finds especially at less known small occurences which haven´t been in the focus of collecting, but very restrictive regulations at the sites for preservation and nature heritage protection etc. are not in favour for collecting. (RL)
Jeanette Mine, Kransberg, Taunus Mts.
The Jeanette or Johanette mine was situated approx. 1 km south of Kransberg and worked on a hydrothermal quartz vein system with Ag bearing Galena mineralisation. The veins strike NNW-SSE and are hosted by lower devonian shales and quartzitic sand- and siltstones. The main mining period lasted from 1819 to 1836 when 4 veins were worked and a 20 m shaft was sunk. After changing ownership and little activity there were some works carried out in 1894 leading to the discovery of 3 new galena veins but due to water problems mining ceased. A last futile attempt was made 1941-1943. The mine is well known among german collectors for excellent pyromorphite finds especially in the 1970s and 80s. Being typically green also (but scarce) brownish and whitish examples were found. Jeanette pyromorphites occur as single crystals (prismatic to acicular), spherical aggregates (often built from distinct subindividues), crusts, boulders etc., mostly in clefts and vugs of quartz but also on shale matrix. Crystal sizes reached around 2 cm. Ref: Slotta, R. 1983: Technische Denkmäler in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 4, Der Metallerzbergbau Teil I; Wilke, H.-J. 1981: Mineral-Fundstellen Bd. 7 Hessen; Weiß, S. 1990: Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West. (RL)
Vereinigung mine, Eisenbach, Taunus Mts.
The Vereinigung mine is an ancient Pb mine that worked on a hydrothermal vein type deposit with slightly Ag bearing galena and copper minerals occurring in quartz with some carbonates hosted by devonian rocks. The mine is first mentioned in 1586 and operated with many interruptions until 1901. One major problem was the vicinity to the mineral springs of Niederselters which were thought to be endangered by the mining activities. Mining reached at least a depth of 50 m.
In 1889 findings of good pyromorphite have been reported ('schönste Grünbleierze', Grünbleierz is a german synonym for pyromorphite). Pyromorphite crystals found during operation are reported to have exceeded 1 cm in size. Most pyromorphite specimens are green but also whitish, yellowish, brownish and colourless specimens are known. Crystals are prismatic, sometimes barrel-shaped, also acicular and sheaf-like aggregates on matrix occur. During the last decades some nice examples have been found on the old dumps. Ref.: Mineralienwelt 7/8 2008, 26-29; Geologischer Arbeitskreis der VHS Bad Homburg, Juli 1989: Das Bleiglanz-Bergwerk bei Eisenbach (MB )
Emilie II mine, Altweilnau, Taunus Mts.
Clausthal-Zellerfeld mining district
Mechernich ore district
The Mechernich ore district is situated at the northern margin of the Eifel Mts. within the so called 'Triassic Triangle' which is part of the Eifel North-South depression. Geologically the district is dominated by clastic sediments of the Bunter in contrast to the devonian (meta-)sedimentary rocks of the Eifel in the south. Epigenetic and structurally controlled (primary) sulfide mineralization is widespread and led to very extensive mining activities in the past at multiple sites. The permeability of the sandstones and the conglomerates of the Middle Bunter gave way to the formation of large scale impregnation type deposits. Copper and lead (-zinc) mineralization occurs, the latter having been of the highest economic importance. Most important primary ore mineral is galena, but quite large portions of the deposit have been altered to secondary minerals and cerussite has been mined as a lead ore too. Mining started at least at Roman times and continued until 1957 when the Mechernich mine was finally closed due to low prices for lead on the world market despite of large ore reserves but with low metal contents.
Pyromorphite from the area is quite abundant but noteworthy occurrences are restricted to some mines/outcrops. For the ease of reading they will be described together in this article. Four main occurrences are to be noted: Kallmuther Berg, Günnersdorf open pit (which both belonged to the Mechernicher Bleiberg mine complex), Gute Hoffnung mine near Bleibuir and Breitenbenden. Pyromorphite from the Mechernicher Bleiberg mostly occurs as bright to dark green small crystals, rarely exceeding sizes of a few mm but also crystals > 1 cm have been found. The crystals were found mostly in vugs and cavities on pebbles of the conglomeratic sandstones. Also cleft fillings in sandstone occurred. In the Günnersdorf open pit the pyromorphite usually has a light to deep brown colour, often forming flat rosettes on the conglomerate pebbles. Very similar in appearance are the pyromorphites of the Breitenbenden locality. In a small and now abandoned quarry highly lustrous small grass green pyromorphites in cavities of congomerate were found, abundantly with a very attractive contrast to iron and manganese oxide coatings of the pebbles. At the Gute Hoffnung mine near Bleibuir, a few km southwest of Mechernich, pyromorphite has been found in bright to dark green crystals up to approx. 1 cm on sandstone, as spherical aggregates and as crusts of small crystals with bright grass green to almost bluish green colour. Sel. Ref.: Graf, H.-W., 1982: Die Mineralien von Mechernich, Emser Hefte, Vol. 4, Heft 2; Slotta, R. 1983: Technische Denkmäler in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 4/1; Weiß, S., 1990: Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West; Wemmer, M. 1909: Die Erzlagerstätten der Eifel mit Ausschluß der näheren Umgebung von Aachen; Lang, R. (1986-2007): field observations, unpubl. (RL)
We need pictures of Mechernich pyromorphites! I know there are good specimens (and pictures ;) ) outside there
Velbert ore district
The area within the triangle between the towns of Ratingen, Essen and Wuppertal hosts numerous NNW-SSE striking Pb-Zn-Cu-Fe vein type occurrences which have been subject of former mining activity. The deposits are hosted by Middle Devonian, Lower Devonian and Upper carboniferous rocks (limestone, chert, alum shales, greywacke). Today, all ore mines are closed. Pyromorphite has been found at numerous places in the area but the best specimens are reported from a few localities:
The Josephine mine in Rützkausen S of Velbert has produced some nice green pyromorphites as well as the Wilhelm II mine, which has been mined from 1896 to 1903. The most known locality is the Rohdenhaus quarry near Wülfrath working on Middle devonian limestones. In this quarry base metal vein mineralization is exposed which in part belongs to the Ferdinande vein system (Ferdinande was a mine northwest of the quarry near Flandersbach working from 1887 to 1898). These vein systems have become famous for an interesting Cu-Zn secondary mineral paragenesis (e.g. Germany´s probably best rosasites ) and also yielded nice green pyromorphite crystals. More recently the Josephine vein system has been exposed (upper level of Krieger quarry) which yielded green pyromorphite specimens as attractive micromounts as well as cabinet specimens, especially the limonite/goethite cavities covered with remarkably shiny pyromorphites were outstanding, probably the best found in Rohdenhaus to date. Also the abandoned Plöger quarry near Sondern approx. 2 km NE of Velbert which worked in dolomitized Lower Carboniferous limestones and exposing the Pb-Cu bearing veins of the Sondern vein system is known for pyromorphite specimens. Last but not least the now landscaped (and a highway built above) Wasserfall quarries should be mentioned. Ref.: Bode, R. & Wittern, A. 1989: Mineralien und Fundstellen Bundesrepublik Deutschland (RL, HN)
Grünbleiberg mine, Niedergelpe
Southeast of Niedergelpe near Gummersbach a small vein type Pb mineralization has been the target of ancient mining. The vein with a thickness of up to 1.3 m hosted galena and pyromorphite (the name Grünbleiberg mine is derived from the german word Grünbleierz which is a synonym for pyromorphite). The vein was exposed again in the 1980s by collectors and some excellent specimens have been retrieved. The green pyromorphite crystals reached sizes of approx. 5 mm. Ref.: Bode, R. & Wittern, A. 1989: Mineralien und Fundstellen Bundesrepublik Deutschland (RL)
The Ramsbeck ore district is characterized by variscan hydrothermal vein type Pb-Zn mineralization hosted by Lower Middle-Devonian quartzites and shales. Several vein systems are known. The Bastenberg vein system (Bastenberger Gangzug) was mined by the formerly independent mines named Alexander, Glücksanfang, Bastenberg, Dörnberg, Aurora, Juno and Pluto. These were later consolidated to the Vereinigter Bastenberg & Dörnberg mine. Mining started at least since medieval times as archaeological finds indicate, the first written evidence dates from 1518. Mining lasted until the 31. January 1974 when the mine was closed due to low base metal prices on the world market. There were still significant ore reserves left. The variscan veins strike ENE-WSW with a flat dip of approx. 20° and are mineralogically uniform. Younger fault systems crosscutting the veins contain a much more complex mineralization which has made Ramsbeck famous in Germany for excellent mineral specimens. Pyromorphite specimens are known from some of the veins/mines for a long time. In the 1980s and later, more abundantly pyromorphite specimens from Ramsbeck evolved. In 1997 an important find was made. The crystals are short to long prismatic, sometimes barrel-shaped, mostly intense green with extraordinary lustre and translucency. Crystal sizes usually have been in the mm range, the largest reaching approx 1 cm length. Ref.: Gebhard, G. 1981: Der Bergbau und die Minerale von Ramsbeck, Sauerland, Emser Hefte 6. (RL)
Kautenbach mine (Blei und Kupfer Zeche Kautenbach)
In and around the valley of the Kautenbach creek near Bernkastel several ore mines worked on hydrothermal vein type deposits. Mainly sulfidic Pb and Cu ores are hosted there by quartz veins and lenses in devonian metasediments. Mining has been reported in this region since the 14th/15th century but is supposed to be even older. The Kautenbach mine was situated on the left side of the creek near the small township of Kautenbach. The mine was closed around the early 1860s.
Kautenbach is a real classic locality in Germany. It is famous for pseudo- and perimorphs of galena after pyromorphite, called 'Blaubleierz' or plumbeine. On old labels it is also called 'Sexangulit'. Crystals reached sizes of up to 4 cm, often the replacement process was not complete so the cores of the pyromorphites were still present. Most of the Kautenbach specimens labeled Plumbeine are in fact pyromorphite AND galena specimens. Also pyromorphite pseudomorphs after galena are known as well as 'normal' pyromorphite, mostly of a yellowish colour. The formation of those unusual pseudomorphs is linked to warm mineralized wells (still) circulating on the vein system. Ref.: Rosenberger, W. 1971: Beschreibung rheinland-pfälzischer Bergamtsbezirke 3, Bergamtsbezirk Bad Kreuznach; Bode, R. & Wittern, A. 1989: Mineralien und Fundstellen Bundesrepublik Deutschland. (RL)
we need photos of REAL pyromorphite from Kautenbach, the shown above are all plumbeine with relics of pyromorphite.
Southwest of Monzelfeld the small old miners settlement of Annenberg is situated. Mining started here around 1502 and lasted until the end of the 18th century. Several small mines worked in the area on Pb, Ag and Cu ores occuring in NW-SE striking hydrothermal quartz veins hosted by devonian shales and quartzitic sandstones. Primary ore minerals include galena, chalcopyrite, fahlore and pyrite. The upper parts of the veins underwent a distinct alteration leading to the formation of secondary minerals including abundant pyromorphite. Pyromorphite occurs as crusts and crystals of dark green to grass green colour, sometimes also with a yellowish-brownish tint. Crystals usually reached a few mm lenght but specimens with crystals of up to 1 cm have been found too. The habit of the crystals is prismatic (sometimes barrel shaped) to acicular. Good finds were made in the 1980s. Ref.: Rosenberger, W & Kloft, J. 1965: Der Blei- und Silbererzbergbau bei Bernkastel (Mosel), Der Anschnitt, 17, 4/5. (RL)
Bad Ems Mining District
Rosenberg mine, Braubach
From this classic locality the most and the best German Pyromorphites came. Usually the xls are olive green or pale brown and prismatic, often barrel-shaped (so-called Emser Tönnchen).
Heilige Dreifaltigkeit Mine, Zschopau (most probably the type locality, rarely galena ps. after pyromorphite occurs, too).
Beihilfe Mine, Halsbrücke, Freiberg Mining District
"Unverhofft Glueck an der Achte"
nickel mine Callenberg North 1 (together with Crocoite)
***** under constructiooooooooon X( ******
Click here to view Pyromorphites other than Germany and here to view Best Minerals P and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.
Edited 36 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2010 02:02PM by Roger Lang.
Simone Citon January 19, 2010 06:54PMWith this occasion I need suggestions about this specimen of mine
The provenience is questionable. Note that there is no Baryte in this very old piece, but Quartz encrusting by oxides. Thanks. Simone
Roger Lang January 19, 2010 10:49PMSimone,
i am no Erzgebirge specialist but i haven´t seen specimens like this from there. Zschopau specs i know are different. So rather improbable for me but hard to tell where from. This kind of habit, paragenesis etc could be from a lot of german locales of course, sry,
Sebastian Möller January 20, 2010 09:26AMHello,
Yes, very hard to tell for sure. I doubt Freiberg very much (at least from what I've seen, and I lived and collected at Freiberg for 1 year). But there have been some very old findings of pyromorphite I've heard of, but unfortunately never seen a piece of or at least a photo. One of those is Friedeburg (a part of Freiberg).
Michael Berghäuser January 20, 2010 01:00PMHello Folks,
here some first corrections:
1. "Pfingstsegen Mine" (does not exist) has to be corrected in Pfingstwiese mine.
2. http://www.mindat.org/photo-56662.html is from the Rosenberg mine
3. http://www.mindat.org/photo-281807.html is from the Friedrichssegen mine
4. concerning your question, this pyro is from the Mercur mine.
Glückauf and Greetings
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2010 01:01PM by Michael Berghäuser.
Roger Lang January 20, 2010 11:35PMRock,
yepp, it is an elephant ;)
... i figured to do some first edits on the draft but i fear this will be a long time task to complete .. anyway, it´s fun and i am sure that we will achieve a decent result. Thanks to all who contribute! The questionable photos are already posted in the M&E thread,
Roger Lang January 22, 2010 08:59AMHi Folks,
while working on Eifel, Mechernich i noticed that we are short of good pyromorphite pictures from the area: Mechernicher Bleiberg (Kallmuther Berg (green pyros on conglomerate), Günnersdorf open pit (brown pyros) are totally missing, Breitenbenden only has example specimens. Neue Hoffnung is ok, and i can take a picture of my specimen these days. At the Mechernich mining museum there are some nice pyros on display so if anyone comes around these days and may take pictures .... B)
Any input appreciated
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2010 04:02PM by Roger Lang.
Harjo Neutkens January 23, 2010 12:12AMHi Uwe,
If you click the "Add/Edit Data" button on the top of the page a page will open where you can upload your photo.
On the page click on the browsing button to select the photo from your files and then select "upload"
In the locality box you enter the locality and then click the "check" button, a series of localities that resemble the one you entered will appear, select the one you want.
Then choose mineral photograph, but that's already the default setting, enter the minerals that are present in the photo (enter the mineral name, click the "find" button and select the mineral)
Then click the "Type of photo" box and select the proper description of the photo.
In the large box you enter the caption to the photo, including size, field of view etc.
After that choose the License (copyright, creative commons etc) enter your copyright notice (basically your name) and a small copyright notice that will appear under your photo.
After that you can add your own catalogue number and rate your own photo.
Then click the "Submit Photo and Information" button.
Roger Lang January 23, 2010 11:43PMHarjo,
could you pls check the section about Rohdenhaus etc area. I think you are more familiar with it and i got almost all infos out of the publications i have in access. So a double check couldn´t be bad. Anybody else is also invited to review of course,
Roger Lang January 24, 2010 01:41PMPaul De Bondt Wrote:
> Hi Robert, Sebastian, Michaël and all,
Hi Paul, .. it´s Roger ;)
> I uploaded yesterday 2 other German Pyromorphites.
> Just take a look and if you can use them, be my
http://www.mindat.org/photo-282881.html .. sure Friedrichssegen? Looks more like Mercur, Bad Ems to me (and if you compare with the picture in question Rock showed some posts before http://www.mindat.org/photo-281817.html it is quite similar)... maybe Michael will drop in with his opinion.
http://www.mindat.org/photo-282880.html nice one! I wait for Sebastian to write up the summary for Schauinsland and his pictures and then add the pics.
> Take care and best regards.
all the best
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2010 01:52PM by Roger Lang.
Harjo Neutkens January 24, 2010 02:09PMRoger, the part on Rohdenhaus is perfect, I can't add anything to it, other maybe than that Pyros have been found in atractive micromounts as well as cabinet specimens, especially the Limonite/Goethite cavities covered with remarkably shiny Pyros are outstanding, probably the best Pyro found in Rohdenhaus to date.
Some extra info for those interested; Rohdenhaus is still closed for collecting, the reason being a fatal accident a little over a year ago. The quarry management has again postponed the decision on authorisations to next March. Most likely however collecting will never be allowed.
Paul De Bondt January 24, 2010 02:14PMOops, sorry Roger,
About the first image, i'm not sure it's Friedrichssegen. I have a label mentionning Ems, that's all.
I showed it to a few german collectors and they where quite shure about it. The specimen is dusted with some manganese oxides.
I hope Michaël can help us further.
Take care and best regards.
Michael Berghäuser January 24, 2010 05:24PMHi Paul,
nice pyro again; btw when do you sell them to me??? -)))
http://www.mindat.org/photo-282881.html is from Mercur; the habitus of the Emser Tönnchen is typical
and very unique and its manganese crust; if possible would you mind to make a photo from the back to be 100 % sure.
Glückauf and Greetings
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2010 05:26PM by Michael Berghäuser.
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