Wulfenite : Pb(MoO4), Mimetite : Pb5(AsO4)3Cl

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minID: VMK-47L

Wulfenite : Pb(MoO4), Mimetite : Pb5(AsO4)3Cl

This image is copyrighted. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Field of view about 6mm. Wulfenites with a fuzzy mimetite "lawn" in the middle. I collected this in 2006. Paul Jaeger

This Photo was Mindat.org Photo of the Day - 20th Jan 2011

This photo has been shown 1207 times
Photo added:10th Dec 2010
Dimensions:760x755px (0.57 megapixels)
Date/Time of Photo:6th Nov 2010 15:14:08
Camera:CANON PowerShot G9
Exposure time:1/30s
Focal Length:37mm
ISO speed:800
View Paul Jaeger's Photos View Wulfenite Gallery

Discuss this Photo

PhotosWulfenite - Ford Mine, Tucson Wash, Mammoth, Mammoth District, Pinal Co., Arizona, USA

20th Jan 2011 03:27 GMTRobert Simonoff

Ok, I have seen a variety of pieces where a second mineral is deposited upon another in a pattern such as in this WONDERFUL photo. Does anyone have an idea how such selective deposition occurs? And please don't say "preferential growth" :-)



20th Jan 2011 06:22 GMTRock Currier Expert

OK, semipreferential growth.

20th Jan 2011 09:33 GMTDon Windeler

For future readers confused by the reference (as I initially was), this is/was POTD for 1/20/2011:


As for the question, I'll have to say I can't tell from the picture whether the mimetite is selectively growing within and on it (contemporaneous with the wulfenite) or on part of the wulfenite (i.e. later in the paragenesis).

Contemporaneous suggests that at some point the solution was either exhausted of the components that allowed the mimetite to be deposited or the conditions changed such that it was no longer favorable for mimetite deposition, after which only the wulfenite continued to grow. (Do a search on liesegang banding for more fun...)

Later in the paragenesis could imply some kind of zoning in the wulfenite composition (or simply the surface texture) that provided a preferential nucleation site on which the mimetite could grow.

At least those are my marginally informed explanations. Pretty cool whatever the cause.

20th Jan 2011 14:28 GMTJeff Weissman Expert

Great subject and interesting interelatioship - could this be multiple generations of wulfenite? First, a smaller wulfenite crytal grows, gets covered by mimitite, and then more wulfenite grows out from this.

By the way, the image is upside down, should be rotated 180o to make the shadows look more natural.

20th Jan 2011 14:31 GMTChester S. Lemanski, Jr. Manager

Obviously epitaxial growth of the mimetite selectively on the {001} faces of the Wulfenite.

20th Jan 2011 15:02 GMTJasun D. McAvoy Expert

Seeing as that the mimetite crystals are epitaxial I would agree with Don in that those zones likely created a surface that provided ideal nucleation sites for the mimetite crystals to form. This would seem to be the simplest explanation.
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