Sunday, July 26, 2020

Some specimens from my Radioactive Mineral Collection

My previous post about the Trinitite inspired me to post pictures of some of my minerals.
I have hundreds of different Uranium, Thorium and REE mineral specimens in my private collection. Here is just a bunch of them I really like.
Some of these rocks are as "hot" as they look pretty, exceeding activity of 100K cpm so keeping them on my desk unfortunately is out of question!

Autunite crystals ("books") * Menzanschwand * Baden * Germany *
When it comes to Uranium minerals, Autunite is one of the "classic" secondary minerals. 
There is no radioactive mineral collection without at least one Autunite sample.

Autunite crystals on matrix. All are from Marysvale Mining District * Utah

Here is a beautiful sample of Boltwoodite crystals growing on Calcite from the Goanikontes Claim * Namibia.

Cubic Uraninite var. Gummite – excellent specimen of several cubic uraninite crystals being replaced by yellow and orange Gummite as an overall approx. 3.5cm x 2cm x 1.5cm specimen and is associated with minor muscovite mica. 
From the Fanny Gouge Mine, Micaville, Celo, Yancey County, North Carolina.
This particular specimen is extremely "hot" - well over 300 000 cpm.

Meta-Autunite * Dahl Mine - Mt. Spokane, Washington

Beautiful Torbernite * Shaba Province * Congo. I absolutely love the translucent green crystals. The activity of this sample is pretty high - it seems the more beautiful radioactive crystals are, the higher activity they exhibit.

Uranocircite crystals * Bergen * Saxony * Germany *

Here is a beautiful sample of Uranocircite and Heinrichite growing on brecciated Fluorite matrix from Menzenschwand * Germany

Outstanding Uranophane specimen from the Krunkelbach Valley Uranium deposit * Germany.

Zippeite – bright yellow micro-crystals.  From the Grants Mining District, New Mexico.

Bright yellow Phosphuranylite micro-crystals on matrix from Arcu su Linnarbu, Capoterra, Metropolitan City of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. 

This Ce rich Monazite crystal is from the Ambatofotsikely pegmatite in Betsohana, Mandoto, Vakinankaratra, Madagascar. The radioactivity is due to present Thorium and it counts over 20 000 cpm. I was pretty lucky to find it - it is well terminated on all sides - a "floater" with no obvious attachment point.

Monazite (twinned crystal cluster) from Spirito Santo, SW Region of Brazil

Uraninite var. Pitchblende (botryoidal) with Chalcopyrite from Shaft #11 near Lešetice, Pribram District, Czech Republic. (collected in 2018)

Uraninite var. Pitchblende* small botryoidal specimen from Shaft #16 near Háje, Pribram District, Czech Republic.

Uraninite var. Pitchblende* botryoidal specimen, collected in 2018 from Shaft #4 near Lešetice, Pribram District, Czech Republic.
This sample clocks 150 000 CPM at 1cm.

A beautiful Uranophane and Uranocircite on Granit, specimen from Menzenschwand, near Feldberg, Black Forest * Germany.

Autunite on Matrix from Les Oudots Quarry, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

The Autunite fluoresces bright Green under all UV wavelengths and it looks quite spectacular.

Rutherfordine on Uraninite - from Musonoi, Kolwezi, Katanga * Zaire (nowadays Democratic Republic of Congo). Collected in the late '60s - early '70s.
This specimen, smaller than a US Penny is clocking over 23 000 CPM.
 Rutherfordine is one of my favorite minerals because of who it is named after.
Rutherfordine is nearly pure Uranyl Carbonate (UO₂)CO3.

Betafite Crystal from the Silver Crater Mine, Bancroft, Faraday Township, Ontario, Canada. 
The Silver Crater Mine is one of the premium sources of these dodecahedral crystals.

Tyuyamunite in Calcite from Santa Eulalia * Mexico

Uranoplite on Coffinite / Pitchblende matrix.
Highly fluorescent specimen from Les Mares III, Lodeve, Languedoc-Roussilon, France.
Activity is around 100 000 CPM at 1cm.

Autunite cluster from the Daybreak Mine, Spokane County, Washington.
Specimen is 2 x 1 x 1 cm and produces around 60 000 CPM at 1cm.

For anyone interested in Radioactive Minerals I can't say enough about this book by Robert J. Lauf - this is the "Bible" of radioactive minerals and an incredibly informative book.

It is very well organized not only by mineral species but by localities as well. It is the ultimate reference for Uranium and Thorium minerals. 

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