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 well over a hundred different Uranium, Thorium and REE mineral specimens in my private collection. Here is a small group of 20 of my favorite ones - it was a difficult pick indeed.
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.

Meta-Autunite -  Córdoba Province * Argentina 

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 almost like a "floater" with no obvious attachment point.

Uraninite var. Pitchblende* nice botryoidal piece from Shaft #16, Háje, Pribram, Czech Republic.

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.
 This is one of my favorite minerals - it is named after Ernest Rutherford.
Rutherfordine is nearly pure Uranyl Carbonate (UO₂)CO3.

Betafite from the Silver Crater Mine, Ontario, Canada. 
Silver Crater Mine is one of the premium sources of these dodecahedral crystals.

Tyuyamunite in Calcite from Santa Eulalia * Mexico

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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