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Modris Baum's Photo Gallery

PW1-6PJLorenzenite Na2Ti2(Si2O6)O3

Multiple photos available
09605140015772314858727.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 2.5 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 0.6 mm

The lorenzenite laths on this specimen are attractive but very tiny. What makes this specimen interesting is that it is from a pegmatite. According to the latest MSH rarity tables (Horváth et al 2019), lorenzenite does not occur in the pegmatites at MSH. But this is not the first example of it from a pegmatite environment that I have found. (See for example https://www.mindat.org/photo-842285.html and the associated EDS scan.)

EDS scans for lorenzenite are similar to those for vinogradovite, and the latter HAS been reported as occurring – very rarely – in the pegmatites. However, comparison of the EDS scan for this specimen with a scan for "known” vinogradovite, shows a substantially lower Si peak (relative to Ti). This is what would be expected based on the difference in chemistry. See the analysis “photo”.
Photo ID: 1020244     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 15   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 3398 x 4741 pixels (16.1 Mpix)

PW1-6PJCalcioancylite-(Ce) (Ce,Ca,Sr)CO3(OH,H2O) , Pyrochlore Group A2Nb2(O,OH)6Z , Aegirine NaFe3+Si2O6

Multiple photos available
06094790015772288321264.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 2.5 mm

This photo shows a pinkish ball (ca 1.6 mm) of calcioancylite-(Ce) with small octahedra of "pyrochlore" and white blades of albite encrusting iridescent aegirine. The calcioancylite-(Ce) is probably a PSM, but the precursor, if any, in not known. It looks like a tiny pink "sea-mine".

Ancylite-(Ce) and calcioancylite-(Ce) are both common minerals at MSH and many photos have been posted. But analyzed specimens - such as this one - are much less common. Over the years, many "rules of thumb" have been proposed which supposedly permit visual identification of these species at MSH. But an extensive EDS study (by Tony Steede at the ROM) has shown that all but one of these "rules" have little if any validity. The only rule that appears to have some utility is that "ancylite" replacing other minerals is more likely to be calcioancylite-(Ce) than ancylite-(Ce). That is the case in this instance. See the analysis "photo" for further discussion.

It used to be considered that calcioancylite-(Ce) was much less common (and thus more desirable) than ancylite-(Ce) at MSH. But more recent microprobe work by G. Poirier (see Horváth et al 2019) shows that calcioancylite-(Ce) is actually the more common of the two.

This specimen is from an Nb enriched pegmatite with numerous other minerals including niobokupletskite, lorenzenite, and even epistolite (partly replaced by “pyrochlore”). See the related (same minID) photos for a discussion of the lorenzenite.
Photo ID: 1020228     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 8   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 3339 x 3987 pixels (13.3 Mpix)

MAM-DA1Sodalite Na4(Si3Al3)O12Cl

Multiple photos available
06253320015709844035370.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Dimensions: 18 mm x 10 mm x 10 mm

Edges on the blue sodalite crytal are ca 2.8 mm.

This is a new ful-view photo (Oct 2019). I made it the parent photo because it actually captures the intense blue of the sodalite better than the scope photos.
Photo ID: 1006107     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 30   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 3260 x 2488 pixels (8.1 Mpix)

XP1-U8AYofortierite Mn5Si8O20(OH)2·8-9H2O

Multiple photos available
08368050015706547011263.jpg
Demix-Varennes quarry, Saint-Amable sill, Varennes & St-Amable, Lajemmerais RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 4.1 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 2.9 mm

FOV 4.1 x 5.5 mm; fibers ca 2.9 mm

For the Demix-Varrenes quarry, it used to be that bronzy fibers such as these were automatically "yofortierite". However, several more recent analyses have shown that much of the lighter colored material from here is actually tuperssuatsiaite (or “tuperssuatsiaite-like” – these minerals have generally poor XRD patterns). Obviously, the fibers shown in the photo look very light. But appearance is in the eye of the beholder – or rather it is a function of the illumination and reflectivity. The fibers on this specimen are “actually” quite dark. But they are very reflective – so much so, that it is hard to arrange the lighting so that all of the fibers on the specimen appear to be dark at the same time. (See the macro “related” photos.) The material from this particular find has not been analyzed, but some of it is very dark indeed. So despite the very “ bleached-blonde” appearance of the fibers in this photo, I think that it is all yofortierite. One of the child photos shows these same fibers under different lighting, which makes them look darker. Other child photos show fibers that seem to be “intrinsically” darker, but even these are quite reflective.
Photo ID: 1005209     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 15   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 3025 x 4008 pixels (12.1 Mpix)

RRE-9NTRhodochrosite MnCO3

Multiple photos available
07182830015706521786748.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 2.1 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 1.7 mm

FOV 2.1 x 2.9 mm; crystals to 1.7 mm.

Rhodochrosite crystals of a habit that can be locally abundant at MSH. But occurences of this habit are not common.
Photo ID: 1005191     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 40   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 2844 x 3957 pixels (11.3 Mpix)

Q0F-R2YDiopside CaMgSi2O6

Multiple photos available
00743770015706393216730.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 4.4 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 2.2 mm

FOV 4.4 x 6.7 mm. Largest diopside 2.2 mm.

Obviously these are not "superb, compete-all-around" crystals of diopside. They are mostly heavily etched and incomplete. But diopside is a pretty rare mineral at MSH, and this specimen is exceptionally rich in crystals - such as they are. All of the pale greenish stuff in the photo is diopside.

The specimen also hosts numerous very interesting aggregates of tabular "crazed" pyrrhotite. See the related (same minID) photos. A minor accessory is apophyllite, a tiny, but perfect, tabular crystal of which can be seen at top left. The matrix is marble xenolith with pectolite.
Photo ID: 1005126     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 16   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 678 x 1024 pixels (0.7 Mpix)

0FW-WUUPectolite NaCa2Si3O8(OH)

Multiple photos available
08158700015705879099791.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 4.4 mm

FOV 4.4 x 6.8 mm.

These pectolite crystals have the feleing of an abstract glass sculpture. I call it "Three visitors from planet X."
Photo ID: 1005064     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 12   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 3222 x 4998 pixels (16.1 Mpix)

EYT-44KGrossular (Var: Hibschite) Ca3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4x , Pectolite NaCa2Si3O8(OH)

Multiple photos available
06759830015705821959991.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 4.2 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 1.9 mm

FOV 4.2 x 6.7 mm. Hibschite twin, 1.9 mm in diameter.

In this photo, I chose lighting that emphasizes the almost metallic luster of the coating on the hibschite. Under most lighting conditions it will look merely light brown or tan. See the child photos for other views. A couple of these views are in stereo. If you can fuse the images (by whatever means), you will see that the hibschite sits in a crevice that formed when the hibschite apparently interrupted the growth of a single pectolite crystal and caused it to continue growth almost as two separate crystals. Interestingly, also on the specimen are some spheroidal aggregates of a hellandite group mineral. But these aggregates, instead of interrupting the growth of the pectolite, were, in at least one case, completely enveloped by it. See the child photos.

In the good old days, "hibschite" was its own mineral. However, the IMA has decreed that it is just a variety of grossular. That doesn't really make it any more common or less interesting ... IMHO, this is a pretty good example. There is also a larger, but less well exposed hibschite on the specimen. See the child photos.

Incidentally. as far as I know, these coatings - ubiquitous in cavities at MSH - are amorphous. Darker varieties may be "bitumen".
Photo ID: 1005039     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 30   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 3054 x 4896 pixels (15.0 Mpix)

HGU-EYYPyrochroite Mn(OH)2

Multiple photos available
04778620015704639786397.jpg
Sterling Mine, Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, Franklin Mining District, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA

Field of View: 1.0 mm
Largest Crystal Size: 0.7 mm

This a complex but tiny crystal. The resolution of my scope isn't really up to the task. But the ID has been confirmed - to the extent possible - via qualitative EDS, and the morphology is very interesting. There is some similarity to the somewhat larger crystals shown in [https://www.mindat.org/photo-786844.html]

These pointy pyrochroite crystals are associated with crystals of dolomite on scalenohedral calcite growing on a serpentinized slip surface in ore. The dolomite has also been verified via EDS - see the analysis "photos".
Photo ID: 1004713     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 29   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 2364 x 3066 pixels (7.2 Mpix)

VP5-XHXMillerite NiS , Natrolite Na2Al2Si3O10·2H2O , Aegirine NaFe3+Si2O6

Multiple photos available
05295120015698024035147.jpg
Poudrette quarry, Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

Field of View: 2.0 mm

About 0.8 mm of the largest millerite crystal is visible. The rest is buried in the white natrolite ball. The dark green prisms are probably aegirine, but the crystals are tiny, so it is hard to be sure.

This specimen is of particular interest because, in another part of the cavity, another radiating spray of millerite is directly associated with "eudialyte". This association is very unusual if for no other reason than the extreme rarity of millerite at MSH and the rarity of "eudialyte" (of any type) in the igneous breccia environment. This association is shown in some of the child photos.

In addition to the millerite and "eudialyte", the specimen hosts a single well formed crystal of very elongated leucosphenite (also shown in child photos), aegirine, natrolite (and/or gonnardite), fibrous pectolite, and titanite. The matrix is feldspar (microcline and/or albite).

A stereo version of this photo has also been posted as a child photo.
Photo ID: 1002998     Uploaded by: Modris Baum   View Count: 11   Approval status: Public galleries    Type: Photo - 2725 x 4570 pixels (12.5 Mpix)
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