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The chemical formula of mineral Burbankite is indicated by (Na,Ca)3(Sr,Ba,Ce)3(CO3)5 or Sodium Calcium Strontium Barium Cerium Carbonate. Burbankite is actually a Carbonate mineral. Mineral specimen Burbankite was actually named after W.S. Burbank, an American geologist. It was actually first discovered in the year 1953 at Bearpaw Mountains at Hill Co., Montana in the United States. Mineral Burbankite is known to crystallize in the hexagonal system. In optical mineralogy, the hexagonal system of crystallization comprises crystals having four axes. Three of which are positioned in a single plane with equal length and are symmetrically spaced. The fourth axis is found to be perpendicular to the other three axes.

 

The chemical composition of Burbankite mineral is commonly considered unusual. This is because it is enriched in rare elements such as strontium, cerium and barium. Cerium is actually one of the most important rare earth metals, which are considered very important to the industry. Burbankite mineral is also closely related to the mineral called carbocernaite. Both Burbankite and carbocernaite are considered important in the development of the rare earth minerals, which are commonly formed in carbonatite rocks and they are actually being studied for this reason. Some pseudomorphs of Burbankite and Carbocernaite minerals are actually found formed by several other rare earth minerals. There has been a new mineral species to science, which was once thought to be as Burbankite. This new species actually has slightly different chemistry, with different symmetry and is usually found having pseudohexagonal monoclinic crystals. This mineral species was identified to be remondite.

 

            Burbankite mineral is known as a rare strontium and cerium carbonate mineral and as mentioned, it is considerably rare in occurrence. Mineral Burbankite is actually one of the many rare minerals that come from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, one of the famous mineral localities in the world. Some Burbankite mineral specimens from this locality have been cut for gemstone purposes. Burbankite stones that were cut into gems are actually found displaying wonderful and brilliant images under a gemological microscope. The North American record holder for Burbankite mineral species is the large 6.62-carat orange stone, which is commonly found exhibiting a splendid microscope image under a polarized light microscope used in optical mineralogy. But since Burbankite minerals are considered extremely rare, they are also far too rare to be considered as a mainstream gemstone. The crystal habit of Burbankite mineral is very similar to that of the Apatite. But the two minerals are actually different in terms of their color and size as meticulously identified in the field of optical mineralogy. Burbankite mineral crystals are typically small but they are commonly found as well-formed crystals and they certainly make good micro mounts and commonly show marvelous microscope views under a petrographic polarizing light microscope.

 

            Burbankite minerals are commonly found in shades of pale orange, pale yellow, white, beige and sometimes colorless with some color zoning found when specimens are evaluated in transmitted light of petrographic polarizing microscope. Burbankite is most commonly found exhibiting vitreous to dull or silky luster when viewed in reflected light of petrographic polarizing light microscope. Burbankite has cleavage is most commonly found exhibiting distinct to imperfect cleavage in six directions when it is evaluated under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of the polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. Cleavage is usually found prismatic. The dominant faces in prismatic crystals, which are clearly visible with the aid of a polarizing microscope, are that of the prism. Burbankite mineral is also found showing uneven fracture that can be seen clearly under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of the petrographic polarizing microscope. The hardness measure of Burbankite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is commonly found ranging from 3.5 to 4. When mineral specimens of Burbankite are rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate, they are usually found leaving a white streak. The specific gravity measure for mineral Burbankite is commonly found as 3.5 gram per cubic centimeters, which is commonly considered as an above average value.  

 

            Burbankite mineral crystals are commonly found transparent to translucent appearance. The crystal habits of Burbankite mineral usually include small prismatic crystals, which are commonly found as six and twelve sided crystals with pyramidal or pinacoidal terminations. They can be also found as compact spherical aggregates and fibrous masses that are found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images under a polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. Burbankite is usually found exhibiting a uniaxial figure when closely evaluated between crossed nicols of petrographic polarizing light microscope. Some Burbankite mineral specimens have been known to fluoresce. Rarely, they can be also found exhibiting an unusual change in color from green in daylight to brown in incandescent light. The maximum birefringence is commonly found as 1.615. Burbankite mineral is commonly found displaying a moderate surface relief under geological polarizing light microscope. The index of refraction displayed by Burbankite is commonly found ranging from 1.615 to 1.627. There is no specific data on the toxicity and health danger for mineral Burbankite. However, Burbankite mineral specimen should be treated with great care and use of sensible precaution is advised upon handling.

 

            Burbankite minerals are commonly associated with several other interesting minerals such as calcite, ilmenite, pyrite, biotite, albite, paranatrolite, rutile, donnayite, astrophyllite, analcime, aegirine and many others. The best field indicators of Burbankite minerals usually include color, crystal habit, luster and its splendid and interesting association with several other minerals. Burbankite minerals have limited occurrence at some types of localities that include some areas in Canada such as Mont Saint Hilaire in Quebec and the Chapman Lake in Ontario. They also notably occur at Khibina, Kola Peninsula in Russia as well as the Vermiculite Prospects, Big Sandy Creek Hill County in Montana, USA. 



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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 3:19 am
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The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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