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The chemical formula of mineral Buttgenbachite is indicated by Cu19(NO3)2Cl4(OH)32-2H2O or Hydrated Copper Nitrate Chloride Hydroxide. Buttgenbachite is actually a Carbonate mineral. Buttgenbachite was first discovered in the year 1925 at Likasi, Shaba that is now of the Congo. This locality is the only known place of discovery until its existence was proven through the laboratory results of the few samples of the mineral species from South Comobabi Mountains in Pima County, Arizona. Buttgenbachite mineral species was actually named after Henri Buttgenbach (1874-1964), a Belgian mineralogist. Buttgenbachite is also a nitrate mineral. It is actually considered a rare copper nitrate mineral that is usually found displaying a very attractive and interesting microscope images under a polarized light microscope used in optical mineralogy. Buttgenbachite is closely related to connelite, a sulfate mineral. Connelite and Buttgenbachite are isostructural minerals. In the field of optical mineralogy, isostructural means they share the same chemistry and they have similar crystal habits and color, which are seen clearly visible when they are evaluated with the aid of geological microscopes. Connelite is actually a secondary mineral, which can be found in some unusual copper deposit oxidation zones. Connelite is also considered as a classic mineral from the copper mines of Arizona in the United States and Cornwall, England. Mineral Buttgenbachite on the other hand is much rarer than connelite. It can be only found in limited types of localities.

 

            Buttgenbachite mineral is commonly found in deep blue color in transmitted light of geological polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. They are usually found exhibiting a vitreous luster in reflected light of petrographic polarizing microscope for mineralogists. It has absent cleavage even when evaluated with the aid of polarizing microscopes. Buttgenbachite commonly displays an uneven fracture when mineral specimen is evaluated between crossed nicols of petrographic polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of Buttgenbachite mineral when specimen is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is commonly 3. Buttgenbachite is most commonly found leaving a blue streak when specimen is rubbed on a white streak plate. The specific gravity measure of Buttgenbachite commonly gives an approximate value ranging from 3.4 to 3.5 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered slightly above average for non-metallic minerals.

 

            Buttgenbachite minerals are known to crystallize in the hexagonal system of crystal formation. In the field of 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. Buttgenbachite crystals are commonly found translucent to transparent in appearance. The crystal habit of mineral Buttgenbachite as described in the field of optical mineralogy usually include acicular to fibrous crystals, which are arranged in tufts, layers or radial aggregates and are commonly found exhibiting splendid and interesting microscope images under a petrographic polarizing microscope for mineralogists. Crystals of Buttgenbachite may also appear striated parallel to elongation or as radiating sprays and felt-like masses. Buttgenbachite minerals are commonly associated with other fascinating minerals such as quartz and several other copper minerals. Buttgenbachite minerals are known to exhibit uniaxial positive figures when evaluated with the aid of polarized microscope used in optical mineralogy. When specimens of Buttgenbachite are evaluated between crossed nicols of petrographic polarizing light microscope, they are commonly found having refractive indices ranging from 1.738 to 1.752. It has a maximum birefringence at 0.014. Buttgenbachite also shows a high surface relief under polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists.

 

            Buttgenbachite minerals can be actually found in some oxidation zones of the copper deposits. The best field indicators of mineral Buttgenbachite usually include color, crystal habit, locality and its majestic association with other minerals. Buttgenbachite minerals have limited occurrence at the famous localities of Likasi, Shaba, which is now of the Congo and the South Comobabi Mountains in the Pima County at Arizona, USA.



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Friday, January 15th, 2010 at 4:58 am
Category:
The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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