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The chemical formula of mineral Smithsonite is indicated by ZnCO3 or Zinc Carbonate. Smithsonite is actually a Carbonate mineral. It is also considered as a minor ore of zinc and it is also usually used as a mineral specimen. Smithsonite is often found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Smithsonite was named after James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian Institution. Its luster sets it apart from other interesting minerals. Smithsonite is easy to wax poetically when discussing the unique luster of mineral Smithsonite. This luster exhibited by Smithsonite is really unusual and captivating. That is why collectors are more often easily hooked up. Smithsonite has been and still being used as an important, although rather minor ore of zinc. Smithsonite is actually not easy to confuse with many other minerals because of its high density, crystal habit, good cleavage, luster, high hardness, and its reaction to hot HCl acid which are all quite conclusive for it to be differentiated from all other minerals.  

 

            Aside from the fascinating luster exhibited by mineral Smithsonite, it has also variable colors that could appear very interesting under petrographic polarizing microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. The most well known color of mineral Smithsonite is apple green to blue-green color that could appear more fascinating when viewed under polarized microscope for mineralogists. However, it is its purple to lavender color is the most sought after hue because it is so fascinating and could appear more splendidly exhibited under petrographic polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. There also exists attractive yellow, white, brown, tan, orange, blue, pink, colorless and red specimens of mineral Smithsonite and all of them actually give credit to the mineral. With its lovely luster, many beautiful colors and interesting habits, mineral Smithsonite is a source of real pleasure for collectors around the world.

 

            Smithsonite is most commonly found in apple green, blue green, lavender, purple, yellow, white as well tan, blue, brown, orange, peach, red, gray, pink and colorless, all of which are very fascinatingly wonderful when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Smithsonite is usually found showing pearly to resinous luster with light play across its surface and sometimes simply vitreous. The silky to pearl luster of Smithsonite gives a natural specimen a certain play of light across its surface that resembles the fine luster of melted wax glowing under a candle flame. The typical crystal habit displayed by mineral Smithsonite as described in the field of optical mineralogy is an interesting form called botryoidal. In the field of optical mineralogy, this form has the appearance of grape bunches and is the result of the radiating fibrous crystals that form from the central attachment points that grow outward and into each other. The result is actually a bubbly landscape for which Smithsonite is considered the classic example.       

 

            Smithsonite crystals are most commonly found transparent to translucent in appearance. Smithsonite is also known to crystallize in the trigonal system of crystal formation. The crystal habit of the mineral usually includes the rhombohedrons and scalenohedrons with generally curved faces. But more commonly, Smithsonite is found forming botryoidal or globular crystals. Smithsonite is most commonly found showing perfect cleavage in three directions forming rhombohedrons when viewed under polarized microscopes for mineralogists. The fracture formed by mineral Smithsonite is usually uneven and this can be seen more clearly exhibited when specimen is evaluated with the aid of polarizing light microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of the mineral Smithsonite when specimen sample is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually ranging from 4 to 4.5. Smithsonite is most commonly found leaving a white streak when rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 4.4 grams per cubic centimeters, which is heavy for metallic minerals. Smithsonite is most commonly associated to those found in the oxidation zones of zinc sulfide deposits such as hemimorphite, cerussite, mimetite, limonite, wulfenite, dolomite, aurichalcite, calcite and other carbonate minerals. Smithsonite effervesces slightly with warm hydrochloric acid. The best field indicators of mineral Smithsonite usually include cleavage, hardness, luster, typical botryoidal habit, reaction to hot acids and density. Smithsonite notably occurs at Namibia, Zambia, New Mexico, some areas in USA such as Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Arizona as well as some other localities including Mexico, Poland, Belgium and many more.



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Sunday, August 30th, 2009 at 3:49 am
Category:
The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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