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The chemical formula of Atacamite is indicated by Cu2Cl(OH)3 or Copper Chloride Hydroxide. Atacamite is considered as a comparatively rare copper mineral. Atacamite is actually a Halide mineral. Atacamite derived its name from one of the driest places in the whole world, the Atacama Desert. The Atacamite was given to the mineral species by D. de Gallizen in 1801. This mineral species Atacamite was first discovered in the year 1801 at Atacama Region in Chile. Its synonyms include Alacamite, Arsenillo, Marcylite and Kupfersand. Atacamite is known to crystallize in an orthorhombic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this orthorhombic crystal system comprises crystals having three mutually perpendicular axes, of which all are of different lengths.

 

Atacamite is also known as a basic copper chloride mineral, which is usually found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images under polarizing light microscopes. Atacamite is an unusual halide mineral, which is commonly found attractive with splendid microscope views in transmitted light of polarizing microscope. Atacamite mineral is known polymorphous with two other minerals namely, paratacamite and botallackite. A polymorph mineral is a mineral that is known to share the same chemistry with other minerals but is usually found having different crystal structure when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope. These Atacamite, paratacamite and botallackite minerals are known members of the Oxy-halides Subclass. This Oxy-halide, a subclass of the Halides group of minerals is considered unique for they possess both oxygen and hydroxides in their chemical structures. Atacamite minerals are commonly used as mineral specimens and are considered as minor ore of copper.

 

            Atacamite mineral is commonly found in shade of deep green color in transmitted light of polarizing light microscope for geologists. Some of these minerals specimens can be found quite beautiful and attractive when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope. A combination of green, red and blue shades in one piece of specimen will certainly produce an exquisite and fascinating microscope image in transmitted light of polarized microscopes. Atacamite mineral is an interesting and wonderful piece that can be added to ones collections. This mineral is found not radioactive after chemical evaluations.

 

            Atacamite mineral specimens are commonly found having crystals exhibiting shade of bright green, dark emerald-green to blackish green color when viewed under petrographic polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. Atacamite mineral is actually a brilliant halide mineral in splendid shades of green, which are majestically exhibited under polarizing microscope.  Atacamite is most commonly found displaying a vitreous luster in reflected light of polarized microscope for mineralogists. Vitreous luster is likened to the luster that is commonly exhibited by a broken glass. Atacamite usually leaves a pale green or apple green streak when specimen is rubbed on a white streak plate. Atacamite also shows a perfect cleavage in one direction when viewed in plane light of polarizing microscope for mineralogists. Sometimes cleavages can be found in two directions. Perfect in one direction and fair in the other. The hardness measure of mineral specimen Atacamite using the Mohs scale method is usually found ranging from 3.0 to 3.5, which is considered soft and is not suitable for gemstone purposes. The specific gravity measure of Atacamite gives an approximate value of 3.75 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considerably found above average value. The mineral is most commonly found exhibiting a splintery fracture when it is viewed under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of polarizing light microscope. Splintery fracture is a fracture that is commonly shown by more or less fibrous minerals. In optical mineralogy, fracture describes how a mineral breaks when broken contrary to its natural cleavage planes. Some other guides present Atacamite fracture to be conchoidal, which is a smooth curved fracture with concentric ridges of the type shown by glass. In optical mineralogy, fracture is said to develop in brittle materials characterized by smoothly curving surfaces, just like quartz.

 

            The crystal habit of Atacamite as described in the field of optical mineralogy usually includes slender striated crystals that can be found in acicular to fibrous shapes and these are more clearly visible when specimen is viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope. In optical mineralogy, acicular crystals are commonly described as elongated needle-like grains that are commonly found more splendidly exhibited when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscope. Fibrous on the other hand, is a form where individual grains are long slender fibers that are commonly exhibiting nice and wonderful microscope appearance when viewed under polarized light microscope. Crystals may also euhedral, which usually exhibits well-formed crystals showing good external forms when viewed under polarized microscope used in optical mineralogy. Sometimes crystals may appear granular, which generally occurs as anhedral to subhedral crystals in matrix. Atacamite crystals are usually found vertically striated when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists.

 

Atacamite mineral crystals are commonly found in transparent to translucent appearance. They are considerably brittle, a property commonly displayed by glasses and most non-metallic minerals. Atacamite is commonly found soluble in hydrochloric acid and ammonia. There are some Atacamite specimens that are found in sandy granular to compact and massive forms. These crystals are rarely twinned and the possible twinned crystals can be found clearly visible when viewed between crossed nicols of petrographic polarizing microscopes for geologists. Atacamite is commonly found exhibiting a biaxial negative figure when viewed closely between crossed nicols of polarized light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Atacamite also exhibits a very high surface relief when evaluated under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of the petrographic polarizing light microscope. Strong dispersion can be also found clearly exhibited when the mineral is evaluated under polarized microscope. Atacamite mineral specimen is usually found weakly pleochroic when evaluated in plane-polarized light of polarizing microscope for mineralogists.

 

Atacamite can be also found in fantastic association with minerals like hematite and gypsum. This mineral is often associated with many other rare and colorful minerals such as malachite, libethenite, cuprite, linarite, cornetite, chrysocolla, caledonite, brochantite, connellite and pseudomalachite. The best field indicators of Atacamite mineral commonly include color, localities, crystal habit and its fascinating and attractive association with other beautifully colored minerals. Atacamite minerals commonly occur in arid regions in the upper oxidized zone of copper deposits. They are especially formed under desert saline conditions and in fumarolic deposits. They are considered as weathering product of sulphides in subsea black smoker deposits. This Atacamite mineral is actually a secondary mineral that is formed by the oxidation of other copper minerals. It is also considered as an alteration product of bronze and copper objects of antiquity. It has notable occurrences in types of localities that include Bolivia, Peru, England, Namibia and some other areas like the Mt. Vesuvius in Italy; Pinal County in Arizona, USA; the Atacama Desert in Chile; Wallaroo, South Australia; Boleo in Mexico and in USSR.



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Monday, December 29th, 2008 at 6:19 am
Category:
The Halides Mineral Class
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