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The chemical formula of Native Antimony is indicated by Sb or Element Antimony. Native Antimony is classified under the Elemental mineral class. The name Antimony originated from a Greek words “anti” and “monos”, which means a metal not found alone. Antimony was recognized in compounds by the ancients and was known as a metal at the beginning of the 17th century and possibly much earlier. Antimony is a chemical element in the periodic table with atomic number 51 and symbol Sb, which is from Latin word “stibium”, meaning mark. The elemental state of Antimony is however not often formed. It is more commonly found in sulfides and sulfosalts. It can be also found in oxides. Because Antimony-bearing ores occur more abundantly, and native antimony is of rare occurrence, Antimony is not considered as an important ore of itself.

 

            Metalloid Antimony has four allotropic forms. The stable form of Antimony is known as a blue-white metalloid. Metalloid Antimony resembles a metal in its appearance and in many of its physical characteristics and properties, but does not chemically react as a metal. As an alloy, this metalloid greatly increases lead’s hardness and mechanical strength. The most important use of Antimony is as a hardener in lead for storage batteries. Unstable non-metal Antimony is the yellow and the other one is black. Antimony can also be used in flameproofing, paints, enamels, and some ceramics. Native Antimony is nearly indistinguishable from native Arsenic. However, it can be identified from Arsenic in some known properties. Antimony does not tarnish as quickly or as severely like Arsenic. It does not exhibit garlic odor, which is sometimes possessed by Arsenic specimens. Antimony is not abundant, but it can be found as constituent of some mineral species. It is rarely found natively, but can be possibly found as the sulfide stibnite. Many compounds of Antimony are considered toxic. They are known as poor conductor of heat and electricity. Antimony is increasingly being used in the production of diodes, infrared detectors, and Hall-effect devices.

 

Antimony usually has silver lustrous gray appearance. Antimony is most commonly found exhibits colors varying from tin-white to a steel gray color and may tarnish to darker gray color under some conditions when viewed under polarizing petrographic microscope for mineralogists. Antimony is most commonly found exhibiting a metallic luster but may possibly tarnish and may show dull luster when viewed in reflected light of polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Antimony is also most commonly found showing uneven fracture that can be seen more clearly visible when specimen is viewed with the aid of polarized light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of Antimony is most commonly found ranging from 3 – 3.5. The specific gravity measure of Antimony is approximately 6.6 grams per cubic centimeters to 6.7 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered heavy for a metallic mineral. Antimony is most commonly found showing perfect basal cleavage in one direction, which is clearly visible with the aid of polarizing petrographic microscope. When Antimony specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate, it may show streak that vary from tin-white to gray.

 

Antimony crystals are commonly found opaque in appearance. Antimony shows trigonal crystal formation with pseudocubic rhombohedral crystal inclusions when specimen is viewed under petrographic polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. Antimony crystals are also most commonly found in massive forms. They are considered brittle, a property generally displayed by glasses and most non-metallic minerals. They also occur in distinct foliate of fine-grained formation. They commonly form crystals, which are uniformly distinguishable forming large masses. There are possible formations exhibiting fibers or columns crossing in Net-like crystalline growths, which can be visible when mineral is viewed under polarizing petrographic microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Antimony usually occurs in hydrothermal veins. They are commonly found in sulfides and sulfosalts and also oxides. Mineral deposits of Antimony are found in localities like Chihuahua, Mexico; Kern Co., California, USA; and Wolfe Co., Quebec, Canada.



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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 7:54 am
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The Native Elements Mineral Class
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