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The chemical formula of mineral Boltwoodite is indicated by K2(UO2)2(SiO3)2(OH)2-3H2O or Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Silicate Hydroxide. Boltwoodite is actually a Silicate mineral. Boltwoodite was named after Bertram Borden Boltwood (1870-1927), a radiochemist of Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut in the United States. It was Boltwood who devised the Uranium and Lead method of measuring geologic time. This mineral Boltwoodite is synonymous with Nenadkevite. Boltwoodite mineral was first discovered in the year 1956 at the Pick’s Delta Mine in Utah, United States. Boltwoodite mineral is known as a locally common mineral. But in general, Boltwoodite is considered quite rare. Boltwoodite mineral is known to crystallize in the monoclinic system. In optical mineralogy, the monoclinic system of crystal formation comprises crystals having three axes of unequal lengths. Two of which are usually found in a position that is oblique or not perpendicular to one another. However, both of which are commonly found perpendicular to the third axis.

 

            Boltwoodite is most commonly found in shades of yellow to pale yellow and it can be seen more splendidly interesting when viewed under petrographic polarizing light microscope. Boltwoodite is most commonly found exhibiting a vitreous to silky or pearly luster when evaluated in reflected light of polarizing microscope. Boltwoodite mineral specimen usually displays a high surface relief when it is evaluated under polarizing microscope for mineralogists. Boltwoodite is most commonly found leaving a pale yellow streak when mineral specimen is rubbed on the white streak plate. The specific gravity measure of Boltwoodite usually gives an approximate value that is usually found ranging from 3.6 grams per cubic centimeters to 4.3 grams per cubic centimeters that is actually depending on the amount of water. The density measure of Boltwoodite mineral is actually considered above average for translucent minerals. The hardness measure for mineral Boltwoodite using the Mohs scale method is usually found in values that are ranging from 3.5 to 4.

 

            Boltwoodite mineral crystals are commonly found transparent to translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of Boltwoodite mineral as described in optical mineralogy usually found limited to crusts and also tufts of fine acicular crystals. These crystal habits are often found displayed by uranium bearing sandstones. Boltwoodite minerals can be also found as crusts, which are commonly found in a yellowish color. These crusts are commonly found displaying a vitreous or silky to pearly luster in reflected light of polarizing microscope for geologists. Boltwoodite minerals are also found as flaky, radiating, fibrous aggregates and fine-grained coatings. Boltwoodite is a fluorescent mineral in ultraviolet light. It is also known to exhibit biaxial negative figures when evaluated between crossed nicols of petrographic polarizing light microscope. Since Boltwoodite is found to be strongly radioactive mineral, it should be stored away from other sensitive minerals, which are prone to be affected by radioactivity. Also, human exposure should be limited. Boltwoodite minerals are commonly used as mineral specimen and they are also considered as very minor ore of uranium. Boltwoodite minerals are actually not magnetic.

 

            Mineral Boltwoodite are commonly associated with several other interesting minerals such as uraninite and other primary uranium minerals. The best field indicators of Boltwoodite mineral usually include color, locality, environment of formation, luster and of course its strong radioactivity. Boltwoodite minerals are commonly formed in the alteration areas that are surrounding the hydrated uranyl oxides. Boltwoodite minerals are usually formed from the alteration and oxidation of primary uranium ore minerals. They can be also found in filling fractures at some distance from primary uraninite. Boltwoodite minerals are commonly found forming as crusts, which are usually found on the uranium bearing sandstones. Boltwoodite minerals notably occur but only limited to some areas in the United States such as Pick’s Delta Mine in San Rafael Swell of Emory Co., in Utah and also in the Coconino County in Arizona.



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Monday, September 29th, 2008 at 2:44 am
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The Silicates Mineral Class
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