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The chemical formula of mineral Sklodowskite is indicated by Mg(UO2)2Si2O7 – 6H2O or Hydrated Magnesium Uranyl Silicate. Sklodowskite is considered as a very minor ore of uranium. It is also most commonly used as mineral specimen and is often found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images under polarizing light microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Sklodowskite is actually a rare uranium mineral that forms from the oxidation of uranium of uranium-bearing minerals. Sklodowskite is usually found in good crystal form only at one mine at the world famous copper and uranium locality of Shaba, Zaire, the Musonoi Mine produces some of the finest Sklodowskite specimens. Sklodowskite was named for the famous chemist Marie Sklodowska Curie, who discovered the element Radium. Sklodowskite is most commonly found in green yellow to yellow velvety tufts that can be more attractive and more splendidly exhibited when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. It should be noted that Sklodowskite is a radioactive mineral and therefore should be stored away from other minerals that are affected by radioactivity and human exposure should be also limited.

             Sklodowskite as mentioned is most commonly found green-yellow to yellow color that could appear more fascinating when evaluated with the aid of polarized microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Sklodowskite is most commonly found exhibiting vitreous to silky luster when viewed in reflected light of geological polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Most crystals of mineral Sklodowskite are found transparent to translucent in appearance. Sklodowskite is known to crystallize in the monoclinic system of crystal formation. 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. 

            The crystal habit of mineral Sklodowskite as described in the field of optical mineralogy typically includes fibrous tufts and crusts, all of which are found more clearly exhibited when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes. It is also found forming acicular crystals in radial aggregates. Sklodowskite is also showing perfect cleavage in one direction, which can bee seen more clearly visible when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscope for mineralogists. The hardness measure of the mineral when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually 2 to 3. Sklodowskite is most commonly found leaving a pale yellow streak when rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 3.5+ grams per cubic centimeters, which is above average for translucent mineral. Sklodowskite is said to be fluorescent when viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes. It is also usually found associated with uraninite, uranophane and cuprosklodowskite. The best field indicators of mineral Sklodowskite usually include fluorescence, crystal habit, radioactivity, color and locality. Sklodowskite notably occurs at several areas including Musoni Mine, Shaba, Zaire and Crook Co., Wyoming, USA.

 



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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 9:29 am
Category:
The Silicates Mineral Class
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