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The chemical formula of the mineral Cliffordite is indicated by UTe3O9 or Uranium Tellurite. Cliffordite is actually a Sulfate mineral. Cliffordite mineral species was first discovered in the year 1969 at the San Miguel Mine in Sonora, Mexico. Cliffordite was actually named after Clifford Frondel (1907-2002), a mineralogist who has also given his name to the phosphate mineral called frondelite. Frondel is also one of the founders of the Mineralogical Society of America and he is also one of the authors of the Dana’s Mineralogy, 7th edition. Cliffordite is a considerably rare tellurium mineral. It is commonly used as mineral specimen. Cliffordite minerals are known to crystallize in the isometric system. In optical mineralogy, this isometric system comprises crystals having three axes, all of which are perpendicular to one another and all are found equal in lengths.

 

Cliffordite minerals are commonly showing symmetry similar to that of the Diploid Class. This class of symmetry commonly contains the sulfide mineral like pyrite and among others. Cliffordite mineral crystals are commonly found transparent to translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of Cliffordite mineral commonly includes small octahedral crystals, which are usually interesting to view under polarized light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Cliffordite mineral specimens are commonly found in shades of bright yellow to sulfur yellow in transmitted light of petrographic polarizing light microscope. Cliffordite commonly exhibits an adamantine luster in reflected light of polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. It has no cleavage found even when it is closely evaluated under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of the petrographic polarizing light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. The specific gravity measure of mineral Cliffordite usually gives an approximate value ranging from 6.6 grams per cubic centimeters to 6.7 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered very heavy for translucent minerals. The hardness measure of Cliffordite mineral specimen when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually 4. When Cliffordite mineral specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate, it is commonly found leaving a bright yellow streak.

 

            Cliffordite is also known as isotropic mineral with no birefringence display when viewed between crossed nicols of petrographic polarizing microscope. It usually shows very high surface relief when evaluated between crossed nicols of polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. Cliffordite mineral specimens are considered slightly radioactive. This mineral species Cliffordite is commonly associated with several other interesting minerals including tellurium and other tellurates and tellurites. There is no specific data on the toxicity and health dangers of mineral Cliffordite. However, the specimens of this mineral should be treated with great care and use of sensible precautions is advised upon handling them. Mineral Cliffordite is also a radioactive mineral. Thus, it should be stored away from other minerals that are prone to the effects of radioactivity. Human exposure should be also limited. The best field indicators of mineral Cliffordite usually include locality, softness, luster, cleavage, high density and radioactivity. Cliffordite minerals notably occur at some types of localities like the San Miguel Mine and some other mining areas of Montezuma, Sonora, Mexico. This locality is very famous for rare tellurium minerals.



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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 at 3:20 am
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The Sulfates Mineral Class
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