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The chemical formula of mineral Wolframite is indicated by (Fe, Mn)WO4 or Iron Manganese Tungstate. Wolframite is actually a Sulfate mineral. It is considered as an ore of tungsten and it is also used as mineral specimen. Wolframite is actually a series between Huebnerite and Ferberite. Wolframite is the name of the series and the name applied to the indistinguishable specimens and specimens intermediate between the two end members. Huebnerite is the Manganese rich end member while Ferberite is the iron rich end member.

             Mineral Wolframite is most commonly found black to gray or brown in color and it is often found showing nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. It is also showing submetallic to resinous luster when viewed in reflected light of polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. The crystals of mineral Wolframite are usually found translucent to opaque in appearance. Wolframite 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 Wolframite as described in the field of optical mineralogy usually include flat, heavily modified, tabular crystals that can be seen more clearly visible when viewed with the aid of polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. The crystals are usually elongated along the c-axis and are generally flattened in the a-axis direction. It is also sometimes found forming columnar aggregates and lamellar masses. Wolframite is also usually found showing perfect cleavage in one direction parallel to the a and c axes. The hardness measure of the mineral when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually ranging from 4 to 4.5. Wolframite is also showing uneven fracture when viewed under polarized microscopes. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 7 to 7.5 grams per cubic centimeters which is heavy even for metallic minerals. Mineral Wolframite is most commonly found leaving brown to black streak when specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. Wolframite is usually found associated with other minerals including hematite, micas, quartz, pyrite, tourmalines and cassiterite. Wolframite crystals are usually striated lengthwise which can be clearly observed when specimen is closely evaluated under petrographic polarizing microscopes. The best field indicators of mineral Wolframite usually include cleavage, color, crystal habit, luster and density. Wolframite notably occurs at several localities including China, Russia, Bolivia, Korea, England and some areas in USA.



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Thursday, October 15th, 2009 at 4:20 am
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The Sulfates Mineral Class
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