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The chemical formula of mineral Wulfenite is indicated by PbMoO4 or Lead Molybdate. Wulfenite is actually Sulfate mineral. It is considered as a minor ore of molybdenum. It is also usually used as mineral specimen and is most often found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. Wulfenite is considered as a nice collection mineral species and it is actually popular in such aspect being a mineral. Many collectors around the world is attracted to its strong color, nice luster and one-of-a-kind crystal habit that can be closely observed with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. It has been known in optical mineralogy that Wulfenite is an enigma in terms of its symmetry. This is so because there are so many conflicting results of various symmetry test on it and this usually does not happen.

             Wulfenite is most commonly found showing yellow, red, silver, orange and white colors that appear more fascinating and splendidly exhibited under polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Wulfenite is also usually found showing vitreous luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized microscope for mineralogists. Most crystals of mineral Wulfenite are found transparent to translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of the mineral usually include very thin square of octahedral pinacoid plates with pyramidal faces truncating just the edges of the crystal. At times, it can be observed with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscopes that the pyramids become prominent and pseudo-dipyramidal crystal habits are seen, sometimes also because of twinning. Prismatic faces are also seen and can actually make pseudo-cubic crystals. It is also sometimes found encrusting and cavernous aggregates due to intergrowth of crystal plates. Mineral Wulfenite is known to crystallize in the tetragonal system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this tetragonal system comprises crystals having three axes, which are all in a position perpendicular to one another. Two axes are usually found having the same or equal length. The symmetry is sometimes different. The difference is the disputed existence of a mirror plane perpendicular to the four-fold axis. If the mirror exists, then the crystal should have a top that is a mirror image of its bottom. However, not all crystals will show this image clearly. The bottom pyramidal faces slant at a different angle from the top pyramidal faces. This oddity on the symmetry of Wulfenite adds to the interesting aspects of the mineral among serious collectors.            Mineral Wulfenite is usually found showing perfect cleavage in one direction most especially when specimen is evaluated with the aid of polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. It is also commonly found showing conchoidal fracture wich can be seen more clearly visible when evaluated with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists. The hardness measure of the mineral Wulfenite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually found 3. Wulfenite is also most commonly found leaving a white streak when it is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of mineral Wulfenite is approximately 6.8 grams per cubic centimeters, which is very heavy for translucent minerals. The index of refraction of mineral Wulfenite is usually found ranging from 2.28 to 2.40 which is very high but is typical of lead minerals. Wulfenite is most commonly found associated with limonite, mimetite, Vanadinite, galena and Smithsonite. The best field indicators of mineral Wulfenite are usually include luster, crystal habit, density and color. Wulfenite notably occurs at several localities including Morocco, Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, as well as Namibia.                  



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Thursday, October 15th, 2009 at 4:23 am
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The Sulfates Mineral Class
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