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The chemical formula of mineral Nickeline is indicated by NiAs or Nickel Arsenide. Nickeline is actually a Sulfide mineral. Nickeline is also considered as a minor ore of nickel and it is also usually used as mineral specimen. Nickeline can be also found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope appearance when viewed with the aid of polarized light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. The first name for Nickeline was the German term “Kupfer nickel” or copper nickel. It sounds like some sort of alloy. It actually was a term of derision because nickel meant ‘nixes’ or underground goblins. In fact, the miners who first found the copper-red metallic mineral were convinced that the mineral was a rich ore of copper. But, they realized that no copper was found from the nickel arsenide. The metal that was produced from the mineral was found to be useful and valuable, hence the term nickel.

 

            Nickeline is actually not a very common mineral. But then, it can be found with other nickel and cobalt sulfide ores and thus it is included with them when mined for their various ores. This is why Nickeline is considered as a minor ore of nickel and commercially important to some localities. Although Nickeline crystals are very scarce, some formations of this mineral can be attractive and interesting addition to some mineral collections.

 

            Nickeline is most commonly found in copper-red to pink color that could be more fascinating when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. Nickeline is most commonly found showing metallic luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized microscopes for mineralogists. Most Nickeline crystals are found opaque in appearance. Nickeline is known to crystallize in the hexagonal system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, the hexagonal system of crystallization comprises crystals having four axes. Three of which are positioned in a single plane with equal length and are symmetrically spaced. The fourth axis is found to be perpendicular to the other three axes. The crystal habit of mineral Nickeline is limited mostly to massive and granular components of massive hydrothermal sulfide rocks and gabbros, but a few localities have produced good pyramidal or tabular crystals. Columnar or reniform habits can be also found when samples are evaluated under polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Rare fourling twin can be also possibly found when Nickeline specimen is closely evaluated under petrographic polarizing microscopes for mineralogists.

 

            Nickeline has no observed cleavage even when closely viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes. Nickeline is also most commonly found showing uneven fracture when viewed under petrographic polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of mineral Nickeline when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually found ranging from 5 to 5.5. When Nickeline specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate, it is most commonly found leaving a dark brown to black streak. The specific gravity measure of Nickeline is approximately 7.8 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered well above average for metallic minerals. Nickeline often develop a dark tarnish on fresh surfaces and weathered surfaces may have a coating of the green nickel arsenate, annabergites. When Nickeline is heated, it gives off a garlic odor due to its arsenic content. Nickeline crystals tend to be striated. The best field indicators of mineral Nickeline include density, color, odor when heated, hardness, and streak. Nickeline is most commonly found associated with other interesting minerals such as arsenopyrite, barite, cobaltite, silver, annabergites, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, pentlandite, maucherite, and breithauptite. Sulfide minerals are usually hydrothermal in origin, although Nickeline is also found in igneous rocks such as gabbros. Nickeline notably occurs at its type of localities at Japan, Germany, California, Austria, Mexico, Iran, Canada, England, Morocco, Russia, Southern Australia, and some areas in USA.



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Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 3:20 am
Category:
The Sulfides Mineral Class
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