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The chemical formula of mineral Tetrahedrite is indicated by Cu12Sb4S13 or Copper Antimony Sulfide. Tetrahedrite is actually a Sulfide mineral. Tetrahedrite is also considered as an ore of copper and as a minor ore of silver. It is usually found exhibiting nice and interesting images when viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes for mineralogists. Tetrahedrite actually forms a solid solution series with the rare tennantite mineral. In the field of optical mineralogy, the two minerals share the same crystal structure but they actually differ in the percentage of arsenic versus antimony. Tetrahedrite is named after its common crystal form, tetrahedron. Tetrahedrite is also a member of the informal mineral group called fahlerz or fahlores group. This group was named after an old miner’s word which means pale ore. Most members of the Tetrahedrite group belong to this informal group. Tetrahedrite can be also found forming interesting and fascinating mineral specimen when evaluated with the aid of polarizing microscope for mineralogists. Oftentimes, it is found containing certain percentage of silver and it is used as a minor ore of silver. Tetrahedrite is usually found forming multi-faceted tetrahedral crystals as well as the flat faced simple tetrahedral crystals can be very striking and a real pleasure for mineral collectors to own.

 

            Tetrahedrite is most commonly found black to steel gray to silver color that can be more fascinating when viewed under polarized microscopes for mineralogists. Tetrahedrite is also usually found showing metallic luster when viewed in reflected light of petrographic polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Most crystals of mineral Tetrahedrite are found opaque in appearance. Tetrahedrite is also known to crystallize in the isometric system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this isometric crystal system comprises crystals having three axes, all of which are perpendicular to one another and all are found equal in lengths. The crystal habit of the mineral Tetrahedrite as described in the field of optical mineralogy usually include the tetrahedron that is sometimes modified by the dodecahedron and tristetrahedron. Tetrahedrite is also occasionally found showing twinned crystals. Sometimes it also forms massive and granular specimens.

 

            Tetrahedrite has absent cleavage even when it is evaluated closely with the aid of polarizing microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Tetrahedrite is also found showing conchoidal fracture when evaluated with the aid of polarized microscope for mineralogists. The hardness measure of mineral Tetrahedrite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually 3 to 4+. Tetrahedrite is also most commonly found leaving a black to brown streak when specimen sample is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral Tetrahedrite is approximately 4.6 to 5.1 grams per cubic centimeters, which is average for metallic minerals. Tetrahedrite is usually found associated with galena, quartz, pyrite, chalcopyrite and many other sulfides. Tetrahedrite is sometimes found tarnishing to a greenish shade. The best field indicators of mineral Tetrahedrite usually include color, crystal habit and lack of cleavage. Tetrahedrite notably occurs at several localities including Australia, Peru, Germany, Mexico and many others.



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Thursday, August 13th, 2009 at 2:19 pm
Category:
The Sulfides Mineral Class
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