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Elongated Calaverite Crystal

The Mineral calaverite




There are only few minerals that are compounds with gold in their structure. All are rare, though Calaverite is one of the best known. Calaverite is named after Calaveras County, California, where it was first described.
Chemical Formula AuTe2
Composition Gold telluride, often with some silver
Variable Formula (Au,Ag)Te2
Color Brass-yellow to silver-white
Streak Grayish yellow to gray
Hardness 2.5 - 3
Crystal System Monoclinic
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
In bladed or elongated crystals, and in short tabular crystals. Crystals are almost always striated lengthwise, and are usually small and in parallel or platy groupings. Also grainy, massive, and as coatings and crusts.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 9.1 - 9.4
Luster Metallic
Cleavage None
Fracture Conchoidal
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Sulfides; Tellurides
Striking Features Crystal habits, striations, and mode of occurrence.
Environment Low temperature hydrothermal replacement deposits.
Rock Type Sedimentary
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 1


Calaverite AUCTIONS

POLYMORPHS
Krennerite


USES
Calaverite is an ore of gold. It is also rare collector's mineral, with special value due to its gold content.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
The bulk of collector's specimens of Calaverite are from several of the mines in the Cripple Creek District, Teller Co., Colorado, including the Ajax/Cresson, Doctor, El Paso, Mary McKinney, Molly Kathleen, Portland, and Vindicator Mines. In California, tiny samples of Calaverite have come from the type locality at Carson Hill, Calaveras Co., California, in the Melones and Stanislaus Mines. In Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Calaverite is actively mined with Gold as an ore of gold.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Quartz, Fluorite, Pyrite, Gold

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Sylvanite - May be very similar, though Sylvanite has perfect cleavage, and is also slightly lower in hardness.


calaverite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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