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Interconnected Crocoite Needles

The Mineral crocoite




With its beautiful deep orange-red color, Crocoite is a mineral that fascinates collectors. It was first found in Russia and later in other European localities, but only sparingly and in very small crystals. The Australian discovery on the island of Tasmania took this mineral to a whole new level when large, brilliant, well-formed crystals larger and more abundant than any other localities were found. The original crystals from this discovery yielded phenomenal crystals and aggregates, although excellent material is still coming out of these mines as they are now being mined for specimen production.

Crocoite is generally a fragile mineral and care should be taken when handling.
Chemical Formula PbCrO4
Composition Lead chromate
Color Bright orange-red
Streak Orange-red with a yellow tint
Hardness 2.5 - 3
Crystal System Monoclinic
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Crystals are elongated and prismatic, and almost always striated vertically. Large and single crystals are uncommon; this mineral is most often as reticulated aggregates, acicular groupings, elongated needles, grainy, encrusting, and as disorganized groupings of small prismatic crystals. Crystals are sometimes partially hollow.
Transparency Translucent
Specific Gravity 5.9 - 6.1
Luster Adamantine
Cleavage 3,1 - prismatic
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle, but very slightly sectile
Complex Tests Soluble in hydrochloric acid
In Group Sulfates; Chromates
Striking Features Color and luster, crystal habits, and localities
Environment A secondary mineral in the oxidation zone of lead deposits.
Rock Type Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 2
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 1


Crocoite ON EBAY
OTHER NAMES
Red Lead Ore



USES
Crocoite was at one time a main ore of chromium, but it is now too rare to be used. Crystals are highly sought after by mineral collectors because of their attractive color.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
The Adelaide Mine and the Red Lead Mine in Dundas, on the island of Tasmania, Australia, is where Crocoite is most abundant, and where the most magnificent crystals come from. Recent finds in both the 2010 Pocket and the 2012 Red River Find in the Adelaide Mine are especially noteworthy. New specimen production has also just begun in the Red Lead Mine.

Crocoite was found in Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), in the Ural Mountains of Russia; Callenberg, Saxony, Germany; Nontron, France; and Congonhas de Campo, Brazil. It also comes from the Australian mainland in the Happy Jack Mine, Menzies, Western Australia.

In the U.S., only small amounts were found, only capable of being micromounts. Occurrences include the Mammoth Mine, Tiger, Pinal Co., Arizona; the El Dorado Mine, Indio, Riverside Co., California; and Darwin, Inyo Co., California.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Wulfenite, Cerussite, Vanadinite, Pyromorphite, Galena, Gibbsite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Wulfenite, Cinnabar, and Vanadinite - Form in different crystals.
Realgar - Softer, lighter in weight.
Cuprite var. Chalcotrichite - Harder, occurs in different localities.


crocoite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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