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Miargyrite with Pyrargyrite

The Mineral miargyrite




Miargyrite is an uncommon silver sulfosalt. Though opaque and with a metallic luster, it may have slight translucent overtones of dark red, especially when containing arsenic in its structure which can replace some of the antimony. Arsenic is responsible for lightening up the color, and when the arsenic fully replaces the antimony, the mineral is no longer Miargyrite, but Smithite, a rare sulfosalt with a bright red color and transparency. Miargyrite is named after the Greek word Meion - "less", and Argyros - "silver", since it contains a lesser percentage silver than other silver ores such as Pyrargyrite.
Chemical Formula AgSbS2
Composition Silver antimony sulfide, sometimes with some arsenic replacing the antimony
Variable Formula Ag(Sb,As)S2
Color Lead-gray to nearly black. May have internal dark red reflections or a minor iridescent tarnish.
Streak Red
Hardness 2 - 2.5
Crystal System Monoclinic
3D Crystal Atlas
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Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
In complex crystals often clustered together in tight groups. Aggregates are often rounded, with individual crystals rare and never large in size. Crystals are often complex, and are usually deeply striated. Other habits include drusyrosettegrainy, botryoidal in veins, and massive.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 5.1 - 5.3
Luster Metallic
Cleavage 3,3
Fracture Subconchoidal to uneven
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Sulfides; Sulfosalts
Striking Features Color and streak
Environment In silver veins of low temperature hydrothermal replacement deposits.
Rock Type Sedimentary
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 1


Miargyrite ON EBAY

POLYMORPHS
Baumstarkite


USES
Miargyrite is an ore of silver.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
The type locality for Miargyrite is Bräunsdorf, Freiberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany, where small but lustrous crystals have been found with Quartz. A classic European region for this mineral is Baia Sprie and Baia Mare (the Herja Mine), in Maramureș Co., Romania.

Perhaps the finest specimens of Miargyrite have come from the San Genaro Mine in Huancavelica Department, Peru, where it forms in relatively large examples for this species including thick crystal masses. In the U.S., crystallized examples as well as silvery masses come from the Kelly Mine, Randsburg, Kern Co., California.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Quartz, Pyrite, Pyrargyrite, Polybasite, Stephanite, Sphalerite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Pyrargyrite - Darker colored streak; otherwise difficult to distiniguish.


miargyrite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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