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Crystalline Nickeline

The Mineral nickeline




Nickeline is named for its nickel composition, being one the primary nickel minerals. In the 1600's, it was thought to have contained copper due to its bronze color, and was known as kupfernickel ("kupfer" is copper in German.) It was officially named Nickeline by French mineralogist Francois Sulpice Beudant in 1832, and subsequently renamed Niccolite by James Dwight Dana in 1868, derived from the latin work for nickel. Both terms are still used to describe this mineral, though Nickeline is the more prevalent term.
Chemical Formula NiAs
Composition Nickel arsenate, often with some antimony
Variable Formula Ni(As,Sb)
Color Bronze to copper-red. tarnishes gray to dark gray.
Streak Dark brown to black
Hardness 5 - 5.5
Crystal System Hexagonal
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Nickeline crystals are uncommon. When they do occur, they are in hexagonally-shaped crystals that are prismatic with pyramidal terminations, or in tabular or stubby hexagons. Crystals are always small and usually in aggregates or plates. Most commonly massive, reniform, plumose, as crusts, as patches and splotches in host rock, and in veins.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 7.8
Luster Metallic
Cleavage None
Fracture Conchoidal to Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Sulfides; Arsenides
Striking Features Color and mode of occurrence
Environment In mesothermal ore veins.
Rock Type Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 1


Nickeline AUCTIONS
OTHER NAMES
Kupfernickel
Niccolite



USES
Nickeline is an ore of nickel. Crystallized specimens from the German locality of Eislebeln are considered rare classics, and specimens from the Cobalt, Ontario area are sometimes sliced into slabs for collectors.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
Nickeline in the form of small crystals are well-known from Eislebeln, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Other important localities include the Jáchymov District in the Krušné Hory Mountains, Bohemia, Czech Republic; Bou Azer, Morocco; and the Trotter Mine in Franklin, Sussex Co., New Jersey. Massive Nickeline is prevalent at in Ontario, Canado, at the ore-rich localities of Cobalt, Timiskaming District; and in the Sudbury District.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Pyrrhotite, Pentlandite, Chalcopyrite, Barite, Annabergite, Quartz, Calcite, Silver, Bismuth

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
The unique metallic-bronze color of Nickeline is very distinguishable and make this mineral hard to be confused with other minerals. An exception is Breithauptite (nickel antimonide), which is chemically and structurally similar to Nickeline, and often is indistinguishable without complex testing. 


nickeline PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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