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Tellurium with Sylvanite

The Mineral tellurium




Native Tellurium is very rare. Only small quantities have been found in a natural state, and it is only of interest to the collector. Due to its rarity, Tellurium specimens are highly sought after by collectors.
Chemical Formula Te
Composition Tellurium, sometimes with some iron, selenium, gold, and silver
Variable Formula (Te,Fe,Se,Au,Ag)
Color Tin-white, usually with a light pinkish-yellowish tarnish
Streak Tin-white
Hardness 2 - 2.5
Crystal System Hexagonal
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Usually massive, but also in thin veins, and more rarely in thin, prismatic, hexagonal crystals.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 6.1 - 6.3
Luster Metallic
Cleavage 2,1 - prismatic ; 3,1 - basal
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
Other ID Marks Oxidation causes a slightly yellowish and/or pinkish hue.
Complex Tests Dissolves in nitric acid and aqua regia.
In Group Native Elements; Semi-Metallic Elements
Striking Features Tin-white color with slight yellowish-pinkish tarnish, unusual crystal habit, and specific localities.
Environment In hydrothermal deposits and ore veins.
Rock Type Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 2
Demand (1-3) 2

Tellurium ON EBAY
OTHER NAMES
Native Tellurium


USES
Native Tellurium is very uncommon, and is only occasionally used as an ore of tellurium where other tellurium minerals occur. Nevertheless, the uses of the element tellurium are briefly mentioned: Tellurium is used industrially for thermoelectric apparatuses and in the process of creating rubber. It is also used medically, and as a coloring for glass. Another use is as a gasoline additive to to reduce engine knock.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
Tellurium is rare, and its localities are limited. Specimens have come from Fata Bali in the Transylvania, Romania; and Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. It has also been found in Japan in the Kawazu mine, Rendaiji, in Shizuoka Prefecture. The Emperor Mine in Vatukoula, Viti Levu, Fiji has been perhaps the most famous locality for this mineral, together with Montezuma, Sonora, Mexico. Also in Sonora, Mexico is the locality of Cananea.

In the U.S., the most famous Tellurium locality is Cripple Creek, Teller Co., Colorado. Other Colorado occurrences are the Jamestown District and the Gold Hill District, both in Boulder Co. Tellurium has also been found in Lincoln Co., Nevada, and in Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties, California.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Quartz, Sylvanite, Calaverite, Gold, Silver, Poughite

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Bismuth - Darker color (except on freshly exposed surfaces), higher specific gravity.


tellurium PHOTOS
 
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