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Intergrown Bismuthinite Crystals

The Mineral bismuthinite

Bismuthinite is an uncommon bismuth mineral that forms in interesting crystal habits. It generally forms in bismuth deposits, and may even form in together with Native Bismuth. Bismuthinite is structurally similar to Stibnite, with a similar appearance, but they occur in different environments, and Stibnite can form in much larger and robust crystals. Bismutite, a bismuth carbonate mineral, sometimes forms as an alteration of Bismuthinite. Bismuthinite is named for its bismuth content.

Chemical Formula Bi2S3
Composition Bismuth sulfide
Color Metallic gray to silver. May have a slightly yellow or iridescent tarnish.
Streak Gray
Hardness 2
Crystal System Orthorhombic
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Individual crystals, which are uncommon, are mostly in long and prismatic crystals that are usually striated. Tabular crystals are extremely rare. Most often in acicular groupings, in radiating groups, in thin splintery growths, and bladed. Also in foliated masses, grainy, and massive. Crystals are sometime bent or entirely misshaped.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 6.8
Luster Metallic
Cleavage 1,1
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle. Also slightly flexible and sectile.
In Group Sulfides; Simple Sulfides
Striking Features High density, low hardness, and crystal habit
Environment In hydrothermal replacement deposits, in granite pegmatites, and in magmatic hydrothermal veins.
Rock Type Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 2

Bismuthinite AUCTIONS

Bismuthinite is an important ore of the element bismuth.

Bismuthinite is not a common mineral. Excellent examples of this mineral, including large individual crystals, have come from Potosí, Bolivia, especially at the Tazna Mine. Large foliated crystal masses of Bismuthinite were found in the Biggenden Mine, Queensland, Australia. In Europe, noteworthy localities include the Redruth, Camborne, and St. Day Austell Districts, Cornwall, England; Les Chaises, Meymac, Corrèze, France; the Clara Mine, Oberwolfach, Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany; and the Alsó-Rózsa Mine, Nagybörzsöny, Hungary. Tiny Bismuthinite  needles come from the La Fossa crater, Vulcano Island, (near Lipari Island), Italy.

In the U.S., Bismuthinite localities include the Old Mine Plaza construction site, Trumbull, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; Haddam and Portland, Middlesex Co., Connecticut; and the Creole Mine, Mineral Range, Beaver Co., Utah.

Quartz, Chalcopyrite, Pyrite, Arsenopyrite, Covellite, Microcline, Andradite Bismuth, Bismutite

May appear similar to Stibnite but can be distinguished by a higher specific gravity.

bismuthinite PHOTOS
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