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Millerite on Stilpnomelane

The Mineral millerite

Millerite is known for its interesting crystal habit of slender brassy crystal growths and hair-like tufts. It frequently forms inside geodes and vugs where it has the room to develop its interesting crystals. Millerite was named in honor of William Hallowes Miller (1801 – 1880), a prominent Welsh mineralogist  responsible for laying the foundations of modern crystallography. The miller indices relating to crystallography are named after him.
Chemical Formula NiS
Composition Nickel sulfide, sometimes with iron, copper, and cobalt
Variable Formula (Ni,Fe,Cu,Co)S
Color Metallic yellow, bronze, silvery-gray. May display an iridescent tarnish.
Streak Greenish black
Hardness 3 - 3.5
Crystal System Hexagonal
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
In dense needle growths and hair-like tufts, acicular groups of thin needles, capillary, radiating, as botryoidal masses of needles, in thick radiating veins, plumose, and massive.
Transparency Opaque
Specific Gravity 5.3 - 5.5
Luster Metallic
Cleavage 1,2
Fracture Splintery, uneven
Tenacity Brittle. Slender crystals slightly flexible and elastic.
Complex Tests Becomes magnetic upon heating.
In Group Sulfides; Simple Sulfides
Striking Features Crystal habit and mode of occurrence
Environment In hydrothermal replacement deposits, nickel-rich orebodies, and in limestone and dolomite pockets and cavities.
Rock Type Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 2
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 1

Millerite AUCTIONS
Capillary Pyrites
Hair Pyrites

Millerite is an ore of nickel. It is an uncommon mineral and good crystals are highly valued by collectors.

Germany contains many old and classic localities for Millerite, with the best being the Friedrich Mine, Wissen, Siegerland (unusually thick crystals) and Ramsbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia. Other worldwide localities include the Glamorgan area, Wales, UK; Kladno, Bohemia, Czech Republic; the Perseverance Mine, Leinster, Leonora Shire, Western Australia; and the Pafuri Nickel Deposit, Limpopo Province, South Africa.

In the U.S., dense Millerite needles in geodes are well-known at the Route 27 Roadcut, Halls Gap, Lincoln Co., Kentucky. Highly aesthetic acicular sprays in vugs with Stilpnomelane were found in the Sterling Mine, Antwerp, Jefferson Co., New York, which is another classic locality for this mineral. Thick Millerite mats in geodes come from Ollie, Keokuk Co., Iowa; and Millerite embedded inside Calcite crystals from Keokuk, Lee Co., Iowa. Botryoidal Millerite aggregates formed from radial needles have come from the Gap Mine, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania; and aesthetic sprays from Estabrook Park in the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin. Hairy Millerite masses have been found at the Wallace Quarry, Pigeon, Huron Co., Michigan; and tree-like formations of densely interconnected crystals create an aesthetic form of this mineral at the Meikle Mine, Elko Co., Nevada.

In Canada, radiating Millerite balls and veins have come from the Thompson Mine, Manitoba; and massive Millerite with Chalcopyrite was mined in Levack Township, Sudbury, Ontario.

Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Siderite, Quartz, Hematite

millerite PHOTOS
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