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Spiky Strontianite Cluster

The Mineral strontianite

Strontianite is one of the few important minerals containing the element strontium, and, along with Celestine, is its principal ore. Strontianite was named in 1791 after its initial discovery in Strontian, Argyllshire, Scotland. The element strontium, which was undescribed prior to this occurrence, was subsequently named after this mineral and its locality.
Chemical Formula SrCO3
Composition Strontium carbonate, often with some calcium, and sometimes with some barium
Variable Formula (Sr,Ca,Ba)CO3
Color Colorless, white, grayish-white, light yellow, light pink, light orange, and light brown.
Streak White
Hardness 3.5 - 4
Crystal System Orthorhombic
3D Crystal Atlas
(Click for animated model) 
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
As dense, fragile, fibrous veins or in massive form, containing microscopic needles or plates. Also in globular balls with small visible crystal spikeheads. May also form as radiating, fibrous, grainy, and columnar. Other habits include bundles of long, curved crystals, and thin, long, sharply pointed needles. Rarely in pseudohexagonal trillings and singular prismatic or tabular crystals.
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity 3.7
Luster Vitreous. Greasy on cleaved surfaces.
Cleavage 1,1 - prismatic ; 3,1 - basal
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
Other ID Marks Often fluoresces blue or bluish-white in shortwave ultraviolet light.
May also thermoluminesce.
Complex Tests Weakly effervescent in hydrochloric acid
In Group Carbonates; Aragonite group
Striking Features Interesting crystal habits, weight, and hardness
Environment In low temperature sedimentary limestone deposits, sometimes also in weathered basalt and Serpentine rocks.
Rock Type Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 2

Strontianite AUCTIONS

Strontianite is an important ore of strontium, and is used in sugar refining and in the production of fireworks.

Excellent Strontianite specimens come from Germany in Westphalia at the Dreislar Mine, Winterberg; and the Phoenix quarry, Beckum, where large veins of this mineral contain pockets of fine crystals. Small, prismatic trillings come from Oberdorf an der Laming, Styria, Austria. A famous locality, from which the name Strontianite is derived, is Strontian, Argyllshire, Scotland. Other European localities are the Ratum quarry, Vosseveld, Netherlands; the Cavradi Gorge, Grischun, Switzerland; and Piagnolo, Campegli, and Casazzascany, Italy.

In the U.S., arguably the best locality is the Minerva No. 1 Mine, Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois. Another excellent occurrence is Lime City Quarry, Lime City, Wood Co., Ohio. Pennsylvania contains several important limestone quarries where this mineral is found, specifically the Meckley Quarry, Mandata, Union Co.; Winfield, Union Co., Pennsylvania; and Lime Ridge, Mt. Pleasant Mills, Snyder Co. Other localities include Schoharie, Schoharie Co., New York; the Holston River Quarry, Dublin, Pulaski Co., Virginia; the Strontium hills near Barstow, San Bernardino Co., California; and the Alverson Mine, Lake Conner, Skagit Co., Washington.

In Canada, Strontianite comes from Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec; and the Lafarge Quarry, Dundas, Ontario.

Calcite, Celestine, Barite, Fluorite

Calcite - Lighter in weight, usually forms in different crystal aggregates.
Aragonite - Lighter in weight.
Cerussite and Witherite - Heavier.

strontianite PHOTOS
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