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Mineral Spotlight: Crocoite

Mineral Spotlight: Crocoite

Melissa Sorrentino, Staff Writer
April 26, 2018
Filed under Science & Technology, Showcase

In 1766 an expedition in the Ural Mountains of Russia unintentionally exposed stunning flame-red crystals. In 1832 the crystals were given the name crocoise from the Greek word for saffron, referencing the mineral’s bright red-orange colors. The name was later altered to crocoite, which is what the ...

Mineral Spotlight: Rhodochrosite

Mineral Spotlight: Rhodochrosite

Melissa Sorrentino, Staff Writer
April 18, 2018
Filed under Science & Technology, Showcase

Rhodochrosite is a mineral known for its cherry red to hot pink crystals, which are generally a few centimeters in size but can be larger. Many of the world’s most valued rhodochrosite specimens were mined in Colorado at Sweet Home Mine, where the largest recorded specimen was found. Originally opened as...

Mineral Spotlight: Aquamarine

Mineral Spotlight: Aquamarine

Melissa Sorrentino, Staff Writer
April 6, 2018
Filed under Science & Technology

This month’s birthstone, aquamarine, takes its name from its color, which ranges from pale blue to sky blue to greenish-blue. The name actually means “water of the sea” in Latin. Crystals of aquamarine can be quite large but vary in size. The largest specimen was found in Brazil and weighed 243...

Mineral Spotlight: Malachite

Mineral Spotlight: Malachite

Melissa Sorrentino, Staff Writer
March 5, 2018
Filed under Science & Technology

Malachite is a beautiful mineral known for its intense green color. Thousands of years ago, it was also ground into a powder and used as a coloring pigment. Malachite is one of the oldest known copper ores and often polished and carved into jewelry or ornaments. Banded malachite is commonly found in ...

Mineral Spotlight: Gold

Mineral Spotlight: Gold

Melissa Sorrentino, Staff Writer
February 13, 2018
Filed under Science & Technology

Gold is one of the world’s most popular minerals. Gold is both a native element and a precious metal and is one of the most useful minerals mined from the earth. Throughout history, gold has been used by almost every culture as a symbol of power, beauty and accomplishment. The first documented discovery...

Mineral spotlight: Apatite

Mineral spotlight: Apatite

Melissa Sorrentino, Guest Writer
December 1, 2017
Filed under Science & Technology

Hopefully your Thanksgiving was a pleasant one, filled with lots of turkey, stuffing and all the works. At the Dice Mineralogical Museum, we sure had a large apatite.   Though the mineral itself may not be appetizing to eat, the teeth and bones of humans are composed of the same material as apatite...

Mineral spotlight: Crocoite

Mineral spotlight: Crocoite

Daniel Blakemore
April 28, 2017
Filed under Science & Technology

Crocoite is an exotic red-orange mineral with elongated crystals and often waxy luster. Its deep color and rarity make it a highly sought-after mineral for collectors. Crocoite forms in the oxidation zone of lead deposits where the oxygen and water from the surface alters the lead ore body into new minerals...

Mineral Spotlight: Dioptase

Mineral Spotlight: Dioptase

Daniel Blakemore
March 10, 2017
Filed under Science & Technology

Dioptase is a mineral highly coveted by collectors for exhibiting one of the most intense blue-green colors seen in nature. Dioptase forms beautiful 6-sided crystals with perfect cleavage planes which can be visible inside transparent crystals. The deep color of dioptase makes for stunning combinations...

Mineral spotlight: Autunite

Daniel Blakemore
February 24, 2017
Filed under Science & Technology

Autunite is a wonderful mineral for several reasons. First and most obviously is the distinctive bright lime-green color and unusual rectangular tabular crystal habit it can achieve — resembling sheets in a book. Autunite is also radioactive, as it is a minor ore of uranium, but perhaps most interesting...

Mineral spotlight: Ice

Daniel Blakemore
February 3, 2017
Filed under Science & Technology

It is about that time in the winter season when the warmth of the holidays has worn off, and those of us in Michigan are left with the cold and snow for a couple more months. Roads and walkways remain slippery, and the air is unforgiving to skin. Ice, as abundant and inconsequential as it appears, ...

Mineral Spotlight: Pigeonite

Daniel Blakemore
January 11, 2017
Filed under Science & Technology

Pigeonite is a common rock forming mineral that belongs to the pyroxene mineral group.  Pyroxenes are silicate minerals with varying amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium, and the pigeonite member has low calcium with relatively equal parts iron and Magnesium.  Pyroxenes are very common mineral group f...

Mineral spotlight: corundum

Daniel Blakemore
November 11, 2016
Filed under Science & Technology

Better known from its colored varieties, ruby and sapphire, corundum is a highly appealing mineral for both decorative and industrial use. The bright, deep colors along with its rarity and high hardness has made it an excellent gemstone throughout human history. Ruby is the name given to the red variety...