QUARTZ GALENA SPHALERITE CHALCOPYRITE
A beautiful mineral specimen featuring Quartz Galena Sphalerite Chalcopyrite crystals. Super cute and collectable, specimens like this are quite fascinating. When looked at under magnification you can really see the shape of each different mineral. I could look at these for hours, in fact I do. If you don’t have too much space left in your cabinet a piece like this covers several different mineral types. A great mineral specimen whether you are a beginner or advanced collector.
8.6cm x 5.5cm x 5.1cm, 419g.
Quartz is a common mineral, found in the Earth’s crust. If pure, quartz forms colourless, transparent hard crystals with a glass like luster. A significant component of many igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Found in an abundant variety of formations and colors.
Polished Quartz was the most advanced technology thousands of years ago, used by the Assyrians. Quartz as a lens to focus light, could help start a fire for cooking. The Vikings could have used one of these to find the sun on a cloudy day. As a magnifying glass, Quartz enabled the ancients to see the stars too. Today it leads technology being the main component of transistors which make our computers work and solar panels.
Galena is a common and popular mineral for rock hounds. Its characteristic cubes, distinctive cleavage and high density make it easy to identify. The structure of Galena is identical to that of halite, NaCl. The two minerals have the same crystal shapes, symmetry and cleavage. Some Galena may contain up to 20% silver in place of lead.
One of the first transistors was a Galena Crystal and with a copper wire called “cats-whisker-with crystal”. Galena is a natural semiconductor. Really it formed part of a transistor, a more reliable PN junction or Diode. Metal Sulfides form natural PN Junctions like copper and copper oxide which also formed one of the first solar panels. Such an interesting subject I could on on about it.
Sphalerite also known as Blende or Zinc Blende is the major ore of zinc. When pure with little or no iron it forms clear crystals with colours ranging from pale yellow (Cleiophane) to orange and red shades (Ruby Blende). As the iron content increases it forms dark, opaque metallic crystals of Marmatite.
A major ore of copper. Common in sulfide veins and disseminated in igneous rocks.
Weathering may lead to the formation of malachite, azurite, brochantite, langite and numerous other secondary copper minerals.