Mineral Mondays #76 - The Beauty Of Lead, Wulfenite

in Proof of Brain5 months ago

Lead is a toxic mineral to humans, but when lead combines with molybdenite it forms the mineral wulfenite and It's got the looks that kill 🤘🏻.

Wulfenite is a lead-molybdate mineral PbMoO4 that is formed in lead bearing hydrothermal veins. in 1845 it was named after Franz Xaver von Wulfen who was a Jesuit priest and mineralogist.

Wulfenite's more attractive appearance is a bright, popsicle orange to candy red color with a "tetragonal" thin, rectangular shape. However, wulfenite comes in a few other shapes and colors too.

It get's it's orange-red-yellow coloring from chromium impurities in the crystals. It's thought that the molybdenum also adds to the coloring, but not the lead does not.

Here is a yellow variation from Mexico. The crystals are also shaped differently than most wulfenite specimens as they are elongated, pyramidal crystals.

Note the green, botryoidal mineral is mimetite which is usually yellow, but that's a topic for another Mineral Mondays.

Wulfenite was mined heavily in South West Arizona at the turn of the last century, most notably from the Red Cloud Mine & Rowley Mine.

While wulfenite is found all over the world, the Red Cloud Mine happens to produce some of the world's best specimens. I was lucky enough to be able to go and dig at the Red Cloud Mine and wrote about a trip to the here.

During that trip I was told by the mining foreman that when the deposit was discovered pockets of wulfenite crystals were found that contained crystals 6" in length!

This specimen contains blue/green dioptase crystals along with wulfenite from the Rowley Mine.

These crystals are works of art created by geological forces. In my opinion they can hold their own with the beautiful works of art made by humans. I often spend too many hours marveling at them from various angles. It's kind of my job as I have to clean, sculpt and prep them for sale to collectors. It never gets boring though!

If you love gems and minerals as much as I do you can find many rare & unique specimens, including wulfenite, in my Etsy shop here. I am running a 20% off sale for the next week!

Thanks for reading!

All photos were taken by my wife and I using our iPhone 10, 11 & 12 and our Canon EOS.

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The Etsy link didn't work, but I'm off to go shopping! 20% off sounds like Christmas shopping time! 🎅

That's odd because it just worked for me...

Thank you very much for the order!

Nature is so awesome, how can something that toxic on its own can produce a beautiful stone like that?
!LUV

Kind of like sugar, how can something so delicious be so bad for you? Nature is amazing.

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