As most of you know, I am a mineral collector. Living in Cobalt Ontario is a dream come true for the two rockhounds in our household.
Mineral collecting is also a great source for blogging material. Today, by way of kicking the mood up a notch, I will tell you a bit about the mineral autunite.
Some minerals are named after the discoverer; other species, like autunite are named after the locality at which they were first discovered: in this case, the Autun District in France.
Autunite is a secondary mineral resulting from the oxidation of primary uranium minerals in hydrothermal veins, granite pegmatites, etc. – Mindat.org
Yes, that’s right, uranium. As in radioactive.
In our mineral collection, we have a sub-set of radioactive minerals, thanks to our proximity to the Canadian Shield. Mostly, though, the Ontario pieces we’ve collected are boring old black and brown and not the eye-popping electric lime green, yellow, or orange, that is found elsewhere on the planet. As an added bonus, the material is just about blinding under UV light.
A radioactive mineral specimen usually commands higher prices because of the “hot-rock” status, and because they are usually more colourful. The seller had listed the piece pictured above as “green mica”, and mica is a very common and less desirable mineral. But we recognized it as autunite, with the vibrant colouring. and bought up every piece we could at very cheap prices. Until the seller got wise, that is, realized his error, and started to charge accordingly. You win some, you lose some!
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Inspired by Jennifer Nichole Wells and Colour Your World – Electric Lime
… and wouldn’t you know it. Just as I was crossing i’s and dotting t’s, I realized that I am a week early for the electric-lime challenge.
What’s that saying? You win some, you lose some?
Categories: Mineral Collecting