Minearl seeking expedition
Cheryl & Richard Sittinger
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Here you'll find photos and descriptions of the 12 minerals we featured in 2006. If you'd like to order all 12 at once, you'll find the links as you scroll down the page.

Hanksite, Searles Lake, San Bernardino County, California

January 2006 We started the new year off right with fascinating doubly terminated crystals of the rare mineral hanksite [KNa22(SO4)9(CO3)2Cl] from its type locality, Searles Lake, San Bernardino County, California. Were it not for the Searles Lake locality, hanksite would be an extremely rare mineral, and the write-up gives the details of this unique environment. The pieces we're sending are excellent, well-crystallized pieces, but are lacking in color and luster. Hey, we can't send a gorgeous mineral every month-- even what some would call ugly minerals have their own wonderful characteristics that we can appreciate!
February 2006 Things couldn't have worked out better--we wanted to feature something special for our 120th month, and we certainly did! We secured an excellent lot of polished Amber from the Curonian Lagoon, Lithuania, to send out in February--yes, of course we realize that amber is not technically a mineral but rather a fossilized tree resin, but most mineral lovers also appreciate this rare and beautiful material. The write-up  explained in detail how it is forms. Because of the value of Baltic amber and its popularity for use as a gemstone and in beads and jewelry, Gold-Level-size specimens were smaller than what we typically send.

Amber (polished), Curonian Lagoon, Lithuania

Pyrite, Victoria Mine, Navajún, La Rioja, Spain

March 2006 This was the tenth anniversary of the Mineral of the Month Club! We thought we'd celebrate by featuring excellent, large specimens of the first mineral we featured way back in March 1996, when we had 11 members: the nearly-perfect cubes of Pyrite [FeS2] from Victoria Mine, Navajún, La Rioja, Spain. These sit beautifully on light-colored matrix, one of the most striking specimens you will ever see. These cubes are so perfect people find it hard to believe they are natural!
April 2006 This was a wonderful month as we featured another particularly beautiful and recently discovered mineral, Cavansite [Ca(V4+O)Si4O10⋅4H2O] from the Wagholi Quarry, Wagholi, Pune, Maharashtra, India. This is the same mineral we featured back in April 1996, and forms as beautiful balls of bright blue crystals on a matrix of drusy quartz with occasional white heulandite and pink stilbite crystals, making for a wonderful contrast. We still have some available if you would like to include one with your membership-- just mention in in the "Special Instructions" at the bottom of our secure Checkout page.

Cavansite, Wagholi Quarry, Ahmadnagar, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Apatite, Yates Mine, Otter Lake, Quebec, Canada

May 2006 From the Yates Mine, Otter Lake, Pontiac County, Quebec, Canada, we featured lovely dark green crystals of Fluorapatite [Ca5(PO4)3F] in calcite matrix. Fluorapatite is one of the most remarkable, useful, and important of all minerals: as the most abundant phosphate mineral, it has both mineralogical and biological origins and is the material of which bones and teeth are made. In addition to serving as a gemstone, it is the world’s primary source of phosphorus and phosphorus compounds, and as such serves as the basis of a $4.2-billion-per-year, worldwide mining industry. The write-up has all the details on its remarkable properties and uses.
June 2006   Again in honor of our tenth anniversary, we featured gorgeous specimens of the mineral we featured back in June 1996: Apophyllite [KCa4Si8O20(F,OH)∙8H2O] from Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India. (It's hard to take a photo that shows the true beauty of the clear crystals!) The write-up explains its unusual crystal structure, the meaning of its name (including why it is properly called fluorapophyllite,) and give details on the area in India where it is found.

Apohyllite, Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Halite, Klodawa, Wielkopolskie, Poland

July 2006   We featured Halite [NaCl], our first (and probably only) featured mineral from Poland. What makes these unique is the natural blue color, believed to be caused by naturally occurring radiation--the write-up has all the details. These specimens did not have sharply-formed crystals faces, but were outstanding for their color and locality. The write-up also discussed in depth Poland's 800-year old Wieliczka Salt Mine, now a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site.
August 2006  We found an excellent lot of Cornetite [Cu2+3(PO4)(OH)3], from its type locality, L'Etoile du Congo Mine (Star of the Congo Mine), Lubumbashi, Shaba (Katanga), Congo. This rare phosphate mineral forms as very small (about 1mm), dark blue crystals on a sandstone matrix, each pieces containing many crystals spread across the matrix. The write-up discussed the significance of a mineral's type locality, with many examples.

Cornetite, L'Etoile du Congo Mine, Lubumbashi, Shaba Copper Belt, Shaba, Congo

Wavellite, Mauldin Mountain, Montgomery County, Arkansas

September 2006 Another exceptional month, as we featured Wavellite [Al3(PO4)2(OH,F)3∙5H2O] from Mauldin Mountain, Montgomery County, Arkansas, source of the world's finest wavellite specimens. Here the wavellite forms as radiating aggregates and as spheres of bright green microcrystals in openings in the rock.
October 2006 In honor of our tenth anniversary, we featured another of the gorgeous minerals from our first year when we had only a handful of members: Crocoite [PbCrO4] from the classic locality in the Zeehan district, Tasmania, Australia. The write-up gave the history of the find and highlights the element chromium and its ability to impart bright colors to minerals and other compounds.

Crocoite, Adelaide Mine,  Dundas, Zeehan District, Tasmania, Australia

Wenshan Mine, Wenshan
Wenshan Autonomous Prefecture
Yunnan Province, China
November 2006 We featured  Hemimorphite [Zn4Si2O7(OH)2H20] from the Wenshan mine, Yunnan Province, China. These specimens are of a light to bright sky-blue to turquoise-blue color, and form as botryoidal coatings on matrix, totally different from the white crystals on brown matrix from Mexico that we sent to Club members when we first featured hemimorphite in October 2000. We still have some wonderful specimens available if you'd like to include one with your membership!
December 2006 Finally, we were able to feature Corundum, variety Ruby [Al2O3] as we have been wanting to do for several years! These are small but very good specimens on matrix, from the mineral-rich Karelia Republic, Russia. The Russian collectors said they will not be going back for more as the specimens are just too difficult to remove solely with hand tools, so we were especially happy to secure this excellent lot.

Ruby, Khit Island (Khit Ostrov), Karelia Republic, Russia

Would you like to have all 12 minerals we featured in 2006 as seen in the above photos? Then order here:

All 12 featured minerals from 2006 in Gold-Level size for $247.50--12 minerals for the price of 11!


All 12 featured minerals from 2006 in Silver-Level size for $77--12 minerals for the price of 11!


All 12 featured minerals from 2006 in Platinum size--Larger, better specimens--12 for the price of 11--Email us for price: Inquire about all 12 minerals from 2006 in Platinum-level size

Would you like to have all 24 minerals we featured in 2006 and 2005 as seen in the photos above and below? Then order here:

All 24 featured minerals from 2006 and 2005 in Gold-Level size for $470--24 for the price of 21!


All 24 featured minerals from 2006 and 2005 in Silver-Level size for $147--24 for the price of 21!






























































































































2005 Minerals Gold-Level-size specimens

Gypsum after glauberite, Camp Verde, Yavapai County, Arizona

JANUARY 2005 We featured pseudomorphs of gypsum after glauberite from Camp Verde,  Arizona, and the write-up explained in depth the various ways that pseudomorphs form. (Want to know more about pseudomorphism by alteration, pseudomorphism by incrustation, epimorphs,  endomorphs, and perimorphs-- the write-up explains them all!) The write-up also had some information on the locality from the old Mineral of the Month Club run by Russ & Alexandra Filer in the 1970's and 1980's.

Molybdenite, Wolfram Camp, near Dimbulah, Queensland, Australia.

FEBRUARY 2005 We were really excited to feature molybdenite [MoS2] in February! We never thought we'd find a large enough lot of quality specimens of this rare mineral, the primary ore of the fascinating element molybdenum, and are delighted to report that we did! The write-up detailed all the interesting properties of the element and the mineral--an outstanding month as we learned all about "moly."
 MARCH 2005 Our 9th Anniversary!  To celebrate the ninth anniversary of our Club, we featured beautiful spessartine garnet from the new find in China, as described in the March-April 2005 Mineralogical Record magazine. (The photo doesn't capture the true beauty of the specimen.) Gold-Level-size specimens this month were on matrix sized between 2" by 2" and 3" by 3", and upgrades were available-- contact us for details.

Spessartine, Tongbei, Yuling regions, Zhangzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China

Augelite, Rapid  Creek, Yukon Territory, Canada

APRIL 2005  This was another wonderful month, as we featured the rare phosphate mineral augelite [Al2(PO4)(OH)3] as small green crystals on matrix from the Rapid Creek area of Yukon, Canada. As often happens when we feature a rare mineral, Gold-Level and Platinum specimens were smaller than normal.
MAY 2005 Another exceptional month featuring a colorful mineral! While in Tucson, we picked out a great lot of colorful orange orpiment [As2S3] from Russia. These brightly colored pieces were again a little smaller than usual. The Russian dealers were rather sorry to see them go, as they have not been able to recover any more on subsequent trips to the remote collecting area.

Orpiment, Elbrusskiy Mine, Northern Caucasus Region, Russia

Opal, Opal Butte, 35 miles south of Heppner, Morrow County, Oregon

 June 2005 Finally, after many of years of seeking, we purchased a large lot of opal [SiO2∙nH2O] from Oregon to feature. Specimens consisted of opal seams in matrix, recovered from the Thundereggs so plentiful at Opal Butte, Oregon,  each with its own unique color of opal: white, brown, yellow, blue, and even clear!
July 2005 This was a heavy month, with a really high postage bill for us, as we featured galena [PbS], the primary ore of lead (Pb). Our specimens come from the mines of the famous Viburnum Trend of Missouri, and the write-up will delve into the unique properties of the heavy element lead, and the the history of this important ore-producing area.

Galena, Viburnum Trend District, Iron County, Missouri

Purpurite, Sandamap Pegmatite, Usakos, Karibib District, Namibia

August 2005 Another colorful month, as we featured another rare phosphate mineral, purpurite [Mn3+PO4] from Sandamap (or Sandamab) Pegmatite, Usakos, Karibib District, Namibia.  Purpurite is one of the few purple minerals found, and one of the few minerals which has never been found in crystalline form. It also forms a series with the closely related mineral heterosite [Fe3+PO4], leading some authorities to conclude that Sandamap specimens should actually be called heterosite. The write-up explains all this,  elaborates on purpurite's unique properties, explains the unusual mode of formation of this beautiful mineral, and gives some background information on this mineral-rich African nation, home of Tsumeb, considered by many as the world's finest mineral locality.
September 2005 We were very excited to be able to feature prehnite [Ca2Al2Si3O10(OH)2] from a recent find in Bendoukou, Sandaré District, Kayes Region, Mali, Africa. Because this is a new find, and the specimens are very pretty, Gold-Level-size specimens were smaller than what we typically send, as ball-shaped clusters about 1" in diameter. The write-up explained its complex crystal structure, and how its name started a trend in the naming of minerals. 

Prehnite, Bendoukou, Sandaré District, Kayes Region, Mali

Gypsum, variety Selenite, Las Salinas de Paracas, Paracas, Pisco, Ica Dept., Peru

October 2005 We worked for a couple of years to obtain a large lot of pretty golden gypsum, variety selenite [CaSO42H2O] from Peru, and featured it in September 2005. This year is shaping up as the most colorful year of minerals we've ever featured! (The photo doesn't capture the true golden color of the crystals.)
November 2005 We found a large lot of exceptional celestite [SrSO4] (or should we say, more correctly, celestine,) from Beineu-Kyr, Turkmenistan. These form as small, sharp, water-clear and iron-stained crystals in vugs in a clay matrix, and are quite beautiful.  These pieces came from the former Soviet-mineral exporting bureau some years ago, and had been sitting in a gem dealer's warehouse for years as part of a huge lot of Russian minerals. We may be able to obtain other outstanding Russian minerals from this lot.

Celestine (Celestite), Beinev-Kyr, Turkmenistan

Clinochlore ("Seraphinite"), Korshunovskoe mine, near Zheleznogorsk,
Angara-Ilim Basin, Irkutskaya Oblast’, Russia

December 2005 We weren't able to get the ruby in matrix pieces we hoped to-- our Russian contact was not able to go to the Kola Peninsula to get us newly collected specimens. So instead, we thought we would take advantage of the fact that there is a large amount of beautiful clinochlore [(Mg,Al)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH)8] available now and feature it in December. These were polished slices of a gorgeous banded green and white, more commonly called "seraphinite." This will be the first (and probably last) member of the chlorite mineral group that we will feature, and gave us a unique opportunity to focus on this group in the write-up.

Would you like to have all 24 minerals we featured in 2006 and 2005 as seen in the above photos? Then order here:

All 24 featured minerals from 2006 and 2005 in Gold-Level size for $530--24 for the price of 20!


All 24 featured minerals from 2006 and 2005 in Silver-Level size for $160--24 for the price of 20!


All 24 featured minerals from 2005 and 2006 in Platinum size--Larger, better specimens--12 for the price of 11--Email us for price: Inquire about all 24 minerals from 2005-2006 in Platinum-level size



Would you like to order all 12 minerals we've featured in 2005, as seen in the photos above?

All 12 featured minerals from 2005 in Gold-Level size for $291.50--12 minerals for the price of 11!


All 12 featured minerals from 2005 in Silver-Level size for $88--12 minerals for the price of 11!



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