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The Mineral calaverite

Elongated Calaverite Crystal

There are only few minerals that are compounds with gold in their structure. All are rare, though Calaverite is one of the best known. Calaverite is named after Calaveras County, California, where it was first described.

Chemical Formula

AuTe2

Color

Brass-yellow to silver-white

Crystal System

Monoclinic

Properties

Streak
Grayish yellow to gray
Hardness
2.5 - 3
Transparency
Opaque
Specific Gravity
9.1 - 9.4
Luster
Metallic
Cleavage
None
Fracture
Conchoidal
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

In bladed or elongated crystals, and in short tabular crystals. Crystals are almost always striated lengthwise, and are usually small and in parallel or platy groupings. Also grainy, massive, and as coatings and crusts.

Additional Information

Composition
Gold telluride, often with some silver
In Group
Sulfides; Tellurides
Striking Features
Crystal habits, striations, and mode of occurrence.
Environment
Low temperature hydrothermal replacement deposits.
Rock Type
Sedimentary

Uses

Calaverite is an ore of gold. It is also rare collector's mineral, with special value due to its gold content.

Noteworthy Localities

The bulk of collector's specimens of Calaverite are from several of the mines in the Cripple Creek District, Teller Co., Colorado, including the Ajax/Cresson, Doctor, El Paso, Mary McKinney, Molly Kathleen, Portland, and Vindicator Mines. In California, tiny samples of Calaverite have come from the type locality at Carson Hill, Calaveras Co., California, in the Melones and Stanislaus Mines. In Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Calaverite is actively mined with Gold as an ore of gold.

Common Mineral Associations

Quartz, Fluorite, Pyrite, Gold

Distingushing Similar Minerals

Sylvanite - May be very similar, though Sylvanite has perfect cleavage, and is also slightly lower in hardness.

calaverite Photos



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