The Mineral sphaerocobaltite
Sphaerocobaltite describes a pure cobalt carbonate
, without calcium. Pure Sphaerocobaltite is quite uncommon, as the cobalt is usually mixed with calcium. This leads to confusion with the term Cobaltocalcite
. Cobaltocalcite refers to an intermediary
mineral between Calcite
and Sphaerocobaltite in a solid solution series
. It may be described as either a cobalt rich variety of Calcite
, or a calcium rich variety of Sphaerocobaltite.
Sphaerocobaltite belongs to the calcite group
of minerals, a group of
that are isomorphous
with one another. They
are similar in many physical properties, and may partially or fully
one another, forming a solid solution series
members of the calcite group crystallize
in the trigonal
system, and have perfect rhombohedral cleavage
Intense pink to reddish-white. Oxidizes brown, dark red, dark maroon, or black.
3.5 - 4
Transparent to Translucent
1,3 - rhombohedral
Cobaltocalcite refers to an intermediary mineral between Calcite and Sphaerocobaltite in a solid solution series. It is most often perceived as a cobalt-rich variety of Calcite with a rich pink color. (Cobaltocalcite may also be mistakenly used as a synonym for Sphaerocobaltite).
Sphaerocobaltite is a rare mineral. The original type locality is the Daniel mine in Schneedberg, Saxony, Germany. The Kolwezi Mines in Shaba (Katanga), Congo (Zaire) are the most abundant and outstanding source for this mineral. Other occurrences are Bou Azzer, Morocco; Santa Rosalia, Boleo, Baja California, Mexico; and the Cobre Mine, Conception del Oro, Zacatecas, Mexico.
Common Mineral Associations
Calcite, Dolomite, Malachite