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The wolframite Mineral Series

Twinned Wolframite

Wolframite is not scientifically classified as an individual mineral species by the IMA. However, it is universally recognized as a mineral series, with the minerals Huebnerite and Ferberite being its end members. Huebnerite is the manganese-rich end member, and Ferberite is the iron-rich end member. The term Wolframite can be used generally to describe unspecified members of this group, or to describe the intermediary member of this series. Wolframite is named for its tungsten content, since wolfram means tungsten in German.

Chemical Formula

(Mn,Fe)WO4

Color

Dark red, dark brown, reddish black, dark gray, black

Crystal System

Monoclinic

Properties

Streak
Reddish brown to black
Hardness
4 - 4.5
Transparency
Opaque. May be translucent in thin splinters or when backlit.
Specific Gravity
7.1 - 7.5
Luster
Adamantine, submetallic
Cleavage
1,1. May exhibit parting between crystals.
Fracture
Uneven
Tenacity
Brittle
Other ID Marks
May be weakly attracted to magnets in iron-rich specimens.

Crystal Habits

Most often in long prismatic crystals, columnar groups, blocky and chisel-shaped crystals, and flattened tabular crystals. Also in dense bladed clusters and rosettes, reticulated, acicular, grainy, in veins, encrusting, and massive. Crystals are often striated lengthwise, and may be twinned as repeated twins with a v-shaped notch in the center.

3D Crystal Atlas

Additional Information

Composition
Manganese iron tungstate
In Group
Tungstates and Molybdates; Tungstates
Striking Features
Heavy weight, color, cleavage, and mode of occurrence.
Environment
Tungsten deposits composed of high and medium temperature hydrothermal Quartz veins; also in granite pegmatites.
Rock Type
Igneous, Metamorphic

Varieties

Uses

Wolframite is an important ore of tungsten. Good specimens are not common, and are highly desired by mineral collectors.

Noteworthy Localities

See Huebnerite and Ferberite for specific localities.

Distingushing Similar Minerals

Rutile - Harder, crystals are usually thinner.
Goethite - Has a lower specific gravity.
Columbite-Tantalite series - Different crystal form, cleavage less distinguishable.

wolframite Photos



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