Prehnite - The Epimorph Champion

Prehnite is a common calcium silicate, which can form outstanding crystalline aggregates. Its nice crystal forms and pleasing colors make it a very popular among collectors. Prehnite is also used by jewelers and it is an important metamorphic index mineral.


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Cassiterite - the tin ore mineral overview

Cassiterite constitutes the chief ore of tin, as well as highly aesthetic and popular collector specimen. Tin was a foundation of the beginning of metal smelting in the early Bronze Age and still constitutes one of the core materials of modern technology.


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Cuprite - The Ruby Red Copper Oxide

Cuprite is a minor ore of copper, usually appearing as secondary encrustations on primary copper ores. Nice and rare cuprite crystals are a popular among collectors. It is prized as a gemstone because of its vivid red internal reflection, but its softness precludes wide use in jewelry.


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Titanite - The Sphene

Titanite is a common titanium silicate, which can form outstanding and gemmy crystals. It is an attractive gemstone and collector material with vibrant green and yellow crystal forms. However, its low hardness and intrinsic fragility makes it unsuitable for commercial jewelry use, keeping it from becoming a mainstream product.


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Hydraulic Gold Mining

Hydraulic mining is easy and efficient method to move huge amounts of dirt. It was used by Romans in their placer gold mines and later became very popular during California and Alaska gold rush events.


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Smithsonite - The Calamine Carbonate

Smithsonite, aka zinc spar, is an uncommon mineral carbonate ore of zinc with the formula ZnCO3. It was rarely mined as a zinc ore, but its rich variety of colors and aesthetic specimens make it a highly valued mineral by many collectors.


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Mineral Collectors Safety

Collecting minerals is not like playing chess: it is more like driving. If you do stupid things and make bad decisions, you might get yourself or someone else injured or even killed. It is less painful to learn from mistakes of someone else.


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Munich Show 2016

Munich show is the important European mineral show. Munich 2016 was definitely worth to see, many new minerals, many old friends. The exposition of the Alpine minerals was very nice, as well as wide selection of minerals for sale.


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Siderite - the Curved Rhombs

Siderite is both an iron ore and gangue mineral. Its principal economic value lies in its high iron content and the absence of process contaminants such as sulfur or phosphorous. It is part of a large group of isomorphous minerals, the calcite group carbonates, which share similar physical properties, and rhombohedral crystal form.


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Dioptase - the Perfect Green

Dioptase is a secondary copper silicate, occurring naturally as an oxidation product of hydrothermal copper deposits. It is renowned as a spectacularly colorful rival to emerald, but is too soft and too fragile to be cut as a gemstone, mainly because of its perfect cleavage.


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History of Klondike and Nome Gold Rush Events

The Klondike (Yukon) Gold Rush holds the record as one of the shortest-lived mining booms ever, lasting a scant 2 years, from August 1896 to September, 1898, when it was undermined by the slightly longer-lived Nome (Alaska) Gold Rush (September 1898 to 1905).


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Beryl - The Colorful Gem

Beryl is extremely popular mineral, which occurs in a diversity of shapes and colors. Popular gemstone varietes include emerald, aquamarine and heliodor. Beryl is the only common source of beryllium, which is used in many hi-tech applications.


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Aragonite - The Pearly Carbonate

Aragonite is the less known cousin of calcite. Despite the lack of popularity, aragonite crystals and stalactites are among the most aesthetically-pleasing mineral specimes. Aragonite is present in various hydrothermal environments and it is the principal component of mollusk shells, coral skeletons and pearls.


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Hematite - The Bloodstone

Hematite is the abundant form of iron oxide, natural red pigment, and an integral part of the largest iron ore deposits on Earth. Highly aesthetic crystals and shiny botryoidal hematite aggregates are also very popular collector specimens.


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Vivianite - The Green Iron

Vivianite is found in many geological environments. Its great blue-green crystals are very rare and very popular among collectors. Also vivianite filled fossil shells are among very interesting and popular collectors items.


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Molybdenite - The Greasy Mineral

Molybdenite is the principal ore mineral of molybdenum and rhenium. It occurs widely in igneous and metamorphic rocks generated under high temperature conditions. Despite its lack of popularity and rare crystal forms, it is a very interesting and important industrial mineral.


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Crocoite - The Red Lead

Crocoite is a rare lead and chromium secondary mineral. Its rarity, bright red color, and exceptional crystal forms have guaranteed its place as a prized collection mineral. Crocoite is the first historic source of chromium and natural yellow pigment - unfortunately highly toxic.


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Opal - The Colorful Silica

Opal is most valued for the rich variety of colors it exhibits, their interplay in ordinary light, and their unusual range of fluorescence. These attributes have guaranteed its continuing value as a gemstone since pre-Roman times.


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Rutile - the Titanium Crystals

Rutile is a mineral of many forms and colors. It is quite widespread accessory mineral in many rocks but nice crystals are much less common. Rutile is also important source of titanium and has various industrial applications.


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Vanadinite - The Red Lead

Vanadinite is a popular secondary mineral species of vanadium and lead, occurring as an orange-red hexagonal crystals. Like many other exotic minerals, vanadinite has a complicated history of recognition and identification.


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Introduction to Mineral Cleaning

Mineral cleaning and preparation is such a complex subject that it could easily fill a whole book. This article is a brief introduction of available mineral cleaning methods and their pros and cons.


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Rhodochrosite - La Rosa del Inca

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate. Its value now resides almost entirely in the quality of its hot pink and deep red specimens, which are sought after by collectors and command extremely high prices.


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Wulfenite - The Yellow Plates

Wulfenite is a mineral species composed of lead molybdate, Pb(MoO4), sometimes occurring in sufficient abundance to be mined as an ore of lead, but in practice its molybdenum content is greater. Even so, it is rarely used as an ore mineral because there are easier sources of lead or molybdenum available to exploit.


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Stibnite - The Bladed Crystals

Stibnite is the principal ore of antimony. The mineral is widely admired for its spectacular crystalline habits, which exhibit extremes of sharpness, luster and size. Its principal metallic component, antimony, probably received its name from the Greek anthemon, describing its flowery appearance in clusters. The Latin name for the mineral, stibium, survives today as stibnite.


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Gold - The Yellow Metal

Gold is a bright yellow native element, long prized as an object of natural beauty. It has attracted the attention of human cultures for thousands of years, and its softness, resistance to corrosion and workability have made it a favored material for creating decorative jewelry and early coinage. Modern technological applications have displaced much of its historic use in jewelry and measuring wealth.
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Pyromorphite - The Green Lead Ore

Pyromorphite is a secondary lead mineral, very popular among collectors. Pyromorphite forms outstanding and highly aesthetic bright green crystal clusters. Less often, this mineral is used as an ore of lead.


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Sphalerite - The Zinc Blende

Sphalerite is common, but it does not often show up in casual collections of minerals, despite its occurrence in several different colors. This is perhaps because sphalerite is most commonly found in black or dark gray due to the frequent presence of iron impurities in its makeup.


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Baryte - the Heavyweight Crystals

Baryte is the main ore of barium and quite popular and widespread mineral. It is very popular with gem and mineral collectors who prize it for its wide variety of shapes and colors.


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Reality TV Shows - Mineral and Gold Prospecting

In the last few years, reality shows with prospectors and minerals became quite widespread. Despite some exaggeration, these shows still might be quite interesting and there is a lot to learn. This overview covers The Gold Rush, The Prospectors and The Ice Cold Gold.
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Copper: mineral and native element overview

Native copper was discovered through metal smelting in the prehistoric times and still belongs to the keystones of modern civilization. Its is also a very nice and popular mineral that is capable of forming complex and beautiful shapes.


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Azurite - the Royal Blue

Azurite is a secondary copper mineral, which forms outstanding specimens. It is very popular among mineral collectors because of its beautiful shade of blue and highly sought after dark crystals, often combined with green malachite.
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Talc - the Soapstone

Although most mineral collectors are not attracted by talc, it is still an interesting mineral. It has set of quite unique physical properties, which create endless options for various industrial applications.


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Silver: mineral and native element overview

Silver is a beautiful mineral and native element. It is known as one of the precious metals, and its history dates back to ancient civilizations, where it was used in many of the ways that it still is today. Sometimes, silver is mined as native silver, but most of the time, it comes from sulfide ores.


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Abandoned Dobsina mines - the Floss Ferri Heaven

The Dobsina is a small (about 5300 citizens) former mining town in eastern Slovakia. All mines are shut down. But some of the abandoned underground mines turned into awesome aragonite caves in the past decades.


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Magnetite - the Iron King

Magnetite is an iron rich mineral from the spinel group. It is the most important industrial source of iron and a natural ferromagnetic substance. Magnetite is common, but it is a very nice and interesting mineral.


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Graphite - the Writing Stone

Graphite is a very important mineral, although it is not much to look at. It has a lot of uses in the world today, and it may be closer to you than you think! It is a direct opposite of its close relative, diamond.


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Munich Show 2015

Munich show is the largest show in the Europe and visited by many international dealers. Many nice worldwide specimens were available as well as many minerals from European collectors. It is also a nice place to meet friends from all over the world.


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Malachite - the Copper Green

Brilliant green color makes malachite a very popular and widely-recognized stone. Bright color, aesthetic specimens and reasonable price make this interesting mineral very popular among collectors.


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Halite - the Rock Salt

Halite may not be very well-known by its official name, but it is more easily recognized as naturally-occurring salt. This common rock salt can form incredible crystals and even huge salt caves in nature.


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Calcite - the Master of Shapes

Of all sedimentary minerals, calcite is probably the most widespread, contributing a full 2 % to the volume of the Earths crust. It occurs in endless crystal forms with many different colors. With such variety it is not surprising that some collectors specialize on calcite alone.


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Agate - the Banded Gemstone

Agate is a beautiful and very popular gemstone that is widely recognized for its unique and varied colors and banding. It is a type of microcrystalline quartz that is commonly used as an affordable alternative to pricey gemstones in jewelry. It may also be carved into figures or statues, or used in handles for knives.


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Chalcopyrite - the Peacock Ore

Chalcopyrite is the most important copper ore, and it is the primary source of many popular secondary copper minerals. It can occur in a variety of environments and forms, from hydrothermal veins to sedimentary layers. Nice chalcopyrite crystals are highly sought after by collectors.


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Chalcedony - the Chameleon Gemstone

Chalcedony is very variable and versatile stone and occurs in many environments. It was used since prehistoric times for stone tools and became one of the most used gemstones. Despite its abundancy, chalcedony still has some secrets.
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Galena - the Lead glance

Galena, historically also named lead glance, is among the most abundant sulfides. Nice crystals and clusters of galena are almost every mineral collection. But this common mineral has some interesting features and it source for many beautiful secondary minerals.


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Mineral fakes, frauds and scams

Mineral frauds and fakes can be found at any mineral show, large or small. This guide to common scam practice is far from complete, but it will help you to avoid being fooled by dishonest dealers.


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Diamond - the extreme King of Gems

Diamonds are forever, and they are a girl's best friend, but as minerals go they are not just another pretty face. Noted from ancient times for beauty, brawn and mystery - and today for impacting a broad segment of modern life - diamonds stand out as one of the most exceptional of all minerals.


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Fluorite - the Rainbow Beauty

Fluorite is known as one of the very important industrial minerals and it is also the only widespread natural source of fluorine. Many mineral collectors are interested in fluorite because of its beauty, richness of forms and its broad spectrum of colors.


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Outdoor gear for mineral collectors

Rockhounding is a great outdoor activity which combines exploration, science, hard work and what can be strenuous hiking. Whether you are going to a drive-in site, a quarry, or exploring a remote outcrop, you will need to think hard about what you need to bring in order to make sure you have everything you could need for your trip.


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Moldavite - the most beautiful tektite

Tektites are quite popular with collectors - and moldavite is far and away the most beautiful of them. Moldavite's rich green color and uniquely textured surface makes it attractive to both collectors and jewelry makers.


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Pyrite - the fools gold

Pyrite is much more commonly known in laymans terms as fools gold. This is because, when gold mining was popular, pyrite could often be mistaken for gold due to its shining gold exterior. Of course, they are actually quite different minerals, but to the untrained eye, the mistake could be an easy one to make.


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Rožná - the last uranium mine in the EU

Rožná is the European Unions last operating uranium mine. Although the mine is located in Dolní Rožínka, its underground span reaches under several other localities. Being one of the last european ore mines, the Rožná is a great place to see a classic example of underground mining.


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Gypsum - the soft beauty

Gypsum is the most commonly found form of sulfate in the world. It is used in the creation of cement, plasterboard and in sheet rock. And in some forms, such as alabaster, it is a frequent component in pottery. Some people even include gypsum into their fertilizers. This mineral is popular with collectors, but it is not often used in jewelry due to its softness.


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Feldspars - all about the plagioclases and K-feldspars

Feldspars are alumosilicates of alcalic metals and form a significant portion of many volcanic and metamorphic rocks. As such, they are one of the most important mineral groups on the Earths surface: some estimate that they form between 50-60 % of the Earths crust. Their content in most sedimentary rocks is much less significant.


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The best tools for mineral collecting

Successful mineral collecting usually strongly depends on your tools. Starting out with quality tools will save you time and money and are much safer. The tools you choose will often limit what you will be able to dig or chisel out of the ground.


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Topaz - the colorful gemstone

Topaz is a very popular mineral and gemstone, particularly for use in jewelry. Most nice crystals come from various pegmatite pockets around the world and are highly sought by mineral collectors. Finding topaz is quite tricky quest - and even more tricky is faceting topaz into gems.


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Quartz - complete overview of genesis, occurence and varietes

Quartz is an incredibly common mineral that can manifest itself in all kinds of environments. It forms a very beautiful crystals, and it is highly versatile, as it comes in many different colors that go by several names.


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10 tips how to build a mineral collection

Creating good mineral collection requires certain experience and it usually takes years. Here are ten tips to properly start your collecting. Some tips may seem odd but they will help you to avoid most common mistakes every beginner does.


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