Adamite (Cuprian and REE-enriched) with Smithsonite
Hilarion mine, Laurium, Attica, Greece
Small Cabinet, 5.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 cm
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Sparkling, spherical aggregates of turquoise-colored cuprian adamite interact with thin smithsonite coatings and some small crystals of what seem to be hyalite opal. The color seems to be due to an additional small concentration of REE elements present, that boost the coloration of cuprian adamite alone. A thin translucent layer of smithsonite overcoats some of it, and the adamite shows through. This adamite, unique in all the world for such color, has an intense color saturation that is just very difficult to convey in photos because the sparkle and color together make it "pop" to the eye. These sparkling, really unique pieces came from a single find in late 2014, and have now been definitively analyzed by a University in Thessaloniki (the SEM results and photos are available upon request). These were initially thought to be aluminum-enhanced, but the results are otherwise. Firstly, there was no aluminum at all. However, we found REE(!!!) in both the green and blue adamite. Both adamites had Cu, the blue is Cuprian +REE and the green is slightly Cuprian +REE. Cs, Ce and Dy (Cesium, Cerium & Dysprosium) were the REE(Rare Earth Elements) we traced. Particularly, the highest amount of Dy in the green material was 1.02% with the Cu not surpassing 1%. The blue material had both Cs & Ce (maximum Cs was 0.88% in some cases if I recall correctly, and maximum Ce around 0.7% in other areas of the same specimen) and maximum Cu-content was around 2%.(ranging from 0.6% to 2.2% on the same specimen!). I just spoke with a few contacts of mine in other universities and told me that this really very interesting and rare, especially with the specific REE we traced. It makes sense, because the host rock is REE-rich. I have to note that there is no research that proves the color is because of any other elements other than Copper but I observe the correlation of a unique color to the REE content.