Chrysocolla In Tyrolite With Clinotyrolite
Cabinet, 15.1 x 9.9 x 7.0 cm
San Simon Mine, Huantajaya, Iquique Province, Tarapaca Region, Chile
Ex. Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
These specimens (PAS-187 to PAS-189) were presented to the academy by the famed Dr. Domeyko in the late 1800s, who did much work on the rare minerals of Chile and Argentina. Regardless of the chemistry, the specimen has merit as a display piece of beautiful copper combinations from Chile. This piece has beautiful, powder-blue chrysocolla forming as a thin carpet in the few hollow vugs inside a literal boulder of nearly solid tyrolite! It is cheaper than the PAS-187 specimen only because the chrysocolla is not as well developed for display quality aesthetics - and yet the tyrolite and other rare minerals here are if anything in greater concentration by weight. On analysis by modern equipment, the matrix material shows to be tyrolite, clinotyrolite, and possibly other related species admixed (XRAY and powder, Bart Cannon's lab, 2008), However, apparently the official mineralogy of tyrolite classification is confusing and has changed over time. Clinotyrolite is often considered a species by many people, though without IMA approval. I quote MINDAT's page on the matter verbatim to make sure I do not mistakenly convey the science: Since it is well-known that also carbonate-free varieties of tyrolite exist, "tyrolite" may actually represent two or more minerals/polytypes. At least two monoclinic polytypes of tyrolite are known (Krivovichev et al., 2006); one of them seems to be identical to "clinotyrolite." Note that this is the first report of the locality to MINDAT for tyrolite occurence, but it is likely that this rare species is present on other old specimens of "chrysocolla" from Chile.