2" Mimetite Crystal Clusters on Calcite - Mexico
This specimen contains yellow-gold mimetite crystal clusters that formed over calcite. This specimen was collected from the Santa Eulalia Mining District in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Mimetite is a lead chloro-arsenate mineral with the chemical formula of Pb5(AsO4)3Cl. Depending on conditions, during formation/replacement, arsenate radicals (As04) can be replaced by a phosphate (PO4) or vanadate (VO4) radical. This alteration is what leads to the formation of pyromorphite and vanadinite, hence why they're typically found associated with each other. Regularly ranging between red and yellow in color, mimetite can occur in a variety of structures, from small prismatic clusters and crusts, to incredible hexagonal crystals both thick and thin.
Calcite, CaCO3, is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Calcite crystals are trigonal-rhombohedral, though actual calcite rhombohedra are rare as natural crystals. However, they show a remarkable variety of habits including acute to obtuse rhombohedra, tabular forms, and prisms. Calcite exhibits several twinning types adding to the variety of observed forms. It may occur as fibrous, granular, lamellar, or compact. Cleavage is usually in three directions parallel to the rhombohedron form.