5.6" Calcite, Sphalerite, Fluorite & Celestine (Celestite) Association - Tennessee

This is a fantastic specimen that contains an association of calcite, sphalerite, fluorite, galena & celestine, collected from the famous Elmwood mine in Tennessee. The small amounts of fluorite on this specimen are indicated by spots of purple. The celestine formation is fibrous and white, and seemingly holds the specimen together like a glue. On what could be considered the front of the specimen, there is a small, pristine galena cube.

The Elmwood Mine is a zinc mine in Carthage, Tennessee which opened in 1969, before being closed for many years, only to be reopened in 2010. It has produced many world class specimens of Fluorite, Calcite, Barite and Galena over the years. Specimens used to be plentiful as miners were allowed to recover specimens, but collecting is strictly prohibited by the new mine owners. They've gone to great lengths to prevent the mining of specimens, including blasting crystal pockets or filling them with slurry.

Fluorite is a halide mineral comprised of calcium and fluorine, CaF2. The word fluorite is from the Latin fluo-, which means "to flow". In 1852 fluorite gave its name to the phenomenon known as fluorescence, or the property of fluorite to glow a different color depending upon the bandwidth of the ultraviolet light it is exposed to. Fluorite occurs commonly in cubic, octahedral and dodecahedral crystals in many different colors. These colors range from colorless and completely transparent to yellow, green, blue, purple, pink or black. Purples and greens tend to be the most common colors seen.

Dolomite is an anhydrous carbonate mineral composed of calcium magnesium carbonate—CaMg(CO3)2.

The mineral dolomite crystallizes in the trigonal-rhombohedral system. It forms white, tan, gray, or pink crystals. Dolomite is a double carbonate, having an alternating structural arrangement of calcium and magnesium ions. It does not rapidly dissolve in dilute hydrochloric acid as calcite does. Crystal twinning is common.

The mineral dolomite was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1768 and In 1791, it was described as a rock by the French naturalist and geologist Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu who first recognized the material in buildings of the old city of Rome, and later as samples collected in the mountains known as the Dolomite Alps of northern Italy.

Galena is a lead based mineral that is in fact the primary ore of lead, and has been used for its lead content for thousands of years. Galena typically displays a gray metallic luster and forms cubes or octahedral crystals. The chemical composition of galena is PbS.

While galena will not pose a health hazard by sitting on the shelf, or even from casual handling, we suggest washing hands following handling due to the lead content of the mineral.

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.
Calcite, Sphalerite, Fluorite, Galena & Celestine
Elmwood Mine, Carthage, Tennessee
5.6x4.7" entire specimen. Largest calcite 3.3" long