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RADIOACTIVE & RARE EARTH MINERALS

HISTORICAL INFORMATION – Dr. Eugene B. Gross collection

 

 

It is only by luck and/or good fortune that we have any specimens surviving in collections from the “Uranium rush” era of the 1950’s to early 1960’s.  During that period, the United States government encouraged prospecting and mining for Uranium in the Colorado Plateau area, generally including Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well as parts of Wyoming.  Everything radioactive was processed in the name of the “arms race”, i.e., at the time of the cold war with Russia.  Unfortunately, the Russians were doing the same at Jachymov, Czechoslovakia and other Central European localities, to get ready for a possible war with the USA.  The U.S. government was, at the same time, purchasing quantities of radioactive minerals (mostly Uraninite) from the famous mine at Shinkolobwe and other mining districts in Zaire.  Untold numbers of fine examples of Uraninite and other uranium-bearing ore minerals were undoubtedly destroyed in the course of processing the ores from these uranium-rich deposits for defense purposes.  Many of the specimens from USA localities, described within the radioactive minerals section of our web site, are from the Eugene B. Gross collection, and are historical specimens from this mining era.  Dr. Gross worked for the Atomic Energy Commission from 1952 - 1958 and was personally responsible for collecting these historically important specimens, and preserving them in his private collection.  Other unique radioactive mineral specimens from world wide locations will also be found on the following pages.

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Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to more radioactive mineral specimens. 

 

 


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= Fluorescent Specimen
   =  Radioactive Specimen

“SYSTEMATIC MINERALOGY OF URANIUM AND THORIUM”, C. Frondel, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin #1064, 400 pages, 6 X 9”, soft cover, 1958.  This comprehensive report covers work done on behalf of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and includes information covering all known uranium and thorium-bearing minerals on a worldwide basis.  Included are numerous tables and line drawings, and one b & w photo.  Each mineral species is described according to its synonymy, composition, crystallography and crystal habit, physical properties, optical properties, synthesis, identification, natural formation, and occurrence.  The descriptive mineralogy is followed by determinative tables in which the mineral species are arranged according to their X-ray powder-diffraction interplanar spacings, chemical composition, optical properties, color, specific gravity, and fluorescence.  The work is documented by more than 800 references to the world literature of the past 200 years!  This is an absolute “must have” reference for anyone interested in radioactive minerals! Published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1958.  Original, new copy, printed in 1958. 

Order Item BK-0575
Shipping weight:  2 pounds
Price:  $45.00



1654


2670

2672

2673

2675

2677

2828

METATORBERNITE   
Musonoi Mine, near Kolwezi, Shaba Province (Katanga), Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

The basic description for Metatorbernite from this locality is that the mineral forms lustrous, tabular, medium to dark emerald green crystals, sometimes standing up on edge, often with a very rich coverage of intergrown crystals on the surface of the matrix.  Metatorbernite is a copper and uranium-bearing phosphate -- a member of the Autunite group.  Chemical composition is:  Cu2+(UO2)2(PO4)2).8H2O.  Not fluorescent.  In the past, the Musonoi Mine has produced what are certainly among the finest specimens of Metatorbernite found, worldwide.  At the present time, specimens are very difficult to obtain.  Most specimens in this group have Metatorbernite only, without associated mineralization, however on a few specimens small amounts of black massive Heterogenite are present.  Items 2830 and 2831 have massive Malachite associated.  NOTE:  On the small specimens, with smaller amounts of Metatorbernite crystals present, the overall mR/hr and CPM readings are naturally lower than the readings given for the larger, richer examples.  Pricing is according to the richness of crystallization, and overall specimen size.  

For background information on the Musonoi Mine see the Katanga! special issue of the "Mineralogical Record" magazine, Vol. 20, No. 4, July-August 1989, P.  274-275, and 286.  If you do not have this invaluable reference on the Uranium mines and minerals of the Shaba Province in Zaire (Congo), we have copies available for purchase, priced at $25.00 plus shipping.  Order item MR20-4.

 


 

 ITEM
NUMBER

 SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700
GM COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700
GM COUNTER

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

1654

2 5/8

1 7/8

1 1/2

2.7

1,875

SOLD

2670

1 1/2

1

5/8

1.0

750

SOLD

2672

1 5/8

1 1/4

3/4

.6

350

$  30.00

2673

1 1/2

1

5/8

1.2

850

SOLD

2675

1 3/4

1 1/4

7/8

1.0

750

$  45.00

2677

1 7/8

1 3/8

1 3/8

2.0

1,330

$  40.00

2826

1 1/8

1

1/2

.5

300

$  20.00

2827

1 5/8

1

5/8

1.0

750

$  25.00

2828

2 1/8

1 1/2

  5/8

2.5

1,660

$  40.00

2829

1

3/8

1/2

.8

500

$  35.00

2830

1 3/4

1

1

2.0

1,330

SOLD

2831

1 7/8

3/4

3/4

2.5

1,660

SOLD

2832

1 5/8

1 1/4

3/4

1.2

850

SOLD

2833

2 1/8

1 3/4

1 1/8

3.0

2,000

$  85.00

2834

2

1 1/4

7/8

3.0

2,000

$  80.00

2835

1 1/2

1

3/4

6.0

3,250

SOLD

2836

3 5/8

3 1/8

1 3/4

2.5

1,660

$  40.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2829

2830

2831

2832

 
     

2833

2834

2835

2836

2373

2374

2375

GUILLEMINITE, MALACHITE
Musonoi Mine, near Kolwezi, Shaba Province (Katanga), Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Guilleminite is one of the moderately rare minerals found at the Musonoi Mine.  It is often found in the same mineralization zone as the Metatorbernite specimens described above.  Guilleminite is bright yellow, massive, and is a hydrated selenite of barium and uranium with the composition: 

Ba(UO

 

2

)

 

3

(SeO

 

3

)

 

2

(OH)

 

4

· 3H

 

2

O

Guilleminite is most often found associated with Malachite, Vandenbrandeite, Metatorbernite, and selenium-rich Digenite.  Selenium-rich Digenite, also known as selenian Digenite, was first identified from the Musonoi Mine and has yet to be reported from any other uranium mineral bearing deposits, worldwide.  Selenian Digenite is present on items 2374, 2375, 2840 and 2841 as dark metallic gray-black masses.  Vandenbrandeite is dark green, massive, and can often be visually differentiated from massive Malachite by its very dark “British racing green” color.  The associated Malachite is a lighter green in color.  Small amounts of micro crystalline Metatorbernite are associated on items 2373, 2375, and 2840 only.  Item 2841 has small amounts of massive black Heterogenite on the back of the specimen.

 

ITEM NO.

WEIGHT
(GRAMS)

SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

2373

82.00

2

1 5/8

1

$  45.00

 

2374

124.50

2 1/4

1 3/4

1

SOLD

 

2375

120.35

2 3/8

1 5/8

1

SOLD

 

2840

53.88

1 1/2

1

1

SOLD

 

2841

90.60

1 5/8

1 1/2

1 1/8

$  35.00

 


2840

2841

2866

2867

2868

2869

2870

2871

2872

TYUYAMUNITE
Monument #2 Mine, Monument Valley, Apache County, Arizona

These examples of bright golden-yellow Tyuyamunite are from the Dr. Eugene B. Gross collection of Uranium-bearing minerals, probably personally collected by Dr. Gross during the early 1960’s.  All specimens are of good to very good quality for this mineral, from a mine that is now a part of the history of the “Uranium rush” of the late 1950’s to early 1960’s.  The gram weights are given solely as a measure of specimen size.  Specimens are not priced by the gram.  Items 2866 through 2870, and 1980 through 1982 are pure, bright yellow-golden masses of Tyuyamunite without matrix.  Items 2871 through 2882 are matrix specimens with varying amounts of rock or sandstone matrix associated.  Some specimens have small amounts of yellow-orange massive Carnotite associated. The dark greenish-black to black veinlets and / or masses present on some specimens have been identified as intergrowths of Uraninite, Montroseite, and / or Paramontroseite.  On item 2881 the rock matrix is replacing a fragment of wood, and the fibrous structure of the wood is very obvious.  This is not exactly what one would call “petrified wood” as it is not silicified.

Tyuyamunite is:          Ca(UO2)2V2O8.5-8H2O          
Carnotite is:                K2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O                            
Uraninite is:                UO2
Montroseite is:            (V3+,Fe3+)O(OH)                    
Paramontroseite is:    V4+O2

 

ITEM
NO.

 WEIGHT(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE(INCHES)

SPEC.
PRICE

 

2866

1.07

1/2

3/8

3/8

$  7.50

 

2867

1.20

1/2

3/8

1/4+

$  8.50

 

2868

1.32

1/2

3/8

3/8<

$  9.25

 

2869

1.60

5/8

1/2

3/8

SOLD

 

2870

1.75

5/8

1/2

3/8

SOLD

 

2871

2.75

1 1/8

5/8

1/4

$ 13.75

 

2872

5.02

1

5/8

3/8

$ 20.00

 

2873

8.60

2

3/4

1/4

$ 30.00

 

2874

12.45

1 3/8

1 1/4

1/4

$ 31.00

 

2875

15.10

1 1/2

1 1/4

5/8

$ 18.00

 

2876

16.25

1 1/2

1 1/4

3/4

$ 19.50

 

2877

16.55

1 3/4

7/8

1/2

$ 22.00

 

2878

18.55

1 1/2

1 1/4

3/8

SOLD

 

2879

23.66

2

1 1/4

1/2

$ 35.50

 

2880

34.95

2 5/8

1 5/8

3/8

$ 24.50

 

2881

65.40

1 7/8

1 1/2

7/8

$ 60.00

 

2882

217.35

2 5/8

2 1/8

1 3/8

$ 76.00

 

1980

1.00

Lot of 5 small speci-mens, +/- 1/4” to 3/8”

$   7.50
/ lot

 

1981

1.50

Lot of 4 small specimens, +/- 1/2”

$10.00
/ lot

 

1982

3.00

Lot of small fragments,
specimens & powder

$14.00
/ lot

 


2873

2874

2875

2876

2877

2878

2879

2880

2881

2882


2883

2884

2885

2886


2887

CARNOTITE, TYUYAMUNITE   
Monument #2 Mine, Monument Valley, Apache County, Arizona

As described under Tyuyamunite, above, the Carnotite specimens from this locality are “cold war” era specimens from the collection of Dr. Eugene B. Gross.  The Carnotite from the Monument #2 Mine is present as yellow-orange massive veinlets or coatings in / on sandstone matrix.  Some specimens have small amounts of bright golden-yellow Tyuyamunite associated. The dark greenish-black to black veinlets and / or masses present on some specimens have been identified as intergrowths of Uraninite, Montroseite, and / or Paramontroseite.  On item 2885 the rock matrix is replacing a fragment of wood, and the fibrous structure of the wood is very obvious.  This is not exactly what one would call “petrified wood” as it is not silicified.  On item 2890 there is a very smooth, 3/4” rounded pebble embedded in the matrix on the back of the specimen – could be a pseudomorph, cast, or a concretion – the identity is unknown..  The gram weights are given solely as a measure of specimen size.  Specimens are not priced by the gram.  

Tyuyamunite is:          Ca(UO2)2V2O8.5-8H2O
Carnotite is:                K2(UO2)2(VO4)2 · 3H2O                            
Uraninite is:                UO2
Montroseite is:            (V3+,Fe3+)O(OH)                    
Paramontroseite is:    V4+O2


 

 

ITEM
NO.

 WEIGHT(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE(INCHES)

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

2883

27.55

1 7/8

1

3/4

$  22.00

 

2884

31.60

1 1/2

1 1/2

7/8

$  31.50

 

2885

50.20

1 5/8

1 5/8

3/4

$  37.50

 

2886

103.85

2

1 3/4

1

$  65.00

 

2887

159.05

3 1/4

2 1/2

1

$ 110.00

 

2888

255.30

3 1/2

2

2

$ 120.00

 

2889

279.10

3 3/8

2 1/4

1 5/8

$ 130.00

 

2890

283.00

2 3/4

2 1/2

2

$ 125.00


 


2888

2889

2890

 

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