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March-April 2009

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Connoisseur's Choice: Cuprosklodowskite

Musonoi, Democratic Republic of Congo

The current emphasis on nonpetroleum energy resources and the coincident renewed interest in nuclear power have spurred a revival in the collection of uranium minerals. Uraninite (Cook 2004) and several of the most common secondary uranium minerals have already been described in this column; however, because of uranium’s chemistry, common association with other metals, and tendency to form colorful oxide-zone minerals, the list of potential Connoisseur’s Choice candidates is quite long. Consequently, one of the most attractive and certainly collectible of all uranium minerals, cuprosklodowskite, has been suggested for this issue’s Connoisseur’s Choice specimen. The specimen selected comes from the famous Musonoi mine, a locality that produces the world’s finest examples of this mineral.
Dr. Rob Bowell, a consultant geochemist in the mining indus-try, is an avid collector of microminerals and minerals formed in the oxide zone of mineral deposits.
Dr. Robert B. Cook, an executive editor of Rocks & Minerals, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Geology and Geography at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. He welcomes suggestions for this column and can be contacted at the addresses above.

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