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September-October 2011

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Collector's Guide to the Epidote Group

The epidote group consists of twenty minerals, of which epidote, clinozoisite, and the allanite series are best known to collectors. Many of these minerals form well-crystallized specimens, often with interesting associates, ranging from superb micromounts to spectacular decorator pieces. Allanites are of particular interest to collectors of radioactive species and rare-earth minerals.

Zoisite, the orthorhombic polymorph of clinozoisite, is an important gem mineral for faceting, and massive zoisite is a familiar lapidary material. It is included here even though it is no longer a member of the group according to recently approved nomenclature.

Robert J. Lauf is a materials scientist who recently retired after twenty-three years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; he is now a registered patent agent and technology consultant. He is the author of Introduction to Radioactive Minerals, Collector's Guide to the Mica Group, and Collector's Guide to the Epidote Group, which were recently published by Schiffer Books.

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