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July-August 2013

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Who's Who in Mineral Names: Quintin Wight (b. 1935)

Quintinite, Mg4Al2(CO3)(OH)·H2O, is a hydrous magnesium aluminum carbonate found as a late-stage hydrothermal mineral in alkaline rocks. It has two polytypes, 3T and 2H, which were originally described as two separate species (Chao and Gault 1997). The type locality for quintinite-3T was Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, and that for quintinite-2H was the Jacupiranga mine, São Paulo, Brazil. In 1998 the International Mineralogical Association reduced the polytypes to a single species, quintinite, with two cotype localities. The Canadian 3T polytype tends to form pale yellow, tabular hexagonal crystals and rosettes. The Brazilian 2H polytype tends to form strongly colored equant crystals ranging from orange-red to orange to brown. Mont Saint-Hilaire is the type locality for more than fifty new species; the Jacupiranga mine, for three. The name honors Quintin Wight of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as a mineral collector who has contributed significantly to the study of minerals from Mont Saint-Hilaire and as the author of The Complete Book of Micromounting (Wight 1993).

Dr. Steven C. Chamberlain, a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals, is an avid collector and researcher specializing in the minerals of New York State.

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