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March-April 2014

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Connoisseur's Choice: Crocoite, Adelaide Mine, Tasmania, Australia

The mineral featured in this installment of Connoisseur's Choice is crocoite, one of the most popular species of collectors at any level. Although this mineral has already been covered by Cook (2007), the abundance of new material coming out of the Adelaide and the Red Lead mines of Australia made me believe that a reexamination of the species is in order. Crocoite has been a collector favorite since its discovery in the late eighteenth century. Writing in 1902 (p. 137), Petterd noted that "Its intensely bright hyacinth-red color, prismatic habit, and adamantine luster, render it one of the most attractive objects in the mineral world, and it has, consequently, been most eagerly sought after." Crocoite also has an interesting history that brings together some of the greatest names of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century chemists/mineralogists.

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