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November-December 2016

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Who's Who in Mineral Names: Berthold Ottens (b. 1942)

Ottensite, (Na,K)3Sb63+(Sb3+S3)O9·3H2O, is a sodium, potassium, antimony hydrous oxysulfosalt. It is a supergene product of stibnite weathering found at the Qinglong (Dachang) mine in the Dachang antimony ore field, Qinglong County, Qianxi'nan Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China (Sejkora and Hyrsl 2007). It is associated with stibnite and fluorite and is sometimes finely intermixed with mopungite (Origlieri, Laetsch, and Downs 2007). Ottensite forms botryoidal dark red crusts to 1 mm thick directly on stibnite crystals to 5 cm long and is frequently partially coated by a pale yellow layer of amorphous antimony oxide. Hexagonal prisms terminated by a pedion are only rarely observed. Ottensite has an almost end-member composition in a possible isomorphous series between it and cetineite. Synthetic analogs of these minerals have interesting crystal structures with infinite tunnels parallel to the sixfold axis. The mineral name honors Berthold Ottens, mineral collector and dealer from Walsdorf, Germany. Ottens is the author of numerous articles about mineral localities in China and India, published in the Mineralogical Record, Rocks & Minerals, Lapis, Mineralien-Welt, and elsewhere. He is widely recognized as one of the few experts on Chinese minerals and localities (e.g., Ottens et al. 2005).

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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