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November-December 2017

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The Where of Mineral Names: Bultfonteinite, Bultfontein Diamond Mine, Kimberley, South Africa

Bultfonteinite, Ca2[SiO3(OH)]F·H2O, was named after its first occurrence at the Bultfontein diamond mine, Kimberley, Francis Baard district, Northern Cape Province, South Africa. Parry, Williams, and Wright (1932a, b) described bultfonteinite as a triclinic silicate comprising acicular crystals that in the type-material are grouped into radial spherules to 2 cm. Prismatic crystals display good cleavage on {100} and {010} and have a vitreous luster. The type-material is pale pink, and its color varies from this to colorless. The type-material is housed at Cambridge University and the Natural History Museum in London (Anthony et al. 1995). 


Dr. Bruce Cairncross, a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals, is a professor of geology at the University of Johannesburg.

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