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May-June 2018

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The Where of Mineral Names: Iowaite, Sioux County, Iowa

IT HAPPENS FROM TIME TO TIME IN THE MINERALOGICAL WORLD that a mineral species gets discovered in one locality and, sometime thereafter, superior examples are found in a new far-flung area. Such is the case with iowaite. It was originally described from a drill core that penetrated Precambrian serpentinites 1,000–1,500 feet below the surface in Sioux County, Iowa (Kohls and Rodda 1967); approximately thirty-five years later, some of the finest examples known were collected at the Palabora mine, Limpopo Province, South Africa (Southwood and Cairncross 2017). One of these specimens is illustrated here.

 

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

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