New Mineral With Surprising Composition Discovered In Western Australia
April 24, 2014
A new mineral with a surprising composition has been discovered in the Polar Bear peninsula of Western Australia by a University of Adelaide mineralogy researcher, which has been described in Mineralogical Magazine.
P. Elliott et al. Mineralogical Magazine
The pretty mineral, which has been named putnisite, is purple in appearance and is composed of cube-like crystals of 0.5mm in size. It's translucent with a glassy luster and has a pink streak running through it. What is intriguing about the mineral is its elementary composition; it contains strontium, calcium, chromium, sulfur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, which is unusual. It's relatively soft and brittle with a Mohs hardness of between 1 ½ - 2. Currently it remains unknown whether the mineral will have any practical applications.
"Most minerals belong to a family or small group of related minerals, or if they aren't related to other minerals they often are to a synthetic compound- but putnisite is completely unique and unrelated to anything," said lead author of the study Dr Elliott in a press-release. "Nature seems to be far cleverer at dreaming up new chemicals than any researcher in a laboratory," he added.
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