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Description Tabs

Buckwheat Mine, Franklin, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States of America
Crystals on Matrix
Size Range: 
Thumbnail (1-3cm)
2.7 × 2.8 × 2.5 cm

Stilpnomelane is a very rare mineral at Franklin. This specimen was found in 1995 on the Buckwheat Dump and appears to be in the so called “Buckwheat Dolomite”. That is not an environment for “stilpnomelane” as described in Dunn’s monograph, but, apart from the presence of Zn, the EDS scan (see the “Analysis”) appears to be a good match for stilpnomelane as defined by the IMA. The scan is not a good match for franklinphilite or lennilenapeite, which supposedly can look similar. (The presence of Zn does suggest lennilenapeite or franklinphilite, however there seems to be no Mn at all. Mn would be required for franklinphilite and expected for lennilenapeite. Also, in both lennilenapeite and franklinphilite, one expects Fe to be subordinate to Mg. Of course, this was just a qualitative EDS scan. If it turns out to be lennilenapeite , which I doubt, then rejoice!)

Note: Dunn distinguishes ferristilpnomelane and ferrostilpnomelane as distinct species. The IMA is apparently monotheistic – only stiplnomelane is a true mineral. Also according to Dunn, “ferrostilpnimelane” and lennilenapeite form a series, so possibly this specimen is an intermediate member of the series – but close to “ferrostilpnomelane”.

Stilpnomelane is a difficult mineral to photograph. In this specimen, it occurs as lustrous very dark brown to nearly black platy/foliated “rosettes”. To see the individual plates, one needs reflections. But the reflections are mostly all-or-nothing. Either there is no usable reflection, or it is specular and causes “blowouts” in photos. While there appear to be some edges, most crystals look irregular/raggedy. (If euhedral crystals of stilpnomelane exist, it doesn’t seem as if any of the posts on Mindat have successfully captured an image of such crystals.)

FOV in the first pair of photos is 4.8 x 3.7 mm, 6.6 x 4.2 mm in the second pair, and 4.4 x 6.6 mm in the fifth photo, which also shows some of the small dolomite crystals (stained by Fe oxides).

Single item shipping weight is 4.0 oz. Note that USPS foreign packet rates recently increased significantly. It may be advantageous for foreign customers to hold an "open box" so as to reduce postage costs by combining items from a future auction. Let me know, and I will generate a new “item only” invoice. Postage will be invoiced when all items are actually shipped.

Outside the USA, the stated postage and packing rate applies up to a total weight of 8 oz (225 g).

Within the USA, there is a nominal increase of $0.20 for each additional ounce. Above 13 oz, I will use Priority Mail. Up to 16 oz, the “own box” Priority rate is $8.50 (including packing).

Please see my "Shipping Policy" for details. 

Mineral Data
What's on the rock


3.0 - 4.0
Type Locality: 
Melchior and Tobias adits, Horní Údolí (Obergrund), Zlaté Hory (Zuckmantel), Olomouc Region, Moravia (Mähren; Maehren), Czech Republic
Analysis Report - only: Stilpnomelane
LMB minerals

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In addition to the standard terms and conditions, please note the following. Almost all IDs are visual. While in most cases the ID is obvious, there may be cases where it is not. If you are doubtful about a particular ID, please ask for more information. Or do not bid! Similarly, if you are not sure that the specimen meets your criteria, do not bid. I have tdone the best I can with the photos. Nevertheless, if you are not happy with a specimen for any reason, I will refund the bid price – but not the shipping costs (unless the fault is clearly mine) – if the specimen is returned. This policy applies even if analysis of the specimen shows that my ID was incorrect. When in doubt, ask - or don’t bid. Note that most crystals at MSH and Varennes are micros - even if on large specimens. Please pay attention to the stated sizes. Any customs duties, fees etc. are the responsibility of the buyer.