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Ryan T.
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Something I can't identify.
Nov 1st, 2017 at 8:09pm
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I'm not 100% sure how to do pictures on here, I'll give it a whirl. Anyway, I have a cluster I mined from.... I think Greece if my memory serves. It's fibrous like Ulexite, only it's a little more delicate, and I've never seen Ulexite grow in clusters, nor have I ever seen it in this smoky color. Any ideas?
  

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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #1 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 8:10pm
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Another angle
  

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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #2 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 8:10pm
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And a third
  

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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #3 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 8:11pm
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And I realize I kind of stink at photography Smiley
  

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Scott LaBorde
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #4 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 8:46am
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At first guess I would say selenite, a variety of gypsum.  Still researching Greece to see if I can find similar specimens.

I was only able to find this reference to a selenite in Greece so far:

https://www.mindat.org/photo-11040.html
  

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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #5 - Nov 2nd, 2017 at 12:13pm
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Selenite, that makes sense. I had dismissed it as being selenite, but I can't remember my reasoning now. Though I think I might be mistaken about the location. The only selenite I mined from Greece has been white or off white. The only area where I've been with selenite like this was around Pakistan. I've seen it there be bladed like mine, though I've never seen any quite as gray as this one.
  
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JoeM
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #6 - Nov 3rd, 2017 at 7:44pm
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Very pretty little cluster of crystals!
Looks like the gray color may just be a surface coating of oxides and may be the best indicator of the source, along with the matrix or host rock.
May be splitting hairs unnecessarily but because of the large steep angle of the one face of the termination I was going to call it Gypsum rather than Selenite. (My 1 to 2 cents.)
  
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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #7 - Nov 3rd, 2017 at 10:22pm
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Gypsum, now that's interesting. The only gypsum I have has been carved into little cubes.
  
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Scott LaBorde
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #8 - Nov 6th, 2017 at 9:44am
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JoeM wrote on Nov 3rd, 2017 at 7:44pm:
Very pretty little cluster of crystals!
Looks like the gray color may just be a surface coating of oxides and may be the best indicator of the source, along with the matrix or host rock.
May be splitting hairs unnecessarily but because of the large steep angle of the one face of the termination I was going to call it Gypsum rather than Selenite. (My 1 to 2 cents.)


You know selenite is gypsum right?
  

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JoeM
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #9 - Nov 6th, 2017 at 7:29pm
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Yes, you are quite right, Scott. Smiley
Pardon me this peeve, Roll Eyes, but the subjective use of the name selenite has always pestered, confounded, and confused me. Two names for the same mineral! What is it that makes them different? Moonlight?

Mindat states, "Selenite is "mostly" synonymous with gypsum,
but has been used historically to describe the transparent variety."

But in the 3958 pictures of Gypsum on Mindat you can find many transparent and clear specimens called only Gypsum, not Gypsum,Variety Selenite.
And of the 725 pictures of Selenite on Mindat they do not all appear transparent. I mean are they Gypsum Roses or Selenite Roses.?

Mindat also says that first mention of the word gypsum is by a Greek, Theophrastus, around 300 BC from the Greek word "gypsos". Selenite was coined by J.G. Wallerius in his 1747 book "Mineralogia", from the Greek word for Moon.  He came up with the name because the reflected and transmitted light looked like moon-light. And this is a hundred years before Lewis Carroll! Wink

Okay, I'm done. There's my 1 - 2 cents explained. Lips Sealed
We can call it either one. Selenite might be more "politically" correct.
Gypsum, Var. Selenite. Nothing hard about that. Wink

I did come across this specimen picture on Mindat under Selenite photos, page 13, that looks a lot like yours, Ryan. Just a stab at it.
https://www.mindat.org/photo-53153.html
  
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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #10 - Nov 7th, 2017 at 12:27pm
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Thank you Joe, that does look a lot like mine. I also can tell you that mine did indeed come from Italy; not because I'm going off of what the picture states on Mindat, but because I found my travel log. When I first got out of the military, I had the grand idea to visit the lands of my ancestors, which turned out to be a huge endeavor because I'm a mutt and can trace my lineage pretty far back. Senior Chief told me to make a travel log of everything I saw, ate, brought back to the States with me, etc. I kind of scoffed at that, but she said "you might have a memory like a steel trap NOW, but you'd be surprised what 20 years can do". I scoffed at that, too; in 20 years, I'd be in my 40s, not exactly feeble-minded. But I made a log anyway and now I'm pretty happy that I did, because it's almost been 20 years, and I forgot not just that I got this in Italy, but also that I even made the log to begin with. So, I can tell you that the little guy pictured above came out of Italy Smiley

As far as Selenite vs Gypsum, I was taught that Selenite is a variety of Gypsum. But Walter Schumann made it sound like the two are synonymous. I've had customers come in and swear different things; some say Selenite is a variety of Gypsum, some have sworn that Selenite is just another name for Gypsum. Then again, I had Mr. "I know everything because I've been a gemologist for 40 years" come in and SWEAR that it was smoky Catapleiite. Ha, pictures can be misleading sometimes, but one thing that I'd stake my whole collection on is that this is Not Catapleiite. Then again, he also tried to tell me that my rutilated quartz was slag that went through a trash compactor; "you can't make up names just because you can't identify it. Who the heck's even heard of rutilated quartz?!" That one made me smile.
  
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JoeM
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #11 - Nov 7th, 2017 at 7:17pm
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Cool, Very Good, Ryan.
Your Senior Chief sounds like a wise woman. Label everything and put down as much info as you can think of while you're doing it! Amen!
I haven't gotten around to looking at what the inclusions are in your piece from Italy, I've been busy looking at pics of Catapleiite. That's a new one for me and the specimens from Quebec are awesome! Absolutely love those pieces enough to go look for some. Wink
I wonder if there's any Catapleiite in NC? We'll see.

Don't want to beat the dead horse but, I learned the same as you that Selenite is a variety of Gypsum. Now I agree with Schumann. If there is no definition or consistency for using the name Selenite then the two are synonymous. I swear it's the moon-like-light!

Thanks, Ryan.
So what kind of shop do you have up there?
  
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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #12 - Nov 8th, 2017 at 1:22pm
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My shop isn't actually a shop, because I sell out of my home. Believe it or not, it all started out as just a type of after school program to educate kids. So, a parent came up to me one day, told me that his boy wouldn't stop talking about minerals and asked if I had any to sell. And one parent turned to two, which turned to a dozen, etc. Now, you can't modify your home to run a business out of, so I thought about opening a mineral store. However, in my part of the world, the market is dominated by a store named V Rock, which I highly recommend. V Rock isn't a store, it's a whole mineral warehouse; it's huge. Anyway, I realized that I could never compete with that place, so I looked for my own gimmick. So, I do the exact opposite of V Rock; I have no website, you can't buy anything from me online. So, it's not a shop, it's more like friends and neighbors in my community calling me up, asking what I have, and making appointments to come over. I thought this whole venture would fail. After all, you can go to V Rock's website and buy til your heart's content, in your pj's, from the comfort of your own home. However, for some reason, my community likes the intimacy of coming over, having a cup of coffee, playing with my 2 year old, etc. They like the fact that my little inventory is ONLY for our community.
  
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JoeM
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #13 - Nov 8th, 2017 at 6:41pm
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Sounds like things are working out for the best. Smiley
  
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Ryan T.
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Re: Something I can't identify.
Reply #14 - Nov 11th, 2017 at 10:02am
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It did indeed, thank you Smiley
  
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