Pseudomorphs

Pseudomorphs occur when one mineral replaces a second mineral, molecule by molecule, so that the shape (including any crystals) of the second mineral are faithfully reproduced.  Petrified wood is a type of pseudomorph, as indeed are fossils, since the original organic carbon has been replaced, often by silicates or carbonates.


Malachite ps Barite, Kambove Mine, Shaba Cu belt, Shaba, CongoMalachite ps Barite, Kambove Mine, Shaba Cu belt, Shaba, Congo
click on images for larger views

MpB9-1  Malachite ps Barite from 2001, ex Linda St-Cyr  $125

Kambove Mine, Shaba Cu belt, Shaba, Congo

4.4 cm x 3.2 cm x 3.2 cm

This was a one-time find in 2001, an unusual pseudomorph.  The photo on the right shows the bottom of the specimen, which evidentially grew up against a flat rock and exhibits some long, grassy-looking Malachite crystals.


Quartz & Fluorite ps Stibnite, near Xin Yi city, Qingnong, Guizhou Province, ChinaQuartz & Fluorite ps Stibnite, near Xin Yi city, Qingnong, Guizhou Province, China
click on images for larger views

QFpsS11-1 Quartz & Fluorite ps Stibnite  $48

near Xin Yi city, Qingnong, Guizhou Province, China

7.5 cm x 4.8 cm x 4.4 cm

The back of this specimen (right-hand photo) is all Fluorite, but on the other side, several roughly cylindrical structures are seen.  The two largest form a backwards "L" in the left-hand photo.  These are the pseudomorphs of Stibnite.


Siderite & Quartz ps Aegerine, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada
Siderite & Quartz ps Aegerine, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada
click on images for larger views

SID11-1  Siderite & Quartz ps Aegerine, ex Linda St-Cyr  $45   SOLD

Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

8.7 cm x 1.8 cm x 1.5 cm

Mont Saint-Hilaire is famous for many rarities and pseudomorphs. This specimen is a very detailed pseudomorph of a pair of Aegerine crystals with two small Smoky Quartz crystals and some tan Siderites attached.  It is relatively large for a Mont Saint-Hilaire pseudomorph, and it is unusual also in the minerals involved.



Ancylite-(Ce) ps Unknown, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada in tungsten lighting                  Ancylite-(Ce) ps Unknown, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada in tungsten lighting
tungsten lighting      click on images for larger views      tungsten lighting
Ancylite-(Ce) ps Unknown, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada in fluorescent lighting                  Ancylite-(Ce) ps Unknown, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada in fluorescent lighting
fluorescent lighting     click on images for larger views     fluorescent lighting

 RESERVED
ANC
11-2 Ancylite-(Ce) ps Unknown, ex Tom Fitzpatrick  $65

Mont Saint-Hilaire, Rouville RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada


3.7 cm x 2.4 cm x 2.0 cm

Ancylite-(Ce) accounts for many of the pseudomorphs that are found at Mont Saint-Hilaire.  Ancylite-(Ce) can be recognized by its lavender-pink color under tungsten lighting and green color under fluorescent lighting, as in the photos above.  The tiny reddish crystals are Rhodochrosites.


Endlichite ps Wulfenite, Ahumada Mine, Los Lamentos, Chihuahua, MexicoEndlichite ps Wulfenite, Ahumada Mine, Los Lamentos, Chihuahua, Mexico
click on images for larger views

EpW11-1 Endlichite ps Wulfenite, ex Linda St-Cyr  $95  SOLD

Ahumada Mine, Los Lamentos, Chihuahua, Mexico

4.5 cm x 3.5 cm x 2.5 cm

This piece looks like an epimorph - a special type of pseudomorph where the replacement mineral becomes a coating over the original.  The original often, but not always, dissolves.  (If the original dissolves, the pseudomorph can also be called a cast.)  I particularly like the way in which the prismatic Endlichite grows perpendicular to the original Wulfenite blades, making them into spiky replicas of what they once were.

Siderite ps Calcite on Pyrite, Sphalerite and Quartz, Turt Mine, Oasului Mts., Satu Mare, Maramures Co., Romania
click on image for larger view
Siderite ps Calcite on Pyrite, Sphalerite and Quartz, Turt Mine, Oasului Mts., Satu Mare, Maramures Co., Romania       Siderite ps Calcite on Pyrite, Sphalerite and Quartz, Turt Mine, Oasului Mts., Satu Mare, Maramures Co., Romania
click on images for larger views

SID9-2 Siderite ps Calcite on Pyrite, Sphalerite and Quartz  $225

Turt Mine, Oasului Mts., Satu Mare, Maramures Co., Romania

10.5 cm x 7.5 cm x 7.0 cm

The matrix consists of a layer of bright cubic Pyrite dotted with Sphalerite and Quartz, then a layer of cream-colored rock matrix, then another layer of Pyrite, the overall effect being of an ice-cream sandwich topped by a scoop of coffee ice cream.  Michael Shaw in MinDat.org wrote, "These curved rhombs which resemble clam shells are the least common of the three forms of siderite pseudomorphs of calcite from the Turt Mine."  This piece attracts a great deal of attention because it is large, bright and curiously shaped.


Quartz & Lepidolite ps Tourmaline, Urubu Mine, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil  Quartz & Lepidolite ps Tourmaline, Urubu Mine, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil
 click on images for larger views

QLT9-1 Quartz & Lepidolite ps Tourmaline  $65

Urubu Mine, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Southeast Region, Brazil

9.0 cm x 2.7 cm x 2.7 cm

The unusual thing about this pseudomorph is that it has been preserved mid-way during the process of forming a pseudomorph, and the Quartz is replacing the inside of the Tourmaline first, leaving a shell of bright, transparent green Tourmaline through which the Quartz can be viewed.


Hematite ps Magnetite ("Martite"), Twin Peaks, Millard Co., Utah
 click on image for larger view

HpM9-1  Hematite ps Magnetite ("Martite")
with Scott Williams & Dave Bunk dealer labels  $22    SOLD

Twin Peaks, Millard Co., Utah

6.2 cm x 4.7 cm x 2.2 cm

A nice sharp pseudomorph classic, known as "Martite".


Meyerhofferite ps Inyoite, Monte Blanco Mine, Inyo Co., California, USA
Meyerhofferite ps Inyoite, Monte Blanco Mine, Inyo Co., California, USA
 click on images for larger views

MHpIN11-1  Meyerhofferite (TL) ps Inyoite  $35    SOLD

Monte Blanco Mine, Inyo Co., California, USA

3.6 cm x 3.5 cm x 2 cm

An interesting and sharply formed pseudomorph from the Type Locality of Meyerhofferite.  The radial patterns of the Meyerhofferite are pressed into the blocky form of the Inyoite - most visible in the larger version of the left photo - perfectly illustrating the effects of pseudomorphism.

Tincalconite ps Borax, Boron, Kramer District, Kern Co., California, USA
 click on image for larger view

TpB11-1 Tincalconite ps Borax, ex Linda St-Cyr  $65    SOLD
but more are available on this page: Pseudomorphs

Boron, Kramer District, Kern Co., California, USA

5.6 cm x 3.3 cm x 1.5 cm

The sharpness of this pseudomorph is almost unbelievable.  The Tincalconite is very light and delicate.


Vanadium Petrified Wood, Holbrook, Navajo Co., Arizona, USAVanadium Petrified Wood, Holbrook, Navajo Co., Arizona, USA
 click on images for larger views

MAL11-1 Malachite(?) ps Petrified Wood, ex Linda St-Cyr  $65

Holbrook, Navajo Co., Arizona, USA


4.7 cm x 3 cm x 2.0 cm

This was one of the first mineral specimens in my collection.  I thought I knew what petrified wood looked like, but this piece showed me that the mineral world had many surprises waiting for me.  Although it was sold to me as Malachite, most references (like MinDat.org) say that green petrified wood is actually Chromium- or Vanadium-rich petrified wood.


Rutile paramorph of Brookite, Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USARutile paramorph of Brookite, Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USA
click on left image for larger view                                                                                              
Rutile paramorph of Brookite, Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USA Rutile paramorph of Brookite, Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USA
click on images for larger views
Rutile paramorph of Brookite, Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USA Rutile paramorph of Brookite, Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USA click on images for larger views

RPB5-3  Rutile paramorph of Brookite  $95

Titanium Mine, Magnet Cove, Arkansas, USA

4.0 cm x 3.0 cm x 3.0 cm

A paramorph is a pseudomorph of one mineral by one of its dimorphs.  In other words, the original mineral (in this case, Brookite, which is TiO2) and the pseudomorph mineral (Rutile, also TiO2) have the same chemical formula but different molecular structures.  Magnet Cove is quite famous for this particular paramorph.  The pseudomorph on the specimen is actually much easier to see in person than in the photos .


Turquoise ps Apatite, Baviacora Mine, Sonora, Mexico           Turquoise ps Apatite, Baviacora Mine, Sonora, Mexico
click on images for larger views

TRQ6-4 Turquoise ps Apatite  $18

Baviacora Mine, Sonora, Mexico

1.6 cm x 1.3 cm x 1 cm

These are very famous though somewhat crude pseudomorphs.

Goethite ps Pyrite, Pelican Point, Utah Lake, Utah County, Utah, USAGoethite ps Pyrite, Pelican Point, Utah Lake, Utah County, Utah, USA
click on images for larger views

GPP10-1 Goethite ps Pyrite  $20

Pelican Point, Utah Lake, Utah County, Utah, USA

4.5 cm x 2.8 cm x 2.5 cm

A very fine example of a classic pseudomorph from the most famous US locality for Goethite ps Pyrite.

Talc ps Antigorite fans, Luzenac Mine, St-Pierre de Broughton, Beauce Co., Quebec, Canada
Talc ps Antigorite fans, Luzenac Mine, St-Pierre de Broughton, Beauce Co., Quebec, Canada
 click on images for larger views

TLC6-1 Talc ps Antigorite fans, ex Linda St-Cyr  $15

Luzenac Mine, St-Pierre de Broughton, Beauce Co., Quebec, Canada

7.0 cm x 4.0 cm x 3.5 cm

The fans of the Antigorite are very clearly visible, well reproduced in the Talc.  A very interesting and unusual pseudomorph.



Three more pseudomorphs are on my other gallery pages:

GAL9-8 Galena (var. Plumbeine) ps Pyromorphite, Wheal Hope, Cornwall, England, UK   $44

MAL9-11 Azurite & Malachite ps Azurite, Remolinos Mine, Chile  $26

HPS7-3  Hematite ps Siderite, Lake George, Park Co, Colorado  $25

Also, my husbands website:

has more pseudomorphs:

M-035 Muscovite ps Spodumene with Feldspar, Ouro Fino Mine,
Minas Gerais, Brazil  $40 (scroll down to see 2 more of them)

G-069 Gypsum with Sand inclusions, Ahahrani, Saudi Arabia  $25
(Not technically a pseudomorph, but only because sand can't hold together by itself - nevertheless, this thing is almost entirely sand!)

H-024 Hematite ps Siderite, Lake George, Park Co, Colorado  $40

Next Gallery

or select a gallery from the table below:

Mixed Minerals Gallery 1 Bargain Gallery
Mixed Minerals Gallery 2 Mont Saint-Hilaire 1
Mixed Minerals Gallery 3 Mont Saint-Hilaire 2
Mixed Minerals Gallery 4 Geodes, Nodules, Agates 1
Tucson Mineral Show 2011 Geodes, Nodules, Agates 2
Spanish Scolecite Rare Mineral Gallery 1
Tincalconite  Rare Mineral Gallery 2
Pseudomorphs Fluorescent Gallery 1
Large Museum Specimens Fluorescent Gallery 2


Questions?  Please send me an email.

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