Antimony - Encyclopedia

    Class : Elements
    Subclass : Metalloids
    Crystal System : Rhombohedral
    Chemistry : Sb
    Rarity : Rare

Antimony is a rare mineral in hydrothermal antimony and nickel-cobalt-silver veins. Frequently containing arsenic, it is found in its native state, in granular or lamellar masses, rarely botryoidal or hilly, sometimes imposing : 135 kg at Erskin Creek (California). Its name comes either from the Arabic al uthmund, or from the Latin antimonium applied to the stibine by Constantinius Africanus (around 1050). The crystals are very rare, pseudocubic, or thick tabular on {0001}, frequently rounded, not exceeding 15 mm. Antimony has a metallic luster and a pewter-white color taking on a yellowish reflection by weathering. On the surface, antimony easily deteriorates into valentinite and other white antimony oxides. Its rarity prevents it from significant industrial use; however, it may have been a very occasional antimony ore.

Antimony in the World

Large masses are known in the United States, Quebec, Mexico and Malaysia, smaller ones in Sarrabus (Sardinia, Italy) and Pribam (Bohemian). The most beautiful crystals come from Broken Hill (Australia). Excellent samples were also extracted from the Gravelotte (South Africa), St-Andréaserg (Harz, Germany) and Seinajoki (Finland) mines.

Main photo : Broken Hill Antimony, Australia © Kelly Nach

Antimony in France

In France, small lamellar masses reaching 10 cm are known at Chalanches (Isère).

Twinning

Twins on {01-14} and commonly forms fourlings, sixlings and polysynthetic twins.

Fakes and treatments

No fake identified for this mineral species.



Hardness : 3 to 3.5
Density : 6.6 to 6.7
Fracture : Irregular
Trace : Gray




TP : Opaque
RI : -
Birefringence : -
Optical character : -
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None


Solubility : Nitric acid

Magnetism : None
Radioactivity : None

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