Petedunnite from its TL, the Franklin Mine in Franklin, New Jersey

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Petedunnite has a hardness of 5-6 and a specific gravity of 3.68. Named in 1987 by Eric J. Essene and Donald Ralph Peacor in honor of Pete J. Dunn, a Museum Specialist in the Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., who studied and made major contributions to the mineralogy of the Franklin, New Jersey Mining District.

At roughly 38% Oxygen, 22% Silicon, 14% Calcium, 10% Zinc, 7% Iron, 4% Manganese, and 1% Magnesium, this would make for a great sample for element collectors, and might be a useful Zinc ore, but it’s not clear for sure. Being such a new mineral, there’s no Wikipedia page for it, nor is there a whole lot more information out there for it yet…

Found in a total of 8 known localities so far, typically in a metamorphosed, stratiform zinc deposit. The closest to Colorado being Butte, Montana so far, there are also occurrences in Nicaragua, Italy and Australia, besides New Jersey. However, it’s quite possible there’s more out there still undiscovered, so keep an eye out for a rock like this the next time you’re out on a hike and make a new discovery – go find some Petedunnite!


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