a terrific Tsumgallite from the Tsumeb Mine in Namibia

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Tsumgallite has a hardness of 1 – 2 and a specific gravity of 5.08. It’s named for its TL, the TSUMcor Mine, and for containing GALLium.

Tsumgallite is an incredibly rare mineral, and while a large supply still has yet to be found and the price allowed to drop, it’s quite fortunate ColoRockCo can provide you the opportunity to bring home your very own natural sample of Gallium!

According to Mindat, there’s no Gallium found in Colorado, nor is Gallium found anywhere else in the US. In fact, Tsumeb is the only place in the world where this mineral is known to be found. However, keep your eyes out for a rock like this and prove everyone wrong!

WebMineral analyzed a specimen and found it contained roughly 60% Gallium, 32% Oxygen, 3% Iron and Germanium, 1% Zinc and Hydrogen, and traces of Silicon. As one of the very few options available for element collectors looking for Gallium as it’s found in its native state, this is one incredible rock!

Since Tsumgallite and the other minerals which contain large amounts of Gallium (Gallite, Gallobeudantite, Galloplumbogummite, Ishiharaite, Richardsite, Söhngeite, and Zincobriartite) are as rare as they are, most Gallium is instead acquired from Bauxite and Zinc ores, since it’s typically present at very low concentrations. It’s really cool that Gallium is a liquid metal at room temperature, like Mercury, but when it’s paired with Oxygen and another Oxygen and Hydrogen, it’s a purpleish, maroon, silver, gray rock!

It’s also really cool that this comes from the Tsumeb Mine, the mine, which, according to Wikipedia, “is noted for 243 valid minerals and is the type location for 56 types of minerals.” According to Mindat, the Tsumeb mine is “a world-famous Cu-Pb-Zn-Ag-Ge-Cd mine, renowned for a wealth of rare and unusual minerals. On January 21, 1893, Mathew Rogers discovered the “green hill” and the site started operating in 1907, however, even before the “official” discovery, the deposit had been known for ages by local Bushmen and exploited by them in an artisanal way to recover copper. Mineralisation is hosted in Neoproterozoic Otavi Dolomite. The orebody is a pipe. It is about 120 by 15 meters in cross-section, steeply dipping and extending from the surface to at least 1,000 meters in depth. Controls for ore emplacement include interrupted circular fracturing, core breccia, and an internal mass of pseudo-aplite (Tsumeb Pipe). Local rocks include mainly Late Proterozoic sedimentary terrane. Workings include extensive underground openings to a depth of 1,000 meters. The De Wet shaft is on Main street.”

This is a really cool mineral, and its price is a reflection of that, but it’s still a treat to be able to share it with you through the screen, so thanks for watching, and again, be sure to keep your eyes out for a rock like this and make a new discovery!!


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