Goethite PS Marcasite
Posted by: macadmin on 05.14.2020 | Filed under:

Goethite PS Marcasite

Specimen # 100910
Mineral: Goethite PS Marcasite
Location: White Desert, North of Farafra Oasis, Egypt
Size: 4.9 x 4.8 x 2.9 cm


Detailed Description

A super goethite pseudomorph after marcasite – the spires of marcasite crystal forms are proportionally very large on the piece, and the individual marcasite forms are well defined. From the top, looking down, some of the spires look somewhat like the head of a Phillips screwdriver. In excellent condition, no damage. From the Tracy Kimmel collection, this is a distinctive and aesthetic top-level piece.


About Tracy Kimmel (click here)


About These White Desert Pseudomorphs

This locality has been known for a number of years and pseudomorph specimens have come out once in a while. The pseudomorphs occur within the Cretaceous Khoman Chalk, from which the White Desert derives its name. Most crystals have typically been fairly indistinct, and to date sharp specimens have been uncommon. These specimens are remarkable for their relatively sharp marcasite crystal forms in aesthetic crystal clusters.

Over the years, these pseudomorphs have been variously labeled hematite, goethite and limonite (the latter no longer a valid mineral species name, but is a term still used in reference to unidentified iron hydroxides, so its use has not been incorrect). Recent work by Hannah Allen at Hamilton College has confirmed that the White Desert pseudomorphs are predominantly goethite. The small white grains lodged in among the crystal blades are barite, calcite and gypsum. (Allen, Hannah M., Pseudomorphed Mineral Aggregates of the Khoman Chalk, Western Desert, Egypt, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 46, No. 2, p.66 (2014)).

Although pseudomorphs after cubic and cuboctahedral pyrite crystals have also been found in the Khoman Chalk, the pseudomorphs after marcasite are more dramatic. These pseudomorphs are excellent specimens featuring beautiful marcasite crystal morphology, showing habits and forms exhibited by the crystallized marcasite specimens from the famous occurrences at Cap-Blanc-Nez, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Additional information

Dimensions 49 × 48 × 29 cm