Wurtzite



Wurtzite is a zinc sulfide mineral isostructural with greenockite. Frondel reported an analysis of wurtzite mixed with a zinc organometallic compound, finding zinc and sulfur, with an excess of oxygen, and carbon and hydrogen approximately 3.4 and 0.7 wt. %, respectively.
Wurtzite is an uncommon mineral locally and is known only from Sterling Hill. The most significant local occurrence was found at Sterling Hill in 1935 and has been called voltzite (Frondel, 1967).
The original Sterling Hill wurtzite formed as botryoidal crusts and stalactitic masses and sheets with a solidified gel-like external flow texture. The color is dark brown to black; the luster is resinous in part, inclining to vitreous or dull; and the density is 3.48 g/cm3. A fibrosity is apparent and is normal to the specimen surface. Golden brown, hexagonal, 20-micron crystals were reported by Jenkins and Misiur (1994).
Sterling Hill wurtzite is best known from the occurrence of the mixture known as voltzite, which was found in the 2300 stope on the 1680 level. It occurred as an iridescent stalactitic mass, similar in shape to a wasp's nest. The matrix is coarse-grained calcite with residual franklinite and local concentrations of pyrite and sphalerite. The innermost layers of the voltzite mixture give the X-ray data of sphalerite. This material was originally found in a watercourse which formed an aperture of a hundred feet of vertical extent. A more detailed description of voltzite, from Sterling Hill and other localities, is given by Frondel (1967).
Other specimens of Sterling Hill wurtzite are known; all are late-stage depositions in vugs and seams, and most have brown, lustrous to dull, botryoidal surfaces. An occurrence below the 700 level was reported by Jenkins and Misiur (1994). (Dunn, 1995)


 Location Found: Ogdensburg
     
 
 Year Discovered: 1861
     
 Formula: (Zn,Fe)S
 Essential Elements: Sulfur, Zinc
 All Elements in Formula: Iron, Sulfur, Zinc
     
 IMA Status: Approved
     
     
 To find out more about this mineral at minDat's website, follow this link   Wurtzite

     
 References:
Dunn, Pete J. (1995). Franklin and Sterling Hill New Jersey: the world's most magnificent mineral deposits. Franklin, NJ.: The Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society. p.544

Frondel, Clifford (1972). The minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, a checklist. NY.: John Willey & Sons. p.84


The Picking Table References
 PT Issue and PageDescription / Comment
View IssueV. 35, No. 2 - Fall 1994, pg. 22A Complex Base-Metal Assemblage From the Sterling Mine New Jersey - Wurtzite
View IssueV. 12, No. 2 - August 1971, pg. 7New Minerals for Franklin-Sterling Validated List - Wurtzite (small article)
View IssueV. 9, No. 1 - February 1968, pg. 8Mineralogical Data - Voltzite (A variety of Wurtzite)
View IssueV. 8, No. 2 - August 1967, pg. 7Mineralogical Data - Voltzite/Wurtzite
     
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