Willie Lombard

I collect different species of minerals and rocks of SA and Namibia and need only one good example of each. Right across from the old Swanson Enterprises building in Springbok is an open yard with some large heaps of rocks and minerals. I asked the resident on the property if I could have a look-around. No problem. Found some fluorites and a good example of a diorite. There were some feldspars and a lot of pegmatites. I was sleeping over, so I asked the resident if I could return that night with my UV-light. No problem.

That night I was surprised by lots of blue fluorite and orange calcite fluorescence. I took a few pieces of each. The next day I washed them and was surprised that the fluorescent ‘calcite’ looked like feldspar and the fluorite was botryoidal.

The ‘feldspar’ tested to the same hardness as orthoclase, but the SG was more, at 3,1. Then I noticed the different angles of cleavage, some quite obtuse. I couldn’t ID it from my books, but identified it from different websites as amblygonite, a phosphate [LiAl(PO4)F]. The orange fluorescence was a characteristic on only one website. One example had a purplish streak of lepidolite, which also contains lithium.

This photo of fluorite is from part of a 5,3 kg green lump. The surface of the mineral is almost oolitic and non-reflective. See above. South Africa has lots of interesting minerals from places that can be reached!  WL