Paradamite Gallery – May 27

Paradamite is an extremely rare polymorph of adamite. The mineral was first recognized on specimens which George Burnham had submitted to the Smithsonian Institution for identification. The curator, George Switzer, published the new mineral description in a 1956 issue of Science Magazine. Paradamite was the first new species described from Ojuela. The mineral often occurs with adamite and legrandite, and much confusion arises from sight identification of these species. Paradamite has triclinic symmetry, forming oblique crystals. Unfortunately, paradamite crystals often have curved edges, and tend to form tight aggregates, which precludes visual recognition of its symmetry. There is a significant difference in rarity between paradamite and adamite. This writer has seen thousands of flats of Ojuela adamite over the last thirty years, but not more than two flats total of paradamite specimens. Using rough numbers, paradamite may be 10,000 times rarer than adamite. Certain odd shaped adamite crystals look like paradamite, and unanalyzed specimens may be sold with this identification. Each paradamite specimen in this gallery has been confirmed using Raman spectroscopy.

Ron Pellar started collecting minerals in the 1960s. After graduating from MIT and working in New England, he moved to the Los Angeles Basin in 1973, where he worked for years encoding fonts and in industrial color science. In 1983, Ron met a young Star Van Scriver, from whom he bought a choice thumbnail collection. Star bought a truck with his proceeds, and Ron developed the thumbnail collection into a AFMS trophy winner. In the same period, Ron also collected adamite specimens from worldwide localities, with a side interest in the rare specie paradamite. Ron retired to the Tucson Area in 2006, and ultimately sold the bulk of his collection in 2011, however holding back his paradamite suite until March 2014. All of the specimens below are ex Ron Pellar collection.

9 specimens found in this gallery