Home > Metallic Minerals – September 17 > MS1432 Bismuthinite

Bismuthinite - Sold

Bismuthinite is a simple bismuth sulfide, structurally related to stibnite. Known since the eighteenth century, its modern name follows from Beudant (1832), who named the mineral bismuthine after its bismuth content. In the fifth edition of Dana's System of Mineralogy, Dana & Brush modernized the name as bismuthinite. Bismuthinite strongly resembles stibnite, but is in fact much rarer. Few localities are known for macroscopic crystals.

The mines of Cornwall are a classic source of rare bismuthinite crystals, This specimen comes from Camborne Vean, whose workings are now incorporated into the Dolcoath mine. This specimen was part of the personal collection of Ralph Merrill, proprietor of the prolific mail order business Minerals Unlimited. Merrill's collection card and label ship with the specimen. Merrill obtained this specimen with the W.E. Davidson (1907-2002), whose handwritten collection label is also present. Bismuthinite here forms scattered crystals to 1.6 cm, associated with white calcite crystals to 1 cm. The bismuthinite crystals have rounded terminations, an indication of drawer wear on this old specimen. It likely came out of the ground before 1900. Historic and choice.