Home > American Minerals II – April 7 > MS1552 Veatchite


Veatchite is a hydrated strontium borate. The mineral name honors geologist John P. Veatch (1808-1870), who first recognized the presence of borax in California, first in spring waters in Sacramento Valley and later in dry lakes. Switzer (1938) originally described veatchite as calcium bearing. Later Switzer & Brannock (1950) showed that veatchite contains major strontium rather than calcium, making it the first known strontium borate mineral. Grice & Pring (2012) refined crystal structures of three different veatchite polytypes; Billie mine veatchite is monoclinic, polytype 2M.

Veatchite here forms bundles of tiny bladed crystals, averaging 1 mm across. These small bundles have combined into a friable, porous aggregate of stark white sparkling veatchite. The veatchite aggregate incorporates a few incomplete colemanite crystals, and has a bit of fragile clay matrix. This material from the Billie represents the richest veatchite specimens known. This piece was part of the collection of Richard C. Erd (1924-2008), mineralogist at the United States Geological Survey at Menlo Park. Erd's label accompanies the specimen.

Price: $400

Item code: MS1552

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