Home > American Minerals V – October 1 > MS1657 Whelanite

Whelanite - Sold

Whelanite is a copper calcium silicate carbonate. The mineral name honors James A. Whelan (1928-2003), formerly professor of mineralogy at the University of Utah. While submitted to the International Mineralogical Association in 1977 (IMA 1977-006), the full description of whelanite appeared 35 years later (Kampf et al., 2012). The long gap between naming the species and publication of its formal description led collectors to question the validity of whelanite. For instance, the 1995 edition of the Mineralogy of Arizona lists whelanite in initial capitals rather than block capitals used for valid species. Fortunately, the publication of Kampf et al. (2012) conclusively affirms the species status of whelanite.

Whelanite here forms sky blue sprays on skarn matrix, to 6 mm across. This example comes from the type locality. This specimen was part of the Charles Trantham (1936-2020) estate. A Robert M. Philips mineral collection label accompanies this specimen.