Home > Borate Minerals – April 22 > MS1802 Veatchite

Veatchite - Sold

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. Material collected by Walt Lombardo in the early 1980s. This locality is defunct, now in the Death Valley National Park. Very rich for the species.