Home > Laskowski Ⅳ – July 13 > MS1871 Nickelskutterudite


Nickelskutterudite is nickel arsenide with minor cobalt and iron substitution. Waller & Moses (1893) originally described nickel-skutterudite [sic] from New Mexico. The International Mineralogical Association simplified the species name to nickelskutterudite in 2007 (Burke, 2008). Already known from Germany was a chemically similar mineral, chloanthite, named by Breithaupt (1845). Chemical and structural study by Holmes (1947) proved the identity of chloanthite with nickelskutterudite. Roseboom (1962) failed to synthesize nickelskutterudite from arsenic and nickel alone; synthesis succeeded after doping with cobalt and/or iron. Schumer et al. (2017) argue that iron and cobalt substitution stabilizes the nickelskutterudite crystal structure; cobalt and iron are essential components in nickelskutterudite. Conversely skutterudite, the cobalt analog (and namesake) of nickelskutterudite, is stable without chemical substitution.

Nickelskutterudite here forms cuboctahedral crystals to 8 mm on a siliceous matrix. The backside of the specimen has a greenish cast, which typically represents minor alteration to annabergite. From the collection of E.R. Laskowski (1949-2020), a mining engineer who retired to Tucson, Arizona.

Price: $275

Item code: MS1871

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