- Happy Jack mine
- White Canyon
- San Juan County
- 7.5 by 4.7 by 1.5 cm – Small cabinet specimen (under 10 cm)
The Happy Jack mine was an important producer of uranium during America's uranium boom days (1950s-1960s) (San Juan Record, 2009). On the mine walls grew encrustations of colorful exotic uranium sulfate minerals on sandstone. This specimen features an intergrowth of two uranium minerals, green johannite and orange natrozippeite.
Originally called uranvitriol, Haidinger (1830) renamed the mineral johannite after making certain crystallographic measurements. The mineral name honors Austrian Archduke Johann Baptist Josef Fabian Sebastian (1782–1859), founder of the Landesmuseum at Graz, Austria. Mereiter (1982) solved the crystal structure of johannite, establishing the formula Cu(UO2)2(OH)2(SO4)2·8H2O. Johannite forms aggregates of green micro crystals growing atop an orange powdery crust of natrozippeite. \Zippeite is a uranium sulfate mineral originally named after Austrian mineralogist František Xaver Maximillian Zippe (1791–1863), Austrian mineralogist and geologist. In a study of zippeite specimens, Frondel et al. (1976) noted that variable cation contents for zippeite and proposed several separate species, including sodium zippeite. Later change by the International Mineralogical Association (Burke, 2008) lead to currently accepted name of natrozippeite.
This specimen came from the personal collection of Otto Ray, a serious mineral collector from Salt Lake City. Otto Ray distributed this material in the early 1960s and had kept this piece for himself. A very rich and stunning specimen, equal in display impact to many fine African specimens!
Item code: MS0820
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