Home > California Borate Minerals – July 22 > MS0958 Kernite

Kernite - Sold

Kernite is a sodium borate mineral, a lower hydrate of borax. Schaller (1927) named the mineral after Kern County, California, wherein the famous Kramer deposit lies. Cooper et al. (1973) refined the crystal structure, and confirmed its chemistry. This specimen comes from the type locality. While the mineral is a major ore at the mine, nearly all specimens are intergrown cleavage fragments. Many collectors, and workers at the mine, have never seen a terminated crystal. This is a blocky colorless crystal, 3.1 by 3.3 cm, on a matrix of radiating probertite and cleaved kernite.

This specimen was part of the personal collection of Ralph Merrill, proprietor of the prolific mail order business Minerals Unlimited. Ralph Merrill personally collected this specimen on May 15, 1945. His collection card states, "This is the only terminated kernite crystal I have ever seen." Quite a statement for such an experienced mineral collector!