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June 11, 2016 Weekly Geology Guess

June 11, 2017
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:

For the next several weeks, roughly 5 weeks we will discuss the critical metals mentioned in Nova’s Treasures of the Earth.  These include gold, copper, bronze, iron, and steel.
This week we will cover bronze, even though it is not a mineral, it is very important in human history.
Bronze is an amalgam of copper and tin.
How mankind figured out how to smelt these 2 minerals, copper and tin, and then combine them to make bronze is amazing to me.


Native Copper.  2009, by Jonathan Zander

Cassiterite with muscovite from Xuebaoding, Huya, Pingwu, Mianyang, Sichuan, China. Size: 100 mm x 95 mm. Weight: 1128 g.  2010.  CarlesMillan
Ceremonial giant bronze dirk of the Plougrescant-Ommerschans type, Plougrescant, France, 1500–1300 BC. 2006.  Calame

NOVA, Treasures of the Earth

1.    NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, Gems.

2.    NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, Metals.

3.    NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, Power (Fossil Fuels).

“Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminium, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability.”
Cassiterite is a tin oxide mineral, SnO2. It is generally opaque, but it is translucent in thin crystals. Its luster and multiple crystal faces produce a desirable gem. Cassiterite has been the chief tin ore throughout ancient history and remains the most important source of tin today.[2]
Cassiterite Images:;_ylt=A0LEVr7laT1Zfy0Awj8PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-lvs-awc&va=cassiterite&hspart=lvs&hsimp=yhs-awc

Since cassiterite is a medium to dark brown mineral and crystal, and that is not that photogenic, except to collectors, I will forgo my usual attached pictures.
But, for additional mental torment examine the following web site on Copper alloys.



>    Search:  NOVA, Treasures of the Earth, copper, tin, and bronze.
References include:
–    Wikipedia
–    PBS, NOVA > Treasures of the Earth.


Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R
“No copyright infringement intended.
The rights belong to their respective owners”

Copyright Disclaimer: Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Author’s Request:  If you see any pictures that you know the source and photographer, let me know immediately.  Thanks!  R

Images have been searched by TinEye Reverse Image Search.


Next week I will venture into the Iron Age.

Enjoy the adventure!


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