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August 18, 2018, Coloradoite, Mercury Teluride

August 18, 2018
Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:

 

Greetings from the Bluff Park Back Porch on scenic Shades Mountain, 1,109 feet.
These minerals below can be found all around the world, most of which are used in a variety of different everyday products…. and oh yeah….
They’re also some of the most toxic materials known to science!

1. Coloradoite

1
Coloradoite, also known as mercury telluride, are recently discovered crystalline minerals formed when mercury fuses with tellurium. Since mercury and tellurium are both extremely toxic the combination of the two elements poses a serious risk of poisoning if carelessly handled.

Also, if coloradoite is heated or chemically altered, it can create a deadly vapor that you wouldn’t want to breath into your lungs

Coloradoite, Pyrite, Quartz-338840.jpg
Coloradoite, Pyrite, Quartz Locality: Bessie G Mine, La Plata District (California District), La Plata County, Colorado, USA (Locality at mindat.org) Size: 10.1 x 4.7 x 2.8 cm Coloradoite is a rare mercury telluride named for the type localities which are in Colorado. It is found in hydrothermal, tellurium bearing precious metal veins. Crystals and platelets of grayish-black coloradoite, accented with brassy, microcrystalline pyrite richly cover the sculptural vein matrix of quartz. Very seldom will you see a coloradoite specimen in cabinet size quality and richness.
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

It is used as a source of telluride metal.

What is the use of tellurium?

Uses. Tellurium improves the machinability of copper and stainless steel, and its addition to lead decreases the corrosive action of sulfuric acid on lead and improves its strength and hardness. Tellurium is used as a basic ingredient in blasting caps, and is added to cast iron for chill control.

Don’t smelt your gold ore on your stove while baking bread.
This one definitely is not very pretty to look at.
Thanks,
R
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