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Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

Vladimir Bukanov. Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PYRARGYRITE


PYRARGYRITE (Pyrargyrit—Pyrargyrite—ѕираргирит) (Agricola, 1546, Glocker, E.F. 1831), from Gk. “pyr” – fire and “argyros” – silver, after its red color and silver content.

Composition & Properties. Sulfosalt – Ag3[SbS3], trigonal system. Hardness 2-2.5. Density 5.8. Diamond luster. Cleavage in one direction. Very fragile. It forms a row of constant miscibility with proustite. Usually, it doesn’t form large accumulations. It is found in the form of massive grained aggregates, more rarely – in short-columnar crystals of hemihedry shape, up to 10 cm. long. Non-transparent to translucent at the edges. Color: dark cherry-red to black with reddish tint. It looks like hematite, cinnabar, cuprite, and proustite.

Deposits. Pyrargyrite is found in ore veins and oxidation zones of ore deposits. In Russia, in the Middle Urals, pyrargyrite was discovered at the Pervoblagodatnyi mine, near Yekaterinburg; and in Sakha (Yakutia) – at the Bezymyannoye deposit. In other countries, it is often found together with proustite. In Czech Rep., at the Príbram and Jáchymov, crystals of pyrargyrite reached 3 cm.; in Slovakia, it was found at the Banská Štiavnica (form. Schemnitz) deposit; in Spain, pyrargyrite in crystals up to 5 cm. at the Hiendelaencina deposit, Guadalahara Prov., is known; in Italy – at the Sarrabus deposit, Sardinia. Large accumulations of grained masses and well-formed crystals up to 6 cm. long are found in Germany, at the mines St Andreasberg and Samson, in the Harz Mts., Lower Saxony; and in the Erzgebirge Mts., Saxony, pyrargyrite was discovered at first at the deposits Freiberg, Himmelsfürst and others. In Australia, crystals of pyrargyrite are found in ores of the Broken Hill deposit. It was also found in Canada, at the Cobalt deposit. In Mexico findings of pyrargyrite crystals up to 6 cm. are rather often at the Guadelupe mine and at the Fresnillo deposit, Zacatecas State; as well as at the mines Valenciana and Guanajuato, Guanajuato State. In Bolivia, it crystals were found at the Unificada de Potosí mine; in Peru, in the Huancavelica Dept. – at the San Genaro mine they reached 5 cm. In Chile, in the Chañarcillo mine, pyrargyrite crystals up to 1 cm. form beautiful druses.

Grained masses of dark red silver ore are cut in cabochon like proustite.

Synonyms. Aerosit | Ruby blende | Silver blende | Antimony silver blende | Orthorhombic ruby blende | Red antimonical ore | Dark red silver ore | Red silver | Antimonial red silver.

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