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RADIOACTIVE MINERALS

HISTORICAL INFORMATION – Dr. Eugene B. Gross collection

It is only by luck and/or good fortune that we have any specimens surviving in collections from the “Uranium rush” era of the 1950’s to early 1960’s.  During that period, the United States government encouraged prospecting and mining for Uranium in the Colorado Plateau area, generally including Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well as parts of Wyoming.  Everything radioactive was processed in the name of the “arms race”, i.e., at the time of the cold war with Russia.  Unfortunately, the Russians were doing the same at Jachymov, Czechoslovakia and other Central European localities, to get ready for a possible war with the USA.  The U.S. government was, at the same time, purchasing quantities of radioactive minerals (mostly Uraninite) from the famous mine at Shinkolobwe and other mining districts in Zaire.  Untold numbers of fine examples of Uraninite and other uranium-bearing ore minerals were undoubtedly destroyed in the course of processing the ores from these uranium-rich deposits for defense purposes.  Many of the specimens from USA localities, described within the radioactive minerals section of our web site, are from the Eugene B. Gross collection, and are historical specimens from this mining era.  Dr. Gross worked for the Atomic Energy Commission from 1952 - 1958 and was personally responsible for collecting these historically important specimens, and preserving them in his private collection.  Other unique radioactive mineral specimens from world wide locations will also be found on the following pages.

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Scroll to the bottom of this page for links to more radioactive mineral specimens. 

 

 


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= Fluorescent Specimen
   =  Radioactive Specimen

“SYSTEMATIC MINERALOGY OF URANIUM AND THORIUM”, C. Frondel, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin #1064, 400 pages, 6 X 9”, soft cover, 1958.  This comprehensive report covers work done on behalf of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and includes information covering all known uranium and thorium-bearing minerals on a worldwide basis.  Included are numerous tables and line drawings, and one b & w photo.  Each mineral species is described according to its synonymy, composition, crystallography and crystal habit, physical properties, optical properties, synthesis, identification, natural formation, and occurrence.  The descriptive mineralogy is followed by determinative tables in which the mineral species are arranged according to their X-ray powder-diffraction interplanar spacings, chemical composition, optical properties, color, specific gravity, and fluorescence.  The work is documented by more than 800 references to the world literature of the past 200 years!  This is an absolute “must have” reference for anyone interested in radioactive minerals! Published by the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1958.  Original, new copy, printed in 1958. 

Order Item BK-0575
Shipping weight:  2 pounds
Price:  $45.00

URANINITE, SPHALERITE   
Mi Vida Mine, 39 Miles SE of Moab, San Juan County, Utah – Eugene B. Gross collection. 

This item consists of a pair of specimens cut from an example of unusual ore with massive black Uraninite associated with shiny black, sparkly Sphalerite (ZnS) in a brecciated matrix composed of Quartz
and rounded rock fragments.  The saw cut surfaces have been polished.  Sold only as a pair, though the individual sizes and other details are below:

A.   Specimen size:     2” X 1” across X 7/8” thick                          

Gram weight:       53.15 grams

mR/hr:                  4                     

CPM:                   4,500

 

B.   Specimen size:     2” X 1 1/4” across X 1 1/2” thick

Gram weight:       102.95 grams

mR/hr:                  8

CPM:                    9,000

Total weight:              156.10 grams / pair
Order Item No.:         1987
Price / pair:                 $125.00


2119

2120

2121

2122

2123

2124
URANINITE  
Uranium Mine #3, Kamenna Shaft, Pribram, Central Bohemia, Czech. Republic

Mining has been under way at this famous mining district since the 13th Century.  The first mines concentrated on recovery of Silver-bearing ore minerals.  Although the last mine in the region closed in 1991, and collecting is officially forbidden, specimens occasionally appear when older mineral collections are disbursed.  When Czechoslovakia was under Communist control, during the “cold war”, there were several localities in Czechoslovakia that were worked by the Russians for Uranium – Pribram was one of these localities.  The specimens offered here were collected in the early 1950’s, and were held secretly in private collections in Czechoslovakia.  Under Communist control, it was illegal to collect specimens at the mines, and illegal to own radioactive minerals.  These specimens have been hidden underground in Czechoslovakia for more than 50 years and only recently brought out of the country. 

A fine collection of minerals from Jachymov and Pribram was assembled in recent decades by Mr. Josef  Vajdak of  Pequa Rare Minerals, Massapequa, New York. His private collection was disbursed starting in January, 2009.  All of the specimens listed below are from the Josef Vajdak collection.

Pitchblende is the name for massive Uraninite:  UO2.

NOTES REGARDING PRICING:  The gram weights of the specimens are given in the table below, simply as a measure of specimen size.  The specimens are not sold by the gram.  Small specimens have smaller amounts of Uraninite present, so the overall mR/hr and CPM readings are naturally lower on the small specimens, than the readings given for the larger examples.

 

 

 

ITEM NO. 

 WEIGHT(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

2119

21.25

1

¾

5/8

30

20,000

SOLD

 

2120

22.95

1

7/8

¾

20

13,000

$  25.00

 

2121

46.44

1 5/8

1 3/8

1

25

16,600

$  45.00

 

2122

54.25

1 5/8

1 ½

1

30

20,000

SOLD

 

2123

83.17

2

1 3/8

1 1/8

45

27,500

$110.00

 

2124

85.80

2

1 ¼

1 ¼

40

25,000

$110.00

 

2125

92.18

1 ½

1 ¼

7/8

>50

>30,000

SOLD

 

2126

100.48

2 ½

1 ¼

7/8

>50

>30,000

SOLD

 

2127

146.95

2

1 ¾

1 ¼

50

30,000

SOLD

 

2128

157.40

2 3/8

2

1 3/8

>50

>30,000

SOLD

 

2129

223.80

2 7/8

1 7/8

1 ½

>50

>30,000

$280.00

 

2130

340.00

2 7/8

1 ¾

1 ¾

>50

>30,000

$425.00

 


2125

2126

2127

2128

2129

2130

2013

1926

1927

1928

2014

2015

1931

METATORBERNITE   
Musonoi Mine, near Kolwezi, Shaba Province (Katanga), Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

The basic description for Metatorbernite from this locality is that the mineral forms lustrous, tabular, medium to dark emerald green crystals, often standing up on edge, tightly intergrown, usually with a very rich coverage of intergrown crystals on the surface of the matrix.  Metatorbernite is a copper and uranium-bearing phosphate -- a member of the Autunite group.  Chemical composition is:  Cu2+(UO2)2(PO4)2).8H2O.  Not fluorescent.  In the past, the Musonoi Mine has produced what are certainly among the finest specimens of Metatorbernite found, worldwide.  At the present time, specimens are very difficult to obtain.    Most specimens in this group have Metatorbernite only, without associated mineralization, however on a few specimens small amounts of black massive Heterogenite are present.  NOTE:  Small specimens have smaller amounts of Metatorbernite crystals, so the overall mR/hr and CPM readings are naturally lower on the small specimens, than the readings given for the larger examples.  Pricing is according to the richness of crystallization, and overall specimen size.  

 For background information on this locality see the Katanga! special issue of the "Mineralogical Record" magazine, Vol. 20, No. 4, July-August 1989, P.  274-275, and 286.  If you do not have this invaluable reference on the Uranium mines and minerals of the Shaba Province in Zaire, we have copies available for purchase, priced at $25.00 plus shipping.  Order item MR20-4.

ITEM
NUMBER
 

SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700
GM COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700
GM COUNTER

SPECIMEN
PRICE

2013

1 1/4

1

1

4

2,500

SOLD

1926

1 3/4

1/2

1/2

5

3,000

SOLD

1927

1 3/8

1

7/8

8

5,000

SOLD

1928

1 1/4

1

3/8

8

5,000

$  35.00

2014

1 3/8

1

3/8

18

12,000

SOLD

2015

1 7/8

1 1/2

5/8

12

9,500

$  40.00

1931

1 1/4

7/8

3/8

30

20,000

SOLD

1932

1 7/8

1 1/2

5/8

10

7,500

$  40.00

2016

1 7/8

1 1/8

1/2

12

9,500

$  45.00

2017

1 3/4

1 3/8

5/8

> 50

> 30,000

SOLD

1935

2 1/4

1 3/8

1

5

3,000

$  40.00

1936

1 3/4

1 1/4

1

20

13,300

$  50.00

1937

2 1/4

1 1/2

1

30

20,000

$  80.00

1938

2 3/8

1 5/8

1 3/8

5

3,000

$  70.00

1939

3 1/4

2 5/8

2 1/2

15

10,000

SOLD

1654

2 5/8

1 7/8

1 1/2

10

7,500

$100.00

2018

3

2 1/2

1 3/4

15

 10,000

$125.00



 













 

 

 

 


1932

2016

2017

1935

1936

1937

1938

2018

1654

1939

1619

SAMARSKITE-(Y) 

Little Patsy Pegmatite, South Platte Pegmatite District, Jefferson County, Colorado
Also from the historical collection of Dr. Eugene B. Gross (see Hidden Valley Mine specimens above), this is an extra rich example of very shiny, solid black Samarskite-(Y) with a small amount of pinkish-tan color Microcline Feldspar matrix. 

 

 

ITEM NO.
MI-

 WEIGHT
(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

1619

206.80

2 1/8

1 5/8

1 3/8

13

9,300

$175.00


1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

TYUYAMUNITE
Monument #2 Mine, Monument Valley, Apache County, Arizona

These examples of bright golden-yellow Tyuyamunite are from the Dr. Eugene B. Gross collection of Uranium-bearing minerals, probably personally collected by Dr. Gross during the early 1960’s.  All specimens are of  exceptional quality for this mineral, from a mine that is now a part of the history of the “Uranium rush” of the late 1950’s to early 1960’s.  The gram weights are given solely as a measure of specimen size.  Specimens are not priced by the gram.  No matrix specimens are available.  Tyuyamunite is: Ca(UO2)2V2O8.5-8H2O

 

ITEM
NO.
MI-

 WEIGHT
(GRAMS)

 SPECIMEN SIZE
(INCHES)

mR/hr @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

CPM @ 1”
CD V-700 GM
COUNTER

 SPECIMEN
PRICE

 

1972

3.15

3/4

1/2

3/8

10

7,500

SOLD

 

1973

3.36

1

1/2

3/8

10

7,500

SOLD

 

1974

4.00

7/8

5/8

3/8

15

10,000

SOLD

 

1975

5.00

7/8

5/8

3/8

20

13,300

SOLD

 

1976

5.78

1

5/8

1/2

15

10,000

SOLD

 

1977

11.65

1 3/8

7/8

5/8

28

18,000

SOLD

 

1978

15.13

1 3/8

1

5/8

30

20,000

SOLD

 

1979

28.15

1 1/2

1 1/8

1

30

20,000

SOLD

 

1980

1.00

Lot of 5 small speci-mens, +/- 1/4” to 3/8”

~ 10

~ 7,500

$   7.50
/ lot

 

1981

1.50

Lot of 4 small speci-
mens, +/- 3/8" to 1/2”

~ 10

~ 7,500

$10.00
/ lot

 

1982

3.00

Lot of small fragments,
specimens & powder

~ 10

~ 7,500

$14.00
/ lot

 

 


1977

1978

1979

 

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