Pharmacosiderite is a rare secondary arsenate mineral. It typically forms in the oxidation zones of ore deposits. Pharmacosiderite forms from the alteration of arsenopyrite, tennantite and other primary arsenic minerals, and to a much rarer extent, it forms directly from precipitation of hydrothermal solutions.
It typically forms cubes as it is isometric in symmetry. This is rather unusual for an arsenate or even a phosphate class mineral. It can be confused with the popular and common mineral fluorite. But fluorite has perfect cleavage and is harder.
Pharmacosiderite in respect to its name can be confused with several other similarly named minerals.
Pharmacolite is also an arsenate mineral and the two are sometimes associated, but is otherwise unrelated to pharmacosiderite.
Pharmacosiderite lends its good name to a small mineral group called The Pharmacosiderite Group. The Pharmacosiderite Group is a set of closely related arsenates of which pharmacosiderite is the most common member. These are the most recognized members of the Pharmacosiderite Group and their respective formulas:
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