Safflorite is a rare mineral, but is found with other arsenides and thus it is included with
them when mined for cobalt and/or arsenic.
When weathered it is associated with the pink to red cobalt arsenate mineral
This is good because safflorite lacks other good distinguishing characteristics, especially from the closely related
lollingite and other arsenic sulfides.
Lollingite has more iron than cobalt in its chemistry.
Another closely related mineral is
rammelsbergite, which has more nickel than cobalt.
These minerals represent the three most common members of the
This group is sometimes placed in the larger
Safflorite is a near dimorph with the mineral
A dimorph is a set of two minerals that share the same chemistry but have different structures.
In this case clinosafflorite's formula is (Co, Fe, Ni)As2.
Not quite an exact dimorph with the addition of the nickel, but safflorite often contains traces of nickel, just not as much.
Clinosafflorite gets its name by virtue of its monoclinic symmetry compared to safflorite's orthorhombic
symmetry (inclined safflorite, in other words).
Twinning is common in safflorite and forms star shaped trillings.
Cobalt minerals are sometimes interesting to collect and safflorite is certainly interesting.
Color is tin white (darkens upon exposure to air).
Luster is metallic.
Transparency: Crystals are opaque.
Crystal System is orthorhombic; 2/m 2/m 2/m
Crystal Habits include tiny tabular to prismatic crystals and fibrous masses (sometimes radially fibrous).
Also compact and massive.
Twins are seen as star shaped trillings.
Cleavage is indistinct.
Hardness is 4.5 - 5
Specific Gravity is approximately 6.9 - 7.4 (well above average
for metallic minerals)
Streak is a black.
Associated Minerals include
Notable Occurrences include Schneeburg, Harz Mountains, Germany; Great Bear Lake, Ontario, Canada; Lafayette County, Wisconsin and Oregon, USA; Javornik, Czech Republic
and the type locality of Nordmark, Varmland, Sweden.
Best Field Indicators are crystal habits, color (dark tarnish), associations, streak,
hardness and density.