The Mineral STIBARSEN
Stibarsen is named for its chemistry and is an unusual Elements Class mineral.
" in the name is for the Latin word for antimony, stibium
; from where antimony gets its symbol, Sb.
The closely related elements antimony and arsenic are semi-metals meaning they share some properties with metals such as metallic luster and at least some electrical conductivity;
but differ in other characteristics such as a tendency to bond with covalent bonds instead of with metallic bonds.
Stibarsen, which has also been known as allemontite
, is classified as an element despite the fact, that in chemical reality, it is a compound!
The reason for this is that the elemental bonds that exist between antimony and arsenic are very similar to the bonds of other non-metallic elemental minerals such as
If the arsenic or antimony were bonded to a true metal instead of a semi-metal then the mineral would be classified in the
instead of the
Native Elements Class.
Stibarsen is a very rare mineral, but is a joy to see.
It has a bright silvery color and a good botryoidal habit.
The effect presents to the viewer a mass of what appears to be a highly polished rounded mass of high grade silver!
- Color is silver, white, reddish-white to gray.
- Luster is bright metallic.
- Transparency: Specimens are opaque.
- Crystal System is trigonal.
- Crystal Habits is limited to botryoidal masses.
- Cleavage is perfect.
- Fracture is hackly.
- Hardness is 3 - 4
- Specific Gravity is 6.0 - 6.3 (above average for a metallic mineral)
- Streak is gray black.
- Associated Minerals include
micas and other pegmatite minerals.
- Notable Occurrences are limited to the type locality at the quarry at Varutrask,
Vasterbotten, Sweden and also at Trebsco, Bohemia; Rio Moctezuma, Sonora,
- Best Field Indicator is crystal habit, color, luster, locality and density.