The Fascinating World of Minerals

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The Beautiful Minerals Poster Series

(Ca 10Mg2Al4(SiO4)5(Si2O7)2(OH)4)

This complex silicate of calcium and magnesium was named after Mount Vesuvius in Italy, where it was identified for the first time. This sample comes from the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Québec. The colour of the crystals is unusual for this locality.

Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Québec
This open pit exploitation, the largest asbestos mine in Canada, has been in operation for over 100 years. It is also well known by mineral collectors for the exceptional minerals found there, especially grossular, vesuvianite, prehnite and apophyllite.

Collection de géologie de l'Université Laval
In 1816, the Québec Seminary received a collection of 430 small samples from the famous French crystallographer René-Just Haüy. These formed the basis of a museum that became part of Université Laval when it was founded in 1852. Today, the collection contains more than 40 000 samples from all over the world.

Département de géologie et génie géologique
Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot, 4e étage
Université Laval
Sainte-Foy, QC G1K 7P4
Tel : (418) 656-2193

Weloganite (Sr3Na2Zr(CO3)6.3H2O) and
Quartz in Altered Trachyte

Weloganite was named in honor of Sir William E. Logan, the first director of the Geological Survey of Canada and the father of Canadian geology. This rare mineral has the unusual property of triboluminescence. When crushed, it glows a faint blue.

Francon Quarry, Québec

Located on Montreal Island, the Francon Quarry has been extensively quarried for limestone. Over 50 exotic and rare minerals have been found associated with a light grey still of igneous rock. This is the first locality in which the mineral weloganite was found.

Redpath Museum

Built in 1882 by Peter Redpath for McGill University, it is the oldest museum building in Canada. The mineral collection is displayed in its original Victorian cases. It boasts many valuable specimens from mineral localities popular at the end of the last century.

Redpath Museum
McGill University
859 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, QC H3A 2K6
Tel : (524) 398-4086 (4091 #)

Chabazite (CaAl2SiO4.6H2O)
Heulandite ((Na,Ca)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36.12H2O)
and Analcime (NaAlSi2O6.H2O)

Chabazite, heulandite and analcime all belong to the zeolite family of minerals. Zeolites are characterized by an open network of structural elements taht can be used to advantage in industrial applications, and by the presence of loosely held molecules of water.

Wasson Bluff, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

The Bay of Fundy area is well known for its mineral occurences. Most of the minerals of interest to collectors are found in cavities or fractures in volcanic rocks.

Geological Survey of Canada

The National Mineral Collection of the Geological Survey of Canada comprises about 20 000 specimens. About 2 100 of the 3 800 known mineral species known are represented. The origin of the collection dates back to the creation of the GSC in 1842. Part of the collection is on display at Logan Hall.

Geological Survey of Canada
601 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0E8
Tel :(613) 995-4261

Native Silver (Ag) and
Calcite (CaCO3)

This precious metal has been used since Antiquity. It has many uses, such as in photographic film emulsions, plating, alloys, tableware, coinage and electronic equipement. It is often found associated with other metals.

Silver Islet Mine, Ontario

From a small rocky island near the north shore of Lake Superior comes this beatiful wire silver. Mining silver there at the end of the last century proved to be an engineering challenge. Nevertheless, over 70,000 kilograms of silver were recovered from this locality.

Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature had its origins en 1842, when the Geological Survey of Canada was founded. Today, its mineral collection contains about 45 000 pieces used for both research and display. The museum's greatest acquisition was that of the William Pinch collection in 1990. The first portion of the Viola MacMillian gallery opened in 1992.

Canadian Museum of Nature
Corner of Metcalfe and McLeod
Ottawa, ON K1P 6P4
Tel : (613) 566-4730

Native Gold (Ag) and
Quartz (SiO2)

Usually found in the native state, this precious metal has been used by Man for over 5 000 years. It is very valuable, selling at over $ 10 a gram. It is used as a monetery standard, in jewelry and in electronis equipement.

Paymaster Mine, South Porcupine, Ontario

This former mine is one of the many gold mines found in the Archean greenstone belts of norther Ontario and Québec. There, gold is found in quartz veins. This sample is highly unusual. Indeed, in most gold mines exploited today, gold is rarely visible to the naked eye.

Royal Ontario Museum

The ROM mineral collection ranks among the top ten in the world. It is approximately 100 years old and contains about 150 000 specimens from all over the world. It essentially began with the purchase of the Ferrier collection in 1894 by the University of Toronto. The collection is displayed in the Magnificient Minerals display and in the S.R. Perren Gem and Golds room, which opened in 1993 and in the Earth Science Gallery.

Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M5S 2C6
Tel : (416) 586-5549

Barite (BaSO4) on

Barite, a barium sulphate, is the main source of barium for chemicals. It is also used in oil and gas-well drilling as heavy mud to aid in the support of drill rods.

Rock Candy Mine

Over 50 000 tons of fluorite were mined at the Rock Candy Mine, near Grand Forks, British Columbia, between 1918 and 1929. At that time, fluorite was an important additive used in the manufacture of steel. The Rock Candy Mine is well-known for its fluorite, quartz and execptional crystals of barite. These minerals are usually found lining vugs up to 1 m across.

M.Y. Williams Museum

This museum was named to honor its founder, then professor of geology at the University of British Columbia. The collection was initiated in 1924 with the purchase of the collection of W.J. Sutton, a local mining engineer. With the construction of the new Geological Sciences Centre in 1971, the museum greatly expanded its exhibit space. The collection of 10 000 specimens is the finest in the Pacific Northwest. The museum attracts over 10 000 visitors a year.

M.Y. Williams Museum
Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of British Columbia
6339 Stores Road
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z4
Tel : (604) 822-2449

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