This attractive secondary mineral was first discovered in Mexico at the beginning of the nineteen century, has since been mined in several other location from North America to North Africa, has a chemical formula Pb5(VO4)3Cl and a mohs hardenss scale of 3 to 4.
Our finest selection of Vanadinite minerals our now available, hailed from M'bladen a classic Moroccan mineral deposit which produces vibrant crystals of deep reds to orange. The crystals can also sometimes be found a brownish-yellow to opaque. It has impurities which lead to properties of arsenic!
Visiting the very basic mining facilities of Morocco gives one a real feel of the early pioneer, particularly the Vanadinite mines located near Taouz in the southern reaches of the Moroccan western desert. These arid regions typify the hardships of the miner and the basic tools used for the extraction of each specimen. On my first trip to Taouz (now more than a decade and a half ago), entering into a mine we had only candles to light our way, deep into the mine we found ourselves in a cave system which dark and narrow caused much effort to negotiate, our backs pressed up against a rock face in the darkness feeling along at a rakish angle, heels digging in while toes dangled in thin air as our footway would occasionally open up to a crevasse in the floor here and there. All in all the experience just to gain a way to an opening in the cave system which one couldn’t really call a cavern, was not for the faint hearted. At a point we stopped and were able to turn around to survey the face we had been using as a crutch to gain access, here and there at about my head height! , were Vanadinite crystal, veins and the odd cluster. A meagre display, yet in the darkness under the flicker of candles enthralling.
With cuts to my head and to my hands from sharp outcrops of crystal as I attempted clutching in the darkness, I was greatly relieved when I and my accompanying miner (much smaller in height) made our way out of the system to the warmth and light of the desert. At the time another first ticked off the list.