Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Annabergite, a mineral named after the town Annaberg, named after the patron saint of the miners

Annabergite is a hydrated nickel arsenate mineral named after the town Annaberg, which is located about twenty miles south of the city of Chemnitz (formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt) in the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) in Saxony, Germany. Since 1945, Annaberg is part of the twin towns Annaberg-Buchholz. Annaberg was named in 1495 after a local chapel devoted to Saint Anna, the patron of miners [1]. The name Annaberg, then Sankt Annabergk, gained further acceptance when the Late-Gothic church, the St.-Annen Kirche, was built. In addition to its namesake place, annabergite is found in nearby mines at Schneeberg and Marienberg [2,3]. Annabergite crystals and special specimens now come from places around the world, including mines in Austria, Slovakia, Russia, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Canada, Arizona, Mexico, Central America, South America, Tsamania, China and Japan [2].

Annabergite is a green mineral. Its formula is Ni3(AsO4)2·8H2O; however some nickel atoms may be replaced by cobalt atoms: (Ni,Co)3(AsO4)2·8H2O [4]. Annabergite belongs to the vivianite group, which contains structurally related minerals such as erythrite (hydrated cobalt arsenate), kottigite (hydrated zinc arsenate) and the group-name-giving mineral vivianite (hydrated iron phosphate).

Annabergite is also known as nickel bloom or nickel ocher. Its German name is Annabergit and the term Nickelblüte (nickel bloom) is also used.

: mineralogy, history, etymology, synonyms

[1] Duden Taschenbücher • Geographische Namen in DeutschlandHerkunft und Bedeutung der Namen von Ländern, Städten, Bergen und Gewässern. 2., übearbeitete Auflage von Dieter Berger, Dudenverlag, Mannheim, 1999.
Robert B. Cook: Annabergite. Rocks & Minerals March/April 2010, Volume 85, pp. 154-159.
[3]. Annabergite at www.mindat.org/min-240.html.
[4] Dictionary of Geology & Mineralogy. Second Edition. McGraw-Hill, New York, 2003.

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