Daily Crystal: Freibergite
This specimen of quartz and calcite has several scattered, lustrous crystal groups and isolates of freibergite. The largest is 0.5 cm across.
Origin: San Genare Mine, Huancavelica, Peru
Sample size: 5.5 x 4.2 x 2.3 cm
Photo courtesy of:
John Veevaert, Trinity Mineral Co
Freibergite with quartz and siderite
Origin: Sunshine mine, Kellogg, Idaho, U.S.A.
Sample size: 2.5 x 2.2 x 3.8 cm
Photo courtesy of:
Dealer in fine mineral specimens
Freibergite crystals with siderite in matrix
Origin: Obecnice, Pribram, Czech Republic
Sample size: 3 x 4 cm
Photo courtesy of:
Diederik Visser Minerals & Petrological Services
Dull grey tetragonal crystals to 1mm on dull grey bournonite(?) matrix.
Origin: Herja Mine, Baia Mare, Maramures Co., Romania
Ex. Polak collection
Sample size: 4.5 x 3 x 2 cm
Photo courtesy of:
Dakota Matrix Minerals
A handsome small cabinet specimen of silvery-black freibergite (a silver copper iron sulfosalt) with azurite in a quartz-andesite breccia from (probably) the Cerro Colorado Mine, Pima County, Arizona. It forms two series; one with argentotennantite and one with tetrahedrite.
Thanks to Roger McCaslin's auction on eBay for the specimen and the image!
Freibergite: Freibergite and Owyheeite produces a forceful effect for healing.
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Formula mass1,929.46 gm
ColorSteel gray to Black
Crystal habitmassive to well formed crystals
Mohs scale hardness3½ - 4
Freibergite is a complex sulfosalt mineral of silver, copper, iron, antimony and arsenic with formula (Ag,Cu,Fe)12(Sb,As)4S13. It has cubic crystals and is formed in hydrothermal deposits. It forms one solid solution series with tetrahedrite and another with argentotennantite. Freibergite is an opaque, metallic steel grey to black and leaves a reddish black streak. It has a Mohs hardness of 3.5 to 4.0 and a specific gravity of 4.85 - 5. It is typically massive to granular in habit with no cleavage and an irregular fracture.
The mineral was first described in 1853 from an occurrence in the silver mines of the type locality at Freiberg, Saxony.
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is named after the type locality of Freiberg, Saxony, Germany.
Discovered in 1853; IMAstatus: Valid (pre-IMA; Grandfathered)
Chemical Formula: (Ag,Cu, Fe)12(Sb, As)4S13
Silver Copper Iron Antimony Sulfide
Molecular Weight: 1929.46 gm
Composition: Iron 3.47 % Fe
Copper 11.86 % Cu
Silver 40.25 % Ag
Antimony 18.93 % Sb
Arsenic 3.88 % As
Sulfur 21.60 % S
100.00 % 100.00 % = TOTAL OXIDE
Mineral Classification: Sulfides
Strunz 8th Ed. ID:
Nickel-Strunz 10th Ed. ID:
2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides,
tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites,
sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
G : Sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites
B : Neso-sulfarsenites, etc. with additional S
Related to: Tetrahedrite Group. Argentotennanite-Freibergite Series. Freibergite-Tetrahedrite Series. The Ag-dominant analogue of Tetrahedrite.
Synonyms: Aphtonite, Leukargyrite, Weisgylden
Isometric - Hextetrahedral
Tetrahedral crystals, to 3.5 cm; massive and as inclusions in other sulfides.
Moh's Hardness: 3.5 - 4.0; VHN100=263 - 340 kg/mm2
4.85 - 5.41 (g/cm3)
Color: Gray, Steel Gray, Black
Refractive Index: R: (400) 34.1, (420) 34.0, (440) 33.9, (460) 33.7, (480) 33.6, (500) 33.5, (520) 33.3, (540) 33.1, (560) 32.7, (580) 32.2, (600) 31.5, (620) 31.0, (640) 30.4, (660) 30.0, (680) 29.5, (700) 29.0
Birefringence: 0.00 (opaque)
Geological Setting: In hydrothermal deposits.
Common Associations: A wide variety of sulfides and sulfosalts, as for tetrahedrite.
Common Impurities: Zn, Hg, Bi
Type Locality: Reiche Zeche Mine, Himmelfahrt Mine, Freiberg, Freiberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany
Year Discovered: 1853
View mineral photos: Freibergite Mineral Photos and Locations
is a complex sulfide mineral consisting of silver, copper,
iron, antimony and arsenic. It forms a solid solution
series with Tetrahedrite and another with Argentotennantite.
Freibergite is opaque black with a metallic luster that
makes for very attractive gems.
Freibergite is found at a number of localities worldwide. In Germany, in Saxony, from the Freiberg district [TL], as in the Himmelsfürst mine, Erbisdorf, near Freiberg. From Kutná Hora and the Zlate Hore district, Czech Republic. In Austria, from the Knappenstube mine, Hochtor, Salzburg. From Yukhondzha, Sakha, Russia. At Slädekärr and in the Vena mines, near Askersund, Örebro, Sweden. From the Bleikvassli Zn–Pb–Cu deposit, Nordland, Norway. In Scotland, at Tyndrum, Perthshire. In the Hi-Ho mine, Cobalt-Gowganda region, Ontario; and the Keno Hill-Galena Hill area, Yukon Territory, Canada. Large crystals from the San José mine, Oruro, Bolivia. In Japan, in the Inakuraishi, Koryu, and Sanru mines, Hokkaido. In Australia, at Mt. Isa and the Cannington Ag–Pb–Zn deposit, Queensland; and in the Meerschaum mine, north of Omeo, Victoria. Additional localities are known.
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