- Chemistry: Zn8Cu4(TeO3)3(OH)18,
Zinc Copper Tellurite Hydroxide
- Class: Sulfates
- Subclass: Tellurites
- Uses: A very minor ore of tellurium and as mineral specimens.
Quetzalcoatlite is a very rare and an unusual mineral from
The bright blue translucent mineral is named for the Aztec God: Quetzalcoatl
(which means "Feathered Serpent
Another Mexican mineral named for a God is
which is named for the Aztec Rain God: Tlaloc.
Some other minerals named for gods include
(the Scandinavian god of the sea) and
(the Roman god of the sea).
There are no hard and fast rules for naming minerals, except that the first name is the official name (generally
Minerals are named after their areas of discovery (or type
); their discover or a scientist of noteworthy proportions (see
); their typical crystal forms (see
) and minerals have even been named for their chemistries (see
But few minerals have been named after gods
Quetzalcoatlite is one of several different, but all rare tellurium minerals that come from
the Moctezuma area of Sonora, Mexico.
There are three formerly prolific mines from this area that have provided science with many new tellurium minerals.
They are the Bambollita Mine, the Moctezuma Mine and the San Miguel Mine.
The Bambollita Mine has also been known as the La Oriental Mine and is the type locality for Quetzalcoatlite.
The Moctezuma Mine has also been known as the La Bambolla Mine; which is often confused with the Bambollita Mine, as one might imagine.
Below is an incomplete list of tellurium minerals from the Moctezuma area.
Tellurium Minerals From The Moctezuma Area Mines:
||Copper Selenide Telluride
||Silver Antimony Arsenic
||Hydrated Iron Tellurite Sulfate
||Hydrated Lead Iron Manganese
Tellurium Aluminum Silicate Hydroxide
||Zinc Copper Tellurite Hydroxide
||Silver Telluride Sulfide
||Hydrated Iron Tellurite Hydroxide
||Hydrated Lead Copper Tellurite
||Hydrated Iron Tellurate
||Calcium Manganese Zinc Tellurite
||Bismuth Telluride Sulfide
||Hydrated Iron Tellurite
||Hydrated Copper Zinc
Tellurate Chloride Hydroxide
||Hydrated Iron Lead Tellurate Hydroxide
||Calcium Lead Copper
Zinc Sulfate Tellurate
||Iron Tellurite Hydroxide
||Copper Tellurate Hydroxide
||Lead Uranyl Tellurite
Zinc Iron Tellurite
THE PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF QUETZALCOATLITE:
- Color is a bright blue.
- Luster is vitreous.
- Transparency: Crystals are translucent.
- Crystal System is hexagonal; 6 2 2.
- Crystal Habits include small granular crystals.
- Cleavage is good.
- Hardness is 3.
- Specific Gravity is approximately 6.1 (very heavy for translucent
- Streak is white.
- Associated Minerals include tellurium minerals such as
khinite and various other
tellurates and tellurites
Also associated with gold.
- Notable Occurrences are limted to the Bambollita Mine (La Oriental),
Sierra La Huerta, Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico and at least one specimen was found at the Old Guard Mine, Tombstone,
- Best Field Indicators are locality, color, density and cleavage.