06-18. Samsonite #1.

Mid-June. Many are already thinking about vacation time coming soon, I am sure. I found the perfect mineral for week #25 to prepare well for a long trip – a Samsonite!

No, not the luggage brand, but a very rare, tiny mineral found in 1910 in the Harz mountains in Germany. Who copyrighted the name first, the story doesn’t tell. My challenge for a week will be to try to pack all its atoms nice and tidy in their cubic box and get it cabin-luggage ready for a tour of the universe!

The Samsonite crystal is metallic black to steel black with no cleavage and a brittle to conchoidal fracture. It belongs to the Monoclinic group, is short, prismatic and has a symmetry of order P21/n. Because it is relatively soft (2.5 on the Mohs scale) it is of very little use for the industry. However because it is extremely rare and quite beautiful, it can be sold for thousand of dollars among gem collectors.


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