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The Mineral Zippeite

Zippeite is a hydrous mineral sulfate of potassium-uranium with yellow to reddish brown prismatic crystals having a monoclinic structure, with perfect cleavage. It is typically found as earthy pulverulent masses and encrustations. It is found among the underground mines of uranium as efflorescent encrustations. This radioactive mineral is powerfully fluorescent-yellow when subjected to radiation by UV.

Chemical Formula  
K4 (UO2) 6 (SO4) 3 (OH) 10·4 (H2O)

Derivation of Name  
During 1845, William Haidinger named it to honor František Xaver Maximilian Zippe an Austrian mineralogist, who lived from 1791-1863.

Occurrence         
You can spot this mineral among the professed 'uranium ochres'. You can find it along with Uranopilite, a composite water-soluble monoclinic alkaline mineral of uranium in the battered Uranium veins. In Bohemia, It is mainly found close to Wölsendorf in Germany’s Bavaria district and in the United States, in Utah. Now, it is not used for manufacturing paint, but continues to be used as an ore for uranium, just like pitchblende.            

Gemology  
It is exploited as a gemstone.

Source 
Its prominent sources are in Cornwall, England; the Bohemian expanse of Europe and in
Utah and Colorado, USA.

Mineralogy  
Zippeite is an exceptional mineral, adored by collectors looking for minerals containing uranium and other minerals with exotic names. Zippeite fluoresces on being exposed to ultraviolet light. However, the color it produces is inconsistent. It gets created as a secondary mineral, as an efflorescent coating in uranium mines. Efflorescent means it gets created on the exteriors of rocks on evaporation of water on coming in contact with the dry air present in mines.
So, various zipped varieties are formed due to human interference, though unintentional and thus prompting some mineralogists not to treat those to be chaste mineral specimens. Since it is a radioactive mineral it needs to be stocked up away from other minerals which may get affected by radioactivity. Its exposure to humans should be restricted.

Color           
It comes in varying shades of golden-yellow to orange-yellow and at times brown.

Specific gravity
3.66.         
                                
Mohs Hardness
2

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