Abstract

The mineral ‘oboyerite’, first described in 1979 from the Grand Central mine, Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona, USA, has been re-examined. The type specimen from the Natural History Museum, London and a specimen from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (traceable to S. A Williams, who first described ‘oboyerite’) were analysed in this study. The discreditation of ‘oboyerite’ as a valid mineral species has been approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association (Proposal 19-D). Single-crystal X-ray diffraction, powder X-ray diffraction, electron probe microanalysis and scanning electron microscopy were all employed to show that ‘oboyerite’ is formed of at least two distinct phases, including the lead–tellurium oxysalt minerals ottoite and plumbotellurite. During the course of the discreditation, plumbotellurite was confirmed to be identical to the synthetic compound α-Pb2+Te4+O3. Previously, in some mineralogical literature plumbotellurite was described as orthorhombic with no known crystal structure.

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