Unknown Mineral


Whilst on my trip to France, I managed to obtain a box of mineral samples from my sister and grandfather. Among the samples was a strange looking rock, and I wanted to try and identify it and write about it. To try and identify it, I googled its description and I tried out many different rock and mineral identification keys. I even made use of Google Goggles on my Galaxy Tab, but all that showed up in the 'similar images' was grey pencil drawings of animals.

I could describe my sample as being steel grey, with a sub-metallic allure, and a very shiny surface which will turn into white when shone directly under light. The crystals are irregular, with straight edges and shapes differ from deformed cubes to deformed hexagonal shapes. The crystals are set in a brittle white stone very much resembling plaster. The crystals themselves are hard and rather heavy compared to their sizes. They can be scratched with a pocket knife with a little effort, but they do not leave a trace on paper. All the crystals have horizontal parallel whitish streaks on their surfaces.


I came up with many possible names for my mysterious X sample, but none of them seem to quite fit. There was even a time when I suspected it to be platinum, a mineral, as I have found out, that is very rare and expensive. My hopes of being rich were quickly dissuaded when I realised it couldn't possibly be platinum. My X sample is much less bright and white than platinum samples. I also considered bourbonite, but the crystal formations are different and my X sample is not so brittle. Another possibility I considered was enargite, but enargite is way too blue and way too rectangular and even. Sperrylite was too metallic and the striations and streaks very different. And last but not least, chalcocite was too conchoidal and a little more see-through than my very much opaque X sample.


I hope that you, dear reader, may be able to help me in my quest of naming my X sample, because I am afraid that right now, I have come to a cul-de-sac and I cannot search further for my answer. Can you tell me what in the world Sample X is?

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