4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar B : With medium-sized cations; chains of edge-sharing octahedra
Columbite-(Fe)-Tantalite-(Fe) Series. Columbite-(Fe)-Columbite-(Mn) Series.
Formerly known as Ferrocolumbite.
is a fairly common mineral but
rarely available as a faceted gem mostly because it is opaque black
to brownish black. However, it can be
somewhat attractive with its vitreous to sub-metallic
luster and when its surfaces tarnish and become iredescent.
Columbite-(Fe) is relatively
hard with a Mohs hardness of 6.0 and very dense. It is another of the black
collectors of the unusual.
was originally named Columbite
(without the -Fe suffix) in 1805 by Scottish naturalist and mineralogist
Robert Jameson (1774-1854) for its columbium content.
The element columbium (Cb) was discovered and named in 1801 by English chemist Charles
Hatchett (1765–1847) after Columbia, the historical
and poetical name for America, where it was first found.
The name Columbia was derived from, and in honor of,
Christopher Columbus, discoverer of America. Columbium
was the original, but now
obsolete, name of the element niobium (Nb). Columbium was "rediscovered" in
1844 by German chemist Heinrich Rose (1795-1864) who
named it niobium from the Greek mythological figure
daughter of Tantalus,
and the Greek symbol of eternal mourning.
The element columbium (Cb) was eventually assigned the name niobium (Nb)
in 1950 by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
was renamed Ferrocolumbite in
1844 by American mineralogist Charles Upham Shepard
(1804-1886) for its ferrous iron (Fe) content. Ferrocolumbite was eventually
renamed Columbite-(Fe) by the IMA Commission
on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC)
in September, 2007 (proposal IMA 07-C) and published
an article titled "Tidying up Mineral Names: an
IMA-CNMNC Scheme for Suffixes, Hyphens and Diacritical
Marks" in the
Mineralogical Record, vol. 39, No. 2, pages 131-135
(March - April, 2008).
mineral with the same chemical composition as Columbite
was named Niobite in 1845 by Austrian mineralogist Wilhelm Karl
Ritter von Haidinger (1795-1871) for
its niobium (Nb) content. But the Columbite name had
historical precedence and remains to this day. So,
even though the name of the element which inspired the
name Columbite was changed from columbium to niobium,
the mineral name remains Columbite and the name Niobite,
which was inspired by the current name of the element,
was abandoned. Go figure.
in the USA, in Connecticut, at Middletown, Portland,
and Haddam, Middlesex County; large masses from the
Beecher Lode, eight km southeast of Custer, Custer County,
and around Keystone, Pennington County, South Dakota;
in the Spruce Pine district, Mitchell County, and the
Foote mine, Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, North
Carolina. At Ånneröd, Tveit, and elsewhere
in Norway. In Russia, from Miass, Ilmen Mountains, Southern
Ural Mountains. At Craveggia, Val Vigezzo, Piedmont,
Italy. Large crystals from Ambatofotsikely and Antsirabe,
Madagascar. At Greens Well, Wodgina, Greenbushes, and
elsewhere in Western Australia. In the Ishikawa district,
Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
gems for sale:
have not photographed our Columbite-(Fe) gems yet. Please
check back soon.