Earth Treasures: Boleite Mineral
By Chisom Ibemere
Boleite is a rare mineral and was discovered initially in Boleo, Baja California Sur, Mexico in 1891. Its name was given after its original locality.
It is classified as a halide mineral and belongs to the same family as other popular minerals like fluorite and halite.
Boleite primarily occurs in the Boleo District of Baja California Sur, Mexico. It can be seen mostly in the oxidized zones of copper-lead-zinc deposits in association with other minerals such as pseudoboleite, cumengite, and atacamite.
Although boleite is predominantly found in Mexico, a few minor occurrences have been reported in Chile and Australia.
Boleite is a valued mineral by collector’s due to its distinctive appearance. Its crystal formations are highly sought after and are often kept as specimens or used in mineral displays. Boleite crystals can exhibit deep blue or blue-black coloration with a diamond-like shape, making them visually striking and appealing to collectors.
Boleite is recognized for its unique crystal habit forming as pseudocubic or pseudo-octahedral crystals. It exhibit a transparent to translucent crystal and known for their deep blue color, sometimes with small amounts of silver or gray.
Boleite is a complex mineral composed of lead, copper, silver, chloride, hydroxide, and oxygen. It has a high specific gravity, ranging from 4.8 to 5.2, and is relatively soft with a hardness of 3 to 3.5 on the Mohs scale.
Boleite is a rare and distinctive crystal habit that holds significant value in the mineral collecting community. The crystals are highly sought after by collectors worldwide.
The price of boleite specimens varies depending on factors such as crystal size, quality, and overall aesthetics. Its limited occurrence and the difficulty of extracting large, high-quality crystals contribute to its high value.
Boleite specimens may be found in mineral shows, museums, or private collections and are considered valuable additions to any mineral collection.