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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Photograph of mimetite (125903) from the National Mineral Collection
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH 125903-00
Locality Chihuahua, Mexico

Mimetite is a lead arsenate chloride and a minor ore of lead. However, it is most often sought after as a collector’s mineral because it forms colorful botryoidal crystals. Layers of mineral material are deposited radially around the center forming spheres that grow larger and overlap with each other, occurring as “grape-like” clusters. Mimetite can also form hexagonal prismatic crystals and commonly ranges in color from yellow to orange and red. The name comes from the Greek mimethes, meaning “imitator,” as mimetite closely resembles the related mineral pyromorphite. Fine specimens of mimetite are found in Mexico and Nambia.



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