New Hampshire Mineral Species

From the collection of Tom Mortimer and friends

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Go to  New Hampshire Mineral Species List and specimen photos   or   Locality Galleries



NH Species List & photos

Mission statement

NH Species Display Exihibitions

Tips for touring this site

Specimen example selection

Notes on mineral identification

Site content

Systematic species collecting

NH mineral collecting

Printable NH species checklist (pdf)

Articles on NH collecting

Acknowledgements

NH unknowns gallery (coming!)

Literature references (pdf)

NH Mineral Clubs

Tom Mortimer biography

Contact me

Site Mission Statement
This site is dedicated to the documentation and confirmation of New Hampshire mineral species. Many states, particularly New England states, have mineral species lists that have evolved over the years. Typically these are an alphabetical listing of mineral species to be found within the borders of the state. Frequent  updates to these lists have been necessary as the science of mineralogy has developed. New species names have been added, others renamed or deleted. The list on this site contains 294 New Hampshire species. Ideally, state mineral lists conform to the currently approved species definitions. This site was developed in conjunction with a display of New Hampshire mineral species, presently on loan to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, NH. The display was designed to be permanent and self contained, with size and weight such that it could be easily transported, (see design criteria). This display may be electronically coupled to a local copy of these web pages, so that as each specimen is viewed on a web page, the physical specimen is illuminated in the display.

What's New
11-25-14,   Added New gallery photos #66
11-13-14,   Added New gallery photos #65 Yet more Palermo micros.
10-30-14,   Added New gallery photos #64 More Palermo micros.
10-19-14,   Added New gallery photos #63
09-29-14,   Added New gallery photos #62 Bob Wilken photos, mostly EE Smith Mine
09-18-14,   Added New gallery photos #61
09-18-14,   Dickinsonite deleted from the NH mineral species list (More)
09-05-14,   Added New gallery photos #60.    More Parker Mtn. Mine photos.
09-04-14,   Added Fitzgibbons Mine Gallery. 12 species, 19 mineral photos. A Bob Wilken photo project.
06-25-14,   Added Parker Mtn. Mine Gallery. 68 species, 125 mineral photos, 14 EDS analyses.
06-16-14,   Added New gallery photos #59
06-14-14,   Added Pike Hooksett Gallery. 13 species, 26 mineral photos.
See (site history) for a log of this site development. (back to top)

NH Species Display Exihibitions
05-26->28-13,   The NH mineral species display was on exhibit at the PEG 2013 Conference, Bartlett, NH (PEG 2013 display photo).
04-30-13,   The NH mineral species display is on extended exhibit at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, NH (MSDC display photo).
03-17->20-13,   The NH mineral species display was on exhibit at the GSA Northeastern Section Meeting, Bretton Woods, NH (2013 GSA display photo).
02-01-13,   The NH mineral species display is on exhibit at the Amherst, NH, town library for two weeks. (Amherst Library display photo). A new touch-screen monitor has been incorporated into the exhibit.
10-19->31-12,   The NH mineral species display is on exhibit in the NH Department of Environmental Services lobby, Hazen Drive, Concord, NH (2012 DES display photo).
08-25,26-12,   The NH mineral species display was exhibited at the 2012 Capital Mineral Club show, Concord, NH (2012 CMC display photo) .
04-19->22-12,   The NH mineral species display was exhibited at the 2012 Rochester Mineralogical Symposium (2012 symposium display photo) .
08-04-11,  The New Hampshire mineral species display was exhibited at the Gilsum Rock Swap, June 25, 2011, Gilsum, NH.   (Gilsum display photo)
05-15-10, This New Hampshire mineral species display project was a feature talk at the Micromounters of New England Symposium, Auburn, MA.
08-29,30-09 The New Hampshire mineral species display was exhibited at the Capital Mineral Club show, Everett Arena, Concord, NH.   (CMC display photo)
05-03-09, A presentation was given on my NH species display at the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium, RMS Abstract with the display exhibition, (RMS display photo)
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Tips for touring this site
The species photo pages are best viewed with a display resolution of at least 1152 x 864. This resolution allows each entire species page to be viewed without need for the right scroll bar. For PC systems using IE 6 or greater, or Mozilla Firefox, the "F11" key eliminates the screen top tool bars, resulting in a less cluttered viewing experience, (toggling the F11 key again restores the tool bars.) The "Next" and "Previous" links on the right side of each species page allow easy navagation through the alphabetically ordered New Hampshire species. The "species data" link provides additional information on the photoed specimen, including identification method, literature references, and EDS plots when available. The "mindat.org" link connects to the mindat data page for the current species. Many mineral species pages also have a link to a gallery of specimen photos from other New Hampshire localities.  (back to top)

  Specimen example Selection
Coordination of this site with a fixed size physical display places constraints on specimen example selection for the "top page" mineral photograph, (which coincides with the display case specimen). Many NH mineral species occur in samples of only a few millimeters or less. Magnification is required to observe and appreciate them. Modern digital micro-photography provides a means to easily share micro-minerals with a large audience. At the other size extreme, numerous New Hampshire species have been found in excellent large specimens. However, the size and weight limits of my physical display has limited the "top page" photo selection to specimens that are "thumbnail" size and smaller. Most species have an associated photo gallery where the range of New Hampshire examples for each species may be explored. A dimensional Range scale photo is provided as an aid to understanding the extremes of specimen sizes in the photographs. For many of the NH species, the photos on this site are the first web publication of New Hampshire examples of these minerals.  (back to top)

Notes on Mineral Identification
Mineral species identification is based on chemistry, crystallography, and optics. Mineral chemistry is the resolution of which elements are present in a sample and in what proportion. There are several modern methods that can be used to determine the elemental content of a mineral. The most common method is Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS). This technique examines the X-Ray energy spectrum emitted from a sample that is targeted by an intense electron beam. EDS analysis may be qualitative, semi-quantitative, or quantitative. Qualitative or semi- quantitative EDS analysis will reveal which elements are present and give some indication of their relative proportions. Most mindatnh data is from qualitative EDS analysis. Knowing the approximate chemistry of a sample usually narrows the species definition to a few choices. A complete solution to the mineral ID puzzle is aided with knowledge of the specimen crystal morphology, luster, hardness, specific gravity, solubility, mineral environment, and associations.
    In many cases the EDS plots on this site did not originate from the specimen in the photo/display, but from another specimen from the author's collection. In some instances the EDS plot came from a similar specimen of the same locality from a fellow collector.
    It is appropriate to note that many members of the phosphate mineral group and the amphibole mineral group (both abundantly represented in New Hampshire) are very difficult to conclusively identify by chemistry alone. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis is almost always employed for a final determination of species within these mineral groups. Frequently, the identification of mineral species represented on this site is based on the analytical work of others. Mineral species lists have been documented for many New Hampshire mines and mineral localities. Much of this research has been recorded in journals and USGS monographs. Mindatnh identification of specific species at specific NH localities relies heavily on this preceding work. To the author's knowledge, this mindatnh.org web site is the first to report the New Hampshire occurrence of the following mineral species: beaudantite, calciotantite, ferrosilite, greenockite, halotrichite, jarosite, macaulayite, marialite, and wodginite.  (back to top)

Site Content
The majority of the specimens and photographs on this site are from the collection of Tom Mortimer. A few species marked with a "**" link on the species list page are from other collections, notably the Harvard Mineralogical Museum. Tom Mortimer photos of specimens from other collections have a pink lower caption stating the owner. Gallery photos provided by friends have a blue lower caption. The mineral photography is the copyright of the authors. Reproduction permission granted upon request.
A statewide species list is certainly open to challenge. A number of mineral species that were present on some earlier NH species lists have been eliminated from my list. I have a working list of these questionable species and plan a future site section on this topic with a forum for input from the collector community.

    The Palermo Mine in north Groton, New Hampshire has the largest species list of any locality in the state. I have relied on Bob Whitmore's book, The Pegmatite Mines Known as Palermo as the definitive authority on which species are, or are not, to be found at Palermo.

    A prime purpose of this site is to provide a voucher confirmation of mineral species to be found within the state of New Hampshire. Additional information on the physical, chemical, and optical properties of the minerals included on this site can be found via the mindat.org link provided on each web species page. (back to top)

Systematic Mineral Species Collecting
A systematic mineral species collector will acquire specimens other collectors reject. Not all species in the mineral kingdom occur in beautiful, well-formed, colorful, samples. This is particularly true if one limits a collection to a small geographic region. The definition of a mineral,"a naturally occurring, inorganic, crystalline solid, with definite chemical composition and physical properties, " does not include the terms "beautiful" or "colorful." Many of the unattractive mineral species in New Hampshire are overlooked, or simply not recognized, by mineral field collectors. Some of these overlooked species are actually quite common and readily obtainable. It is hoped that this site will aid collectors in recognizing some of these minerals. In addition to collecting the "ugly," a species collector must also collect the very small. By "very small" it is meant a millimeter in size, or less. Knowledge of the mineral collecting environment, (e.g. pegmatite, ore vein, skarn), is critical to finding and identifying micro-minerals. Micro-mineral field samples are typically collected by the "bucket-full." These are brought home and carefully examined under the microscope. New England micro-mineral collectors can have the pleasure of field collecting in their basements throughout the long cold winter months! (back to top)

New Hampshire -- a great state to collect minerals
New Hampshire is an excellent location for the amateur mineral field collector. In addition to the world renown Palermo Mine, New Hampshire is blessed with hundreds of other lesser known pegmatites, many rich with extensive suites of primary and secondary phosphate and lithium mineral species. The Conway Granites of the White Mountain pluton are host to miarolitic cavities that have yielded outstanding smoky quartz, topaz, and microcline specimens. Numerous metamorphic and contact metamorphic regions have rewarded NH collectors with world class specimens of staurolite, garnet, epidote, and cordierite. Sulfide ore veins? We have those as well. The Mascot Mine in Gorham, the lead mine in Madison, Ore Hill in Warren, and Mineral Hill in Wakefield have provided a great suite of colorful, well crystallized, (but micro), minerals. Gold panning? We have that! Intensely colored fluorite veins? Visit Westmoreland! And to round the environment group, we have a small skarn deposit in Amherst that provides a nice calc-silicate suite of grossular, vesuvianite, scapolite, and diopside. (back to top)

Acknowledgements
My success in assembling an extensive collection of New Hampshire mineral species specimens has been greatly aided by the generosity of many friends. I have acknowledged the source of each specimen on the respective photo page. My sincere thanks to:
Gene Bearss, Peter Cristofono, Fred Davis, Carl Francis, Gordon Jackson, Bob Janules, Inga Jewell, Curt LaPlante, Jim Nizamoff, Mike Swanson, Don Swenson, Mike Undercofler, Vince Valade, Bob & Anna Wilken, Bob Whitmore, and Scott Whittemore. (back to top)

Biography - Tom Mortimer
I have been actively field collecting New England minerals for the past 38 years. An early childhood visit to Mt. Mica in Maine was my first exposure to mineral collecting. I have been hooked ever since. I am purely an amateur collector, I have no formal training in mineralogy or geology, (I am a retired electrical engineer). I was an active member of the Nashua Mineral Society from 1974 until its disbandment in 2010, and the Micromounters of New England since 1984. I have learned a great deal through my association with these clubs. My other interests include hobbyist electronics and woodworking. All my hobby interests have converged on my New Hampshire Mineral Species Display project. (back to top)

Contact me- Tom Mortimer
Please forward your comments on this site to: tom@mindatnh.org.
I am particularly interested in errors, omissions, and updates related to the New Hampshire mineral species list.
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Tom Mortimer photo