If you research Smithsonite, you'll discover it's twin, Hemimorphite. They are both calamine, a mineral formed from zinc ore, but they are ever so slightly different. This was noted by John Smithson (founder of the Smithsonian). He discovered that there were two different minerals that resulted from zinc ore deposits, a zinc carbonate and a zinc silicate.
The zinc carbonate, Smithsonite, is a vitreous, pearly mineral. The silicate, the more rare of the two and a bit less sparkly, is named Hemimorphite because of the development of its crystals. Hemi meaning 'half', morph meaning 'form or shape'.
Hemimorphite crystals are found in two different shapes, one of which looks like huge quartz crystals,
and the other forms crystalline crusts with massive, granular, rounded - well, globs.
Which looks an awful lot like Smithsonite. . .
. . . but it is Hemimorphite! And Hemimorphite has it's own wonderful variations, most of which look like icebergs -
I have found some wonderful Hemimorphite nuggets, and made some cool iceberg earrings for my shop. Have a look!
|icebergs on silver|