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RM592   Betafite (of Hogarth 1977), variety of Pyrochlore

Ambatofotsy pegmatite, Mahavelona, Soavinandriana, Antananarivo, Madagascar

A huge size crystal of betafite showing defined octahedral faces (triangular) and developed dodecahedral ones. Very interesting for its crystallography and species. An oldie, classic and representative for the species. This specimen belonged to the collection of P. Sainfeld, mineralogist at the École des Mines de Paris.
Although the term betafite was discredited in 2010, many of us still are using this term to define this mineral when we see it. Our specimen is an uranium, calcium, titanium and niobium/tantalum oxide with radioactive activity. Currently the betafite is included as a variety within the pyrochlore supergroup. As a note, the rich uranium term has been only found in the Moon (oxyuranobetafite).


Size: 5,5 x 4,5 x 4,3 cm.
Main crystal: 4,3 x 4,0 cm.
Found in 1960's.

Ex-col. Sainfeld (École Mines Paris).
Presents radioactive activity.
 
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