|Vantasselite aggregates from Bihain, Luxemburg Province, Belgium. The imaged zone is about 15 mm wide.|
Vantasselite is orthorhombic, and the structure is related to that of vashegyite and matulaite. It occurs as fine radiating lamellae up to 8 mm, and as spherical aggregates of free-standing terminated crystals up to 3 mm in diameter (this form is extremely rare !) on metamorphosed argillaceous rocks containing so-called coticule. This is a rock that contains a high density of microscopic garnet crystals, and it was used until the first half of this century as sharpening stone for knives.
Vantasselite is white, and isolated lamellar crystals are transparant. Crystals are very cleavable with nearly a micaceous aspect. These cleavages show a typical pearly luster.
Other minerals that occur together with vantasselite are wavellite, variscite, cacoxenite, turquoise, clinochlore, lithiophorite, quartz and a light-green mica.
The name of this mineral is in honor or Professor Dr. R. VAN TASSEL, an eminent Belgian mineralogist. He is still an active member of our club, the "Mineralogische Kring Antwerpen".
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|In search of vantasselite specimens on the dumps in Bihain, Luxemburg Province, Belgium|