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August 2009 - Goethite


Goethite (pronounced: “Gertite”) forms by the oxidation of iron-rich deposits. It was named after the German multi-disciplinarian Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It usually occurs as massive, botryoidal or stalactitic formations and tends to be found in soil and other low-temperature environments. It is in the hydroxide group with a hardness of 5 to 5 ½ and is blackish brown, or reddish to yellowish brown. It is opaque and has an orange to brownish streak. The luster is usually dull, but can be shiny on the crystal faces.

Goethite has been used since prehistoric times for its use as a pigment. Evidence has been found of its use in paint pigment samples taken from the caves of Lascaux in Southwestern France, dating back over 16,000 years. It was first described in the scientific literature in 1806 for occurrences in the Mesabi iron ore district of Minnesota.

Goethite is found all over the planet, but the most significant deposits are found in England, Australia, Cuba, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Colorado, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee. It was also found by NASA’s Spirit Rover, providing strong evidence for the presence of liquid water on the planet Mars at some point in its geologic past.

The metaphysical properties of goethite are believed to help you to enjoy the journey in life. It inspires pragmatism with imagination, bringing energy to pursuits of discovery. It also is thought to enhance communication and to provide for intensified concentration. It can facilitate body-building and also be used in the treatment of disorders associated with the ears, nose, throat, intestines, veins, and esophagus.

Mineral of the Month Archives

May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

July 2007: Labadorite

August 2007: Rain Flower Agate

Fall 2007: Malachite

December 2007: Nepheline Syenite

January 2008: Native Copper

February 2008: Amazonite

March 2008: Lake Superior Agate

April 2008: Shadow Agate

May 2008: Apohpylite

June 2008: Ocean Jasper

Summer 2008: Marra Mamba Tiger's Eye

September 2008: Mohawkite

October 2008: Mexican opal

November 2008: Prehnite

December 2008: Picture Jasper

January 2009: Sea Shell Jasper

February 2009: Polychrome Jasper

March 2009: Selenite Desert Rose

Spring 2009: Coyamito Agate

July 2009: Obsidian Needles

August 2009: Goethite

September 2009: Banded Iron Formation

Fall 2009: Fairburn Agate

March 2010: Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

April/May: 2010 Kentucky Agate

June 2010: Nantan Meteorite

July 2010: Mookaite Jasper

Aug/Sept 2010: Polyhedroid Agate

Fall 2010: Ammonite Fossil

September 2011: Petoskey Stones

Spring 2011: Petrfied Wood

Winter 2011: Argentina Condor Agate

January 2012: Mary Ellen Jasper

March 2012: Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

June 2012: Moqui Marbles

September 2012: Chlorastrolite Greenstone

March 2013: Jacobsville Sandstone

August 2013: Unakite

November 2013: Skip-an-Atom Agate

April 2014: Tiger's Eye

September 2014: Black Corundum

February 2015: Condor Agate

June 2015: Petoskey Stone

November 2015: Slag

June 2016: Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates

March 2017: Chert

July 2017: Kona Dolomite

December 2017: Septarian Nodule

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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839


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