Valentinite, a rare antimony oxide, occurs as a weathering product of hydrothermal antimony-bearing veins, where it forms as a secondary mineral through oxidation in the upper parts of the deposits. It occurs associated with stibnite, native antimony, stibiconite, cervantite, kermesite and tetrahedrite. A rich deposit of valentinite was found in the Constantine Province of Algeria. This is the only deposit where it is mined as an ore, with 83% antimony. In all other locations it occurs in negligible quantities. Valentinite was first described in 1845 for an occurrence in the Les Chalanches Mine, Allemont, Isère, Rhône-Alpes, France. The first description of its occurrence in the region of Pribram in Bohemia comes roughly from the same time. This particular locality at one time produced the very best crystals of this mineral. The largest crystals found there measured up to 3 cm. Grouped in rich druses, they developed in vein cavities with galena. It was named in the middle of the 19th century in honour of Basilius Valentinus, a writer on alchemy. This recent discovery in China has produced some fine specimens of this rare mineral. Valentinite is dimorphous with senarmontite, another rare antimony oxide, also produced at the same mine.
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