Pyrolusite is the most common manganese mineral and one of the most important ores. Its color is black or dark grey with a metallic and dull luster. It is recognized for its fibrous acicular crystal habits. Another unique and identifying characteristic is its “residual” properties, shall we say; this dirty mineral is sooty and will most likely smudge ones hands when touched or handled. Have wipes handy . . . Pyrolusite is associated with Goethite, Calcite, Quartz and Barite to name a few.
The crystal system for Pyrolusite is tetragonal. Individual crystals are rare; typically fibrous, acicular and radial forms composed of very fine needles or fibers, and massive. Also intersecting radiating veins, bladed groups, reniform, botryoidal and concretionary.
Pyrolusite is a very common mineral found throughout the world, but quality specimens are found in only a few localities, including Australia, Germany, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and the USA (New Mexico).