Psilomelane is a group name for hard black manganese oxides including hollandite and romanechite. Psilomelane consists of hydrous manganese oxide with variable amounts of barium and potassium. Psilomelane is erroneously, and uncommonly, known as black hematite, despite not being related to true hematite, which is an iron oxide.
Psilomelane describes barium manganese hydroxides that do not form in visible crystals. Originally recognized as an individual mineral species, Psilomelane was discredited by the IMA in 1982. However, the name is still in use today, describing manganese hydroxides such as Romanechite and Hollandite that are not specifically identified and sometimes even admixed together.
Psilomelane can be banded with Pyrolusite, with alternating layers of light and dark gray bands. It is named after the Green term "psilos", meaning smooth, and "melas", meaning black.
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