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Apophyllite



Apophyllite

General
CategoryMineral
Chemical formula(K,Na)Ca4Si8O20(F,OH) • 8H2O
Identification
ColorUsually white, colorless; also blue, green, brown, yellow, pink, violet
Crystal habitprismatic, tabular, massive
Crystal systemTetragonal; Orthorhombic (natroapophyllite)
Cleavage[001] Perfect
FractureUneven
Mohs Scale hardness4.5 - 5
LusterVitreous; Pearly
Refractive index1.536
PleochroismDichroic (colorless)
StreakWhite
Specific gravity2.3 - 2.4
DiaphaneityTransparent to translucent

The name apophyllite refers to a specific group of phyllosilicates, a class of minerals that also includes the micas. Originally, the group name referred to a specific mineral, but was redefined in 1978 to stand for a class of minerals of similar chemical makeup that comprise a solid solution series, and includes the members fluorapophyllite, hydroxyapophyllite, and natroapophyllite. The name apophyllite is derived from the Greek apophylliso, meaning "it flakes off," a reference to this class's tendency flake apart when heated, due to water loss. These minerals are typically found as secondary minerals in holes in basalt or other igneous rocks. They can also be called "fisheye stone".[1]

Additional recommended knowledge

Though relatively unfamiliar to the general public, apophyllites are fairly prevalent around the world, with specimens coming from some of the worlds most well-known mineral localities. These localities include: Poona, India; the Harz Mountains of Germany, Mont Saint-Hilaire in Canada, and Kongsberg, Norway, with other locations in Scotland, Ireland, Brazil, Japan, and throughout the United States.

Uses

Apophyllites are popular as collector's minerals. This popularity is due to a combination of factors, including their abundance, color variety, and well-defined crystals. Naturally forming pyramidal structures, they refract light in obvious rainbows, and can form "natural pyramids" when subjected to rock tumbling.

Species of Apophyllite

  • Fluorapophyllite, (K, Na)Ca4Si8O20(F, OH) · 8H2O - white, colorless, yellow, green, violet
  • Hydroxyapophyllite, KCa4Si8O20(OH, F) · 8H2O - white, colorless
  • Natroapophyllite, (K, Na)Ca4Si8O20F · 8H2O - brown, yellow, colorless

References

  1. ^ http://www.maden.hacettepe.edu.tr/dmmrt/dmmrt50.html#d1040
  • WebMineral Listing
  • MinDat Listing
  • Mineral Galleries
  • Colville AA, Anderson CP, Black PM (1971). "Refinement of the crystal structure of apophyllite: I. X-ray diffraction and physical properties". American Mineralogist 56: 1222-1233.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Apophyllite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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