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Cavansite



Cavansite

Cavansite in apophyllite from Wagholi, Poona, Maharashtra, India
General
CategoryMineral
Chemical formulaCa(VO)Si4O10 · 4(H2O)
Identification
ColorBlue to greenish-blue
Crystal habitradiating acicular crystals from spherical clusters
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Cleavage[010] Good
FractureBrittle
Mohs Scale hardness3 - 4
LusterVitreous, Pearly
Refractive index1.542 - 1.551
PleochroismNone
StreakBluish-white
Specific gravity2.25 - 2.33
DiaphaneitySubtransparent

Cavansite, whose name is derived from its chemical composition, calcium vanadium silicate, is a deep blue hydrous calcium vanadium phyllosilicate mineral, occurring as a secondary mineral in basaltic and andesitic rocks along with a variety of zeolite minerals. Discovered in 1967 in Malheur County, Oregon, cavansite is a relatively rare mineral. It is polymorphic with the even rarer mineral, pentagonite. It is most frequently found in Poona, India, in the Deccan Traps, a large igneous province.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

Uses of cavansite

While cavansite does contain vanadium, and could thus be a possible ore source for the element, it is not generally considered an ore mineral. However, because of its rich color and relative rarity, cavansite is a sought after collector's mineral.

Associated minerals

Notes for identification

Cavansite is a distinctive mineral. It tends to form crystal aggregates, generally in the form of balls, up to a couple centimeters in size. Sometimes the balls are coarse enough to allow the individual crystals to be seen. Rarely, cavansite forms bowtie shaped aggregates. The color of cavansite is distinctive, almost always a rich, bright blue. The color is the same as its dimorph, pentagonite, but the latter is generally much more spikey with bladed crystals. Finally, the associated minerals are useful for identification, as cavansite is frequently found sitting atop a matrix of zeolites or apophyllites.

References

  • Mindat
  • Webmineral
  • Mineral galleries
  • Evans, H.T. Jr., "The crystal structure of cavansite and pentagonite", Americal MIneralogist, Vol. 58, pg. 412-424, 1983.
  • Makki, M.F., "Collecting cavansite in the Wagholi quarry complex, Pune, Maharashtra, India", The Mineralogical Record, Vol. 36, No. 6, pg. 507-512, Nov-Dec 2005.
  • Staples, L.W., Evans, H.T. Jr., and Lindsay, J.R., "Cavansite and pentagonite, new dimorphous calcium vanadium silicate minerals from Oregon", American Mineralogist, Vol. 58, pg 405-411, 1973.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cavansite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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