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Empressite is a mineral form of silver telluride, AgTe. It is a rare, grey, hexagonal crystal with which can form aggregates of bipyrimidal crystals. Twins do not form. Density 7600 kg.m-3.

Recent crystallographic analysis [1] has confirmed that empressite is a distinct mineral with orthorhombic crystal structure, different from the hexagonal Ag5-xTe3 with which empressite has been commonly confused in mineralogy literature. At the same time, empressite does not appear on the equilibrium Ag-Te phase diagram [2], and therefore it is only metastable at ambient conditions. Given infinite time, it would phase separate into pure Ag5Te3 and pure Te.

The name empressite comes from the location of its discovery – the Empress Josephine mine, Saguache County, Colorado, USA.


  1. ^ L. Bindi et al., American Mineralogist, 89, 1043 (2004)
  2. ^ Karakaya, I., Thompson, W.T.: J. Phase Equilibria 12, 56 (1991).
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Empressite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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