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Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 06:29AM
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Click here for a list of articles that are not under construction but have had at least their first drafts finished.

This article is a place holder and needs someone to take it in hand and finish the first draft. If you would like to take this article in hand, leave a reply message below or contact Rock Currier via private message by clicking on the PM button next to my name at the top of the article.

Click here to view Best Minerals A and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

Below are some preliminary notes I have made about Allanite. This entry and thread has been made as a place holder for information that you will hopefully contribute about Allanite. It should be in no way be thought of as a claim I have staked out to write about this mineral, and in fact is an invitation for someone to step forward and create the article about this mineral. If you are so inclined and have questions about the format that such an article should have, go the The welcome topic at the top of the Best Minerals forum and read what has been posted there. Also take a look at some of the more mature articles that have already been written like Rhodochrosite, Adamite, Millerite etc. You will need also to pick out other images of Allanite that will go into the article.

Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
(Ca<>Ce<>La)2(Al,Fe+2,Fe+3)3Si3O12(OH) Monoclinic
Allanite-(Ce) xls. to 2.5cm on Diopside, Mt Elliott Mine, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Australia

Queensland, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Selwyn District, Mt Elliott Mine

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y) Display collections.
Some people like to think of allanite as a cerium containing epidote. It occurs in a number of geological environments. “…most characteristically found as an accessory mineral in the deep seated igneous rocks, as granite, syenite, diorite; also in pegmatites. Further in metamorphic rocks that have been derived from igneous rocks, as gneiss, amphibolite, etc. Occurs in volcanic ejections and has been noted in limestone as a contact mineral. With magnetite bodies. Sometimes inclosed as a nucleus in crystals of the isomorphous species, epidote.”1 This black rare earth iron silicate produces few fine specimens and those that exist are not well known or popular with collectors. Crystals to 90cm are sited2 but these are not free standing crystals and are found enclosed in other minerals. Allanite in the 17th century was sometimes called tautolite or bucklandite. Rath called it orthite in 1861 and described crystals in ejected trachytic masses from the Laacher See region in Germany. If you are interested in micro crystals, there are many localities that produce fine examples. Micro allanites come in sharp single crystals or sprays of parallel crystals in a variety of colors black, brown, yellow, green and reddish. All the specimens I know that have crystals larger than a cm are black or brownish black. One listing of allanite crystals from Austrian, Swiss and French alpine clefts lists 75 localities with all but two of them producing crystals smaller than a cm.3
1. Dana's Textbook of Mineralogy 4th edition, W.E. Ford, p.625; 2. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony, Bideaux, Bladh & Nichols Vol II, p15; 3. Lapis Magazine,Vol.27, #9, 2002, p. 29-45
This one needs a lot more work.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Queensland, Mt. Isa District, Kathleen. At Kathleen, about 61 km southeast of Mt. Isa, decent allanite specimens were produced including this specimen of bladed intergrown black allanite crystals that are up to about 3 cm.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Ontario, Frontenac County, Olden Township, Long Lake. The allanite pictured here is a fairly well formed single crystal something over 3 cm long but “Tabular pseudo-orthorhombic euhedra up to 10 cm on an edge have been found. Particularly fine, large groups of crystals may be seen in the collections of the royal Ontario Museum and Harvard University.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol.13 p72.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Ontario, Hybla, MacDonald Mine. Massive material in blobs up to 30 cm.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Quebec, Asbestos. Micros, but sharp, shiny, black and lath-like terminated, freestanding crystals. They are often associated with crystals of micro white albite, gemmy pistachio prismatic green diopside and euhedral gemmy green grossular garnets. Similar though smaller crystals of allanite with similar associations have been found at the Orford Nickel mine in Quebec. Maximum crystal size .8 mm. I once saw an SEM photo of a specimen from this locality.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Quebec, Hull, Evans-Lou pegmatite. The Evans-Lou pegmatite which is 32 km north of Hull produced “Primary crystals of…allanite up to 4x2 feet…”. Yes, the crystals are that big but have no terminations to speak of. When you read a description like the one above it is very easy to imagine wonderful specimens that do not exist. Beginning collectors can easily be led astray by the literature.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Quebec, Pontiac County, Huddersfield Township, Yates Uranium Mine. “Found in the bordering granites and pyroxenites, allanite occurs in thin blades and small, free-standing crystals. Averaging about 2 cm, specimens to 10 or 12 cm (the crystals get this big) have been found. Associated with microcline and dark, rounded quartz crystals, well developed allanite crystals have given Geiger probe readings of up to 0.1 mr/hr…”.1 These are rather rough looking specimens.
1 Mineralogical Record, Nov/Dec, 1981 p360.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Arriege Department, French Pyrenees, Trimouns Quarry.

1.2 cm Allanite-(Ce) with zones of Dissakisite-(Ce)

The best of these specimens, usually miniatures, are matrix specimens of white massive dolomite with 1.5 cm translucent brown allanite prisms. “…a shiny, sharp, blackish brown, terminated prism 2 cm long on a 2.75 cm matrix for $85.”1 This specimen was spotted in a dealers stock at the Munich show in 1990. Certainly better ones exist. “…the allainite is typically greenish brown in color and forms prismatic crystals of equal size (up to 2.5 cm)”2 The allanite is sometimes associated with small talc crystals. The French dealer Alain Carion from Paris was responsible for collecting a certain amount of this material.

Peter Haas observed, "Some of the big "allanites" later turned out to be dissakisites ! " and Pavel Kartashov replied. "It would be more exact to say, that almost all allanite-(Ce) from Trimouns turned out dissakisite-(Ce). Real allanite-(Ce) form here form only dark-coloured zones within transparent light-coloured dissakisite xls." All the brown "Allanites" are Dissakisite-(Ce) (RWMW edit)

1 Mineralogical Record, Vol.22, 1991 p225. 2. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 21, 1990, p.489.
Ask Alin Carion how big the crystals got and how much of it has been collected and if an analysis on them has been done to determine the percentages of cerium, calcium and yttrium.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Laacher See Region, Eifel District, Anderanach on Rhein. The region is named after the Laacher Lake which is in the center of the eastern part of the Eifel district. It is also known at the Laacher Vulkangebeit or Laacher volcanic region. The crystals from here are strictly micromounts but are mentioned here because of their historical significance and their interesting associations. The crystals rarely are over 5 mm. The crystals are well terminated tabular prisms sometimes growing with well formed white zircon crystals.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Kragerö, Arendal. Giant crystals up to 90 cm are known from this locality but I think they are rough and frozen in matrix.
Tysfjord, Hundholmen. This rare earth pegmatite in northern Norway “also contains good allanite…”. I don’t really know about the allanites from here but think that they must be pretty good because it has also produced good gadolinite crystals, parasite crystals up to 8 cm and world class crystals of thalenite up to 3 cm.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
A recent Min Record describes this occurrence.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Val Blenio, Gotthard
Freeway Tunnel. “Some quite beautiful specimens, one of which is shown in the glass cases of the ETH mineral collection in Zurich”1 I communicated with Dr. Peter Brack, curator of the museum and he did not know about these specimens and said that the collection had allanites from the tunnel, but they were only micro crystals.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 8, 1977, p291.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
United States
Colorado, Teller County Crystal Peak.
Blocky, slightly prismatic crystals of allanite of at least 3 cm have been found in the Pikes Peak granites and in particular at Crystal Peak which is located north of the towns of Florissant and Lake George in both Teller and Park counties. I have never seen a sharp crystal from this locality.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
California, Los Angeles Co., San Gabriel Mountains, Pacoma Canyon
Fairly well formed prismatic black crystals sometimes occurring with brown prismatic brown zircons. The best of them up to perhaps six inches long. The best good terminated one may be in the Los Angeles County Museum collection and is perhaps a little over 3 inches long. To find even a well terminated one of one inch, you might have to make many trips there and even then success would not be assured. Good ones are rare creatures.

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
Connecticut, Middlesex County, Haddam Neck. Striated crystals to 3 cm have been reported near Haddam Neck, the Flat Rock quarry in Watterford and a railroad cut near Linkpot(bladed). I have never seen any of these nor have I heard others singing their praise.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p 332.

Montana, Silver Bow Co., Butte District, Butte

Allanite-(Ce), 4cm wide

Allanite-(Ce) &-(Y)
New Mexico, Lincoln County, Maria Tiro Estrella claim. New Mexico produces some sharp fairly lustrous crystals to about 3 cm. Most of the specimens from here are single crystals that make good thumbnail specimens. The locality is better known for its Japan law twins of smoky quartz. The Estrella claim is located on the south side of the El Capitan Mountains.

Click here to view Best Minerals A and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.

Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 12/26/2012 07:42PM by Rock Currier.
Re: Allanite-(Ce) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 04:10PM
I have in my collection two crystals of "Allanite-Ce". from the Kalstad mine in Kragero, Norway. They are both about 120mm long x 20mm x 15mm, they are black in their interior, but on the surface the crystals are a dark brown colour. They were collected by myself in 1970.

I also found a small (20mm x 3mm) crystal of Allanite-Y in a small pegmatite quarry on the Malvern Hills here in Worcestershire, England last year. This happened to be the first time anyone had discovered this mineral in this area....

Re: Allanite-(Ce) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 04:23PM
I just posted to Mindat a picture of a fairly nice tabular one from Pacoima Canyon that is about 4 centimeters long, not near as nice as the LA museum's though. I think the allanites from there are Allanite-Ce.

Pough's Peterson Guide to Rocks and Minerals says that many allanite specimens were recovered from the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in New York City, but I've never seen one.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/11/2009 04:24PM by Kelly Nash.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 05:41PM
Kelly and Spenser, Thanks for your contributions. Spenser, do you have a picture of your Allanite specimens that you would upload to mindat?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Re: Allanite-(Ce) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 07:42PM
Hi Rock Currier,

I am at my girlfriends at the moment, but when I get home on Saturday I will send you some photo's of my allanite specimens.

Regards, Spencer.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 09:48PM
Dear Rock,
allanite-(Ce) is the most abundant in the Earth crust LREE mineral - only monazite-(Ce) able to be comparable with it in abundance. In the same time allanite-(Y) is very rare mineral and almost always secondary - replacing some more early Y -bearing precursor. In many cases primary "allanite-(Y)" is only Y-bearing epidotes.
It is good situation if within 500 specimens of allanites one or two turned out real allanite-(Y).

Besides that you forgot allanite-(La). ;)

And of course formula of allanite is Ca(REE,Ca,Mn,Th)(Al,Fe3+)Al(Fe2+,Fe3+,Mn,Mg,Al)(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) it is orto-diortosilicate.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce) & (Y)
May 11, 2009 10:55PM
Good stuff Pavel and it will go into the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 08, 2009 06:45PM
Re: Trimouns:

Another common associate of allanite was bastnäsite (small orangish to pinkish tabular crystals).
Some of the big "allanites" later turned out to be dissakisites !
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 08, 2009 09:42PM
It would be more exact to say, that almost all allanite-(Ce) from Trimouns turned out dissakisite-(Ce).:D

Real allanite-(Ce) form here form only dark-coloured zones within transparent light-coloured dissakisite xls. Similar situation exist with allanite-(La) and epidote from Nueva Vizcaya. ;) But here situation is much more bad - epidote is not transparent and allanite-(La) zones are invisible on complete xls. smileys with beer
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 09, 2009 11:11AM
Actually it is good news that you give us Pavel. That means when it gets corrected in the article that will appear to be slightly less foolish that people think we are.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 09, 2009 12:34PM
Dear Rock,
unfortunately very often peoples don't want to part with their delusions. So they dispute and try to uphold these delusions with foam at the mouthю See for example discussion with Southern temperament -,7,80457,80656#msg-80656

Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 09, 2009 04:27PM
Hi Rock,

Micro allanites (variety unresolved) occur in great abundance in the Granite Mountain syenite in Arkansas. They are found in gas cavities and pegmatites as sharp brown crystals, and in fenites as unusual pink prisms. Specimens range from sub-micro to 4-5mm in size and are extremely crystalline for the species. They are very low in radioactive components and have retained their crystallinity, unlike many granitic occurrences.

Henry Barwood
Troy University
Troy, Alabama USA
Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 11, 2009 12:16AM
Hello Rock,,The second Allanite (18x12mm on Scapolite)that I posted here is from the Mt.Elliott Mine also..The Allanite from the abandoned Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine is also very nice but generally smaller and usually on massive Allanite.I will post some pictures of M.K material soon
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 12, 2009 03:22PM
About 10 years ago, a German dealer sold a small number of specimens attributed to Highway 62 Road cut, Maynooth, Ontario. On these specimens, allanite-(ce) occurs as dark brown tabular crystals to over 1 cm, together with actinolite on a schist-like matrix.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
June 13, 2009 02:40AM
OK note taken and it will eventually find its way into the article. We need to create place holders for all minerals where we can stash good tid bits of information like this till someone writes the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
November 27, 2009 04:24PM
Here's a nice Montana allanite:


William C. (CHRIS) van Laer: "I'm using the chicken to measure it..."
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
November 29, 2009 08:36AM
Can you tell us more about the locality? A pegmatite? How big do the crystals get? Roughly how far south of Butte? How many crystals have been found. Is this currently a producing locality? Has there been anything written about it?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
December 01, 2009 03:51PM
As I indicated on the "albite" page, I am currently preparing an article for mindat about the Boulder Batholith. As for allanite, it is relatively common in the area, being found in every district and most of the more prominent pegmatites, but most of the time it goes unnoticed. It is very rare to grow in a pocket; the one I pictured above was one of many that were found in a local pegmatite a few years ago, by the same collector who found the blue cleavelandite, so he is not revealing the EXACT locality. Now that some time has passed, I may be able to get that information, since recently the site has been discovered and worked by others. Crystals from this locality were all miniatures, plus a couple of thumbnails; up to about 1-1/2 inch in length, and distinctly terminated and twinned. Local allanites are often associated with epidote, and the two are often grown together, with grey allanite cores and outer zones of green epidote. The epidote will almost always coat the allanite when grown in a pocket, and epidote-free allanites are almost exclusively "frozen" in pegmatite matrix. I worked a remote, large pegmatite back in the 1980's for huge smoky quartz crystals that also produced allanites up to four inches long and weighing hundreds of grams. These were merely sections of what had been much larger crystals, and I will add the exact details of these to my article.

William C. (CHRIS) van Laer: "I'm using the chicken to measure it..."
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
December 02, 2009 09:40AM
Bill, Thanks for the good information on the Allanite from the Boulder batholith. OK I understand about the locality being a little sensitive at this time. We don't need a more accurate locality now. Sometime in the future it would be nice to have. All we have to note now is that the locality is known exactly but because of proprietary interests it is not being revealed at this time. No one can complain about that. At least not any reasonable person. That is the way the world works after all.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Allanite-(Ce), (La) & (Y)
December 31, 2009 09:56AM
additional information on good localities for Allanite-Ce in Norway.
Exceptionally sharp, platy crystals to about 4 cm have been found in miarolitic cavities in syenites in the hills in the northern part of the capital Oslo. One exceptional crystal was found at Grefsenåsen in the mid 19th century (mentioned by Kierulf 1865) and is on display at the Oslo Mineralogical Museum. A picture can be seen her:

Sharp crystals of Allanite-Ce to 2 cm , partly with epidote overgrowths are known from many skarn-localities in the Oslo-region, i.e. from Hörtekollen in Sylling, Lier.
Allanite-Ce is very common in the granite pegmatites of Southern Norway (Telemark, Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder) with rough crystals exceeding 100 kg. Most crystals are prismatic. I have a (self-collected) group of crystals to 60 cm with a diameter of about 10 cm from the pegmatite at Karlstadgangen, Kragerø, Telemark (mentioned also by Spencer).
Allanite is also common in pegmatites of the Tysfjord--area in large massses and rough crystals to about 20 cm. At the Hundholmen locality sharp Allanite-crystals to 3 cm occur embedded in matrix.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/31/2009 10:05AM by Knut Eldjarn.


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