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Cordierite

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Louis Cordier
Formula:
(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
System:
Orthorhombic
Colour:
Grey, blue, blue-violet, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
7 - 7½
Name:
After Pierre Louis A. Cordier (1777-1861), French mining engineer and geologist, who first studied this species.
Dimorph of:
The Mg analogue of Sekaninaite. Cordierite-Sekaninaite Series.

The hexagonal high-temperature dimorph of cordierite is indialite.
Cordierite is often altered into pinite.

May be confused with members of the Osumilite Group.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Cordierite.

Classification of Cordierite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
9.CJ.10

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
J : [Si6O18]12- 6-membered single rings (sechser-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions
61.2.1.1

61 : CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
2 : Six-Membered Rings with Al substituted rings
16.19.2

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
19 : Aluminosilicates of Fe and Mg
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First Recorded Occurrence of Cordierite

Year of Discovery:
1813

Occurrences of Cordierite

Geological Setting:
Thermally metamorphosed argillaceous sedimentary rocks; high-grade regionally metamorphosed schists, gneisses and granulites; also in mafic igneous rocks and granites.

Physical Properties of Cordierite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Grey, blue, blue-violet, greenish, yellowish brown; colourless to very light blue in transmitted light.
Hardness (Mohs):
7 - 7½
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Imperfect/Fair
On {100}, fair; On {001} and {010}, poor.
Fracture:
Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
2.6 - 2.66 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.505 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Cordierite

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cccm
Space Group Setting:
Cccm
Cell Parameters:
a = 17.079(3) Å, b = 9.730(2) Å, c = 9.356(2) Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.755 : 1 : 0.962
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,554.77 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals short prismatic, striated parallel to [001]. Commonly granular to compact, massive.
Twinning:
Common on {110} and {130}, simple, lamellar, and cyclical.

Crystallographic forms of Cordierite

Crystal Atlas:
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Cordierite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cordierite no.30 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Gibbs G V (1966) The polymorphism of cordierite I: The crystal structure of low cordierite. American Mineralogist 51:1068-1087.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Cordierite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.527 - 1.560 nβ = 1.532 - 1.574 nγ = 1.538 - 1.578
2V:
Measured: 75° to 89°, Calculated: 54° to 86°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.011 - 0.018
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
r < v, weak to marked
Pleochroism:
Strong
Comments:
X = c = Pale yellow, green
Y = a = Violet, blue-violet
Z = b = Light blue

Chemical Properties of Cordierite

Formula:
(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Mn,Fe,Ti,Ca,Na,K

Relationship of Cordierite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Sekaninaite (see here)
9.CJ.05BazziteBe3Sc2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.05StoppaniiteBe3Fe23+(Si6O18) · H2O
9.CJ.10Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.15aCombeiteNa2Ca2(Si6O18)0.5
9.CJ.15bImandriteNa12Ca3Fe23+(Si6O18)2
9.CJ.15aKazakoviteNa6Mn2+Ti(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15cKoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2O
9.CJ.15aLovozeriteNa2Ca(Zr,Ti)(Si6O12)[(OH)4O2] · H2O
9.CJ.15aTisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.15aZirsinaliteNa6(Ca,Mn2+,Fe2+)Zr(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15aLitvinskiteNa2(◻,Na,Mn)ZrSi6O12(OH,O)6
9.CJ.15aKapustiniteNa5(Na,Mn2+)<1Zr(H2Si6O18)
9.CJ.25BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.25KatayamaliteKLi3Ca7Ti2(SiO3)12(OH)2
9.CJ.25AleksandroviteKCa7Sn2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.30DioptaseCuSiO3 · H2O
9.CJ.35KostyleviteK2Zr(Si3O9) · H2O
9.CJ.40PetarasiteNa5Zr2(Si6O18)(Cl,OH) · 2H2O
9.CJ.45Gerenite-(Y)(Ca,Na)2(Y,REE)3Si6O18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.50OdintsoviteK2Na4Ca3Ti2Be4Si12O38
9.CJ.55MathewrogersitePb7FeAl3GeSi12O36(OH,H2O)6
9.CJ.60PezzottaiteCs(Be2Li)Al2(Si6O18)
16.19.1IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.3Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
16.19.4Ferro-gedrite☐{Fe22+}{Fe32+Al2}(Al2Si6O22)(OH)2
16.19.5Staurolite(Fe2+,Mg,Zn)1.5-2Al9(SiO4)4O6(OH,O)2
16.19.6Chloritoid(Fe2+,Mg,Mn2+)Al2(SiO4)O(OH)2
16.19.7AmesiteMg2Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
16.19.8Corundophilite(Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH)8
16.19.9YoderiteMg(Al,Fe3+)3(SiO4)2O(OH)
16.19.10Delessite(Mg,Fe,Fe,Al)(Si,Al)4O10(O,OH)8
16.19.11Ferrocarpholite(Fe2+,Mg)Al2(Si2O6)(OH)4
16.19.12Magnesiocarpholite(Mg,Fe2+)Al2(Si2O6)(OH)4
16.19.13Chamosite(Fe2+,Mg)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.14Orthochamosite(Fe2+,Mg,Fe3+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH,O)8
16.19.15Berthierine(Fe2+,Fe3+,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
16.19.16Odinite(Fe,Mg,Al,Fe,Ti,Mn)2.4((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
16.19.17Clinochlore(Mg,Fe2+)5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.18Gedrite☐{Mg2}{Mg3Al2}(Al2Si6O22)(OH)2
16.19.19Magnesiogedrite
16.19.20Diabantite(Mg,Fe,Al)6((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)8
16.19.21Sudoite(Mg,Fe2+)2Al3(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
16.19.22Vermiculite(Mg,Fe,Al)3((Al,Si)4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2O
16.19.23Corrensite(Mg,Fe)9((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)10 · nH2O

Other Names for Cordierite

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Cordierite

Reference List:
Venkatesh, V. (1952) Development and growth of cordierite in para-lavas. American Mineralogist: 37: 831-847.

Miyashiro, A., T. Iiyama, M. Yamasaki, and T. Miyashiro (1955) The polymorphism of cordierite and indialite. American Journal of Science: 253: 185-208.

Richet, P. and Bottinga, Y. (1984) Anorthite, andesine, wollastonite, diopside, cordierite, and pyrope thermodynamics of melting, glass transitions, and properties of the amorphous phases. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 67: 415-432.

Putnis, A., Fyfe, C.A., and Gobbi, G.C. (1985) Aluminum-silicon ordering in cordierite using "magic angle spinning" NMR. I. Silicon-29 spectra of synthetic cordierite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 12: 211-216.

Putnis, A. and Angel, R.J. (1985) Aluminum-silicon ordering in cordierite using "magic angle spinning" NMR. II: models of aluminum-silicon order from NMR data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 12: 217-222.

American Mineralogist (1986): 71: 746-757.

Putnis, A., Salje, E., Redfern, S.A.T., Fyfe, C.A., and Strobl, H. (1987), Structural states of Mg-cordierite I: order parameters from synchrotron X-ray and NMR data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 14: 446-454.

Schreyer, W., Maresch, W.V., Daniels, P., Wolfsdorff, P. (1990): Potassic cordierites: characteristic minerals for high-temperature, very low-pressure environments. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 105, 162-172.

Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 140: 344-352.

Bertoldi, C., Proyer, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Behrens, ., and Dachs, E. (2004) Comprehensive chemical analyses of natural cordierites: implications for exchange mechanisms. Lithos: 78: 389-409.

Yakubovich, O. V., Massa, V., Pekov, I. V., Gavrilenko, P. G. & Chukanov, N. V. (2004): Crystal structure of the Na-, Ca-, Be-cordierite and crystallochemical regularities in the cordierite-sekaninaite series. Crystallography Reports 49, 953-963.

Internet Links for Cordierite

Specimens:
The following Cordierite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Cordierite

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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