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Cordierite

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Formula:
(Mg,Fe)
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
5
O
 
18
)
System:OrthorhombicColour:Grey, blue, blue-violet, ...
Lustre:VitreousHardness:7 - 7½
Name:
After Pierre Louis A. Cordier (1777-1861), French mining engineer and geologist, who first studied this species.
Dimorph of:Indialite


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. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Cordierite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/E.12-40
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.CJ.10

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
J : [Si6O18]12- 6-membered single rings (sechser-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions
Dana 8th edition ID:61.2.1.1

61 : CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
2 : Six-Membered Rings with Al substituted rings
Hey's CIM Ref.:16.19.2

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

Type Locality:Großer Arber, Bayerisch Eisenstein, Zwiesel, Bavarian Forest, Lower Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany
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

Lustre: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 (measured):2.6 - 2.66 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.505 g/cm3

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.
Crystal Atlas:
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Cordierite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cordierite no.30 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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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:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
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°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.011 - 0.018

Chart 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)
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
5
O
 
18
)
Simplified for copy/paste:(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
Essential elements:Al, Mg, O, Si
All elements listed in formula:Al, Fe, Mg, O, Si
Common Impurities:Mn,Fe,Ti,Ca,Na,K

Relationship of Cordierite to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Sekaninaite (see here)
Common Associates:
SpinelSillimaniteMuscoviteK FeldsparGarnet Structural Group
CorundumBiotiteAndalusite
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.CJ.05Bazzite
Be
 
3
Sc
 
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.05Beryl
Be
 
3
Al
 
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.05Indialite
Mg
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
5
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.05Stoppaniite
Be
 
3
Fe
3+
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
) · H
 
2
O
9.CJ.10Sekaninaite
(Fe,Mg)
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
5
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.15aCombeite
Na
 
2
Ca
 
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
 
0.5
9.CJ.15bImandrite
Na
 
12
Ca
 
3
Fe
3+
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
 
2
9.CJ.15aKazakovite
Na
 
6
Mn
2+
 
Ti(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.15cKoashvite
Na
 
6
(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si
 
6
O
 
18
· H
 
2
O
9.CJ.15aLovozerite
Na
 
2
Ca(Zr,Ti)(Si
 
6
O
 
12
)[(OH)
 
4
O
 
2
] · H
 
2
O
9.CJ.15aTisinalite
Na
 
3
H
 
3
(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi
 
6
(O,OH)
 
18
· 2H
 
2
O
9.CJ.15aZirsinalite
Na
 
6
(Ca,Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)Zr(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.15aLitvinskite
Na
 
2
(◻,Na,Mn)ZrSi
 
6
O
 
12
(OH,O)
 
6
9.CJ.15aKapustinite
Na
 
5
(Na,Mn
2+
 
)
 
<1
Zr(H
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
9.CJ.25Baratovite
KCa
 
7
(Ti,Zr)
 
2
Li
 
3
Si
 
12
O
 
36
F
 
2
9.CJ.25Katayamalite
KCa
 
7
Ti
 
2
Li
 
3
Si
 
12
O
 
36
(OH)
 
2
9.CJ.25Aleksandrovite
KCa
 
7
Sn
 
2
Li
 
3
Si
 
12
O
 
36
F
 
2
9.CJ.30Dioptase
CuSiO
 
3
· H
 
2
O
9.CJ.35Kostylevite
K
 
2
Zr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
) · H
 
2
O
9.CJ.40Petarasite
Na
 
5
Zr
 
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)(Cl,OH) · 2H
 
2
O
9.CJ.45Gerenite-(Y)
(Ca,Na)
 
2
(Y,REE)
 
3
Si
 
6
O
 
18
· 2H
 
2
O
9.CJ.50Odintsovite
K
 
2
Na
 
4
Ca
 
3
Ti
 
2
Be
 
4
Si
 
12
O
 
38
9.CJ.55Mathewrogersite
Pb
 
7
FeAl
 
3
GeSi
 
12
O
 
36
(OH,H
 
2
O)
 
6
9.CJ.60Pezzottaite
Cs(Be
 
2
Li)Al
 
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
16.19.1Indialite
Mg
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
5
O
 
18
)
16.19.3Sekaninaite
(Fe,Mg)
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
5
O
 
18
)
16.19.4Ferro-gedrite
☐{Fe
2+
2
}{Fe
2+
3
Al
 
2
}(Al
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
22
)(OH)
 
2
16.19.5Staurolite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Zn)
 
1.5-2
Al
 
9
(SiO
 
4
)
 
4
O
 
6
(OH,O)
 
2
16.19.6Chloritoid
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Al
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O(OH)
 
2
16.19.7Amesite
Mg
 
2
Al(AlSiO
 
5
)(OH)
 
4
16.19.8Corundophilite
(Mg,Fe,Al)
 
6
(Si,Al)
 
4
O
 
10
(OH)
 
8
16.19.9Yoderite
Mg(Al,Fe
3+
 
)
 
3
(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
O(OH)
16.19.10Delessite
(Mg,Fe,Fe,Al)(Si,Al)
 
4
O
 
10
(O,OH)
 
8
16.19.11Ferrocarpholite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)Al
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
6
)(OH)
 
4
16.19.12Magnesiocarpholite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Al
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
6
)(OH)
 
4
16.19.13Chamosite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)
 
5
Al(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
8
16.19.14Orthochamosite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
3+
 
)
 
5
Al(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(OH,O)
 
8
16.19.15Berthierine
(Fe
2+
 
,Fe
3+
 
,AlMg)
 
2-3
((Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
5
)(OH)
 
4
16.19.16Odinite
(Fe,Mg,Al,Fe,Ti,Mn)
 
2.4
((Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
5
)(OH)
 
4
16.19.17Clinochlore
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)
 
5
Al(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
8
16.19.18Gedrite
☐{Mg
 
2
}{Mg
 
3
Al
 
2
}(Al
 
2
Si
 
6
O
 
22
)(OH)
 
2
16.19.19Magnesiogedrite
16.19.20Diabantite
(Mg,Fe,Al)
 
6
((Si,Al)
 
4
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
8
16.19.21Sudoite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
Al
 
3
(AlSi
 
3
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
8
16.19.22Vermiculite
(Mg,Fe,Al)
 
3
((Al,Si)
 
4
O
 
10
)(OH)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
16.19.23Corrensite
(Mg,Fe)
 
9
((Si,Al)
 
8
O
 
20
)(OH)
 
10
· nH
 
2
O

Other Names for Cordierite

Synonyms:
DichroiteEsmarkite (of Berzelius)Hard FahluniteJoliteLazulith (of von Schlotheim)
LuchsapphirLuchssaphirPeliomSpanish LazuliteSteinheilite
TanoliteWater Sapphire
Other Languages:
Basque:Kordierita
Dutch:Cordieriet
Finnish:Kordieriitti
French:Cordiérite
German:Cordierit
Cerasit
Dichroit
Iolit
Iolith
Jolit
Lazulith (of van Schlotheim)
Steinheilit
Wassersaphir
Hebrew:קורדיאריט
Italian:Cordierite
Japanese:菫青石
Persian:کوردیریت
Polish:Kordieryt
Russian:Кордиерит
Simplified Chinese:堇青石
董青石
Spanish:Cerasita
Cordierita
Dichroita
Iolita
Jolita
Steinheilita
Turkish:İyolit
Ukrainian:Кордієрит
Varieties:
Cerasite (of Kikuchi)Iolite

Other Information

Health Warning: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.

Mindat.org articles about Cordierite

Article entries:
The minerals of monte SassettoDiDomenico Dario

Best Localities for Cordierite

Best of Species:Cordierite

Internet Links for Cordierite

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    Localities for Cordierite

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