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Alstonite

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Formula:
BaCa(CO3)2
System:
Triclinic
Colour:
Colourless to snow ...
Hardness:
4 - 4½
Name:
After the original locality near Alston, England.
Alstonite-Barytocalcite Group

A low-temperature hydrothermal mineral.

Classification of Alstonite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
5.AB.35

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates
14.2.5.1

14 : ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
2 : AB(XO3)2
11.5.4

11 : Carbonates
5 : Carbonates of Sr and Ba
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http://www.mindat.org/min-146.html
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First Recorded Occurrence of Alstonite

Place of Conservation of First Recorded Material:
Mining Academy, Freiberg, Germany, 15818.
Year of Discovery:
1841
Geological Setting of First Recorded Material:
Low-temperature hydrothermal deposit.
Associated Minerals at First Recorded Locality:

Occurrences of Alstonite

Geological Setting:
Typically in low-temperature hydrothermal Pb–Zn deposits; rare in carbonatites.

Physical Properties of Alstonite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Colourless to snow white, yellow-gray; pale gray, pale cream, pink to pale rose-red
Comment:
may fade on exposure to light; colorless in transmitted light, showing six or twelve domains
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
4 - 4½
Cleavage:
Imperfect/Fair
On pseudo-orthorhombic {110}, imperfect
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven
Density:
3.67 - 3.711 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.67 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Alstonite

Crystal System:
Triclinic
Cell Parameters:
a = 17.38Å, b = 14.4Å, c = 6.12Å
α = 90.35°, β = 90.12°, γ = 120.08°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.207 : 1 : 0.425
Morphology:
Crystals are pseudo-dihexagonal dipyramids formed by repeated twinning of individuals bounded by {111} and {021}; also as acute dipyramids bounded by {221}. The evident dipyramidal faces are strongly striated horizontally (perpendicular to pseudohexagonal [0001]) and are divided vertically by a medial, slightly reentrant twinning line parallel to the pseudohexagonal [0001].

Twinning:
Common on pseudo-orthorhombic {110} and {301}, forming the pseudohexagonal groups.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.55 (100)
2.835 (10)
2.507 (35)
2.050 (23)
1.941 (19)
1.846 (15)
1.589 (8)
Comments:
Powder pattern essentially identical to that of paralstonite.

Optical Data of Alstonite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.526 nβ = 1.671 nγ = 1.672
2V:
Measured: 6° , Calculated: 8°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.146
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
High
Dispersion:
r > v weak

Chemical Properties of Alstonite

Formula:
BaCa(CO3)2
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Alstonite to other Species

5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3
5.AB.05Gaspéite(Ni,Mg,Fe)CO3
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3
5.AB.05RhodochrositeMnCO3
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCa(Mn,Mg,Fe)(CO3)2
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.40OlekminskiteSr(Sr,Ca,Ba)(CO3)2
5.AB.40ParalstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2
5.AB.55Benstonite(Ba,Sr)6(Ca,Mn)6Mg(CO3)13
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2
11.5.1StrontianiteSrCO3
11.5.2WitheriteBaCO3
11.5.3NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2
11.5.5ParalstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
11.5.6BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2
11.5.7Benstonite(Ba,Sr)6(Ca,Mn)6Mg(CO3)13

Other Names for Alstonite

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Weak yellow fluorescence (SW & LW UV).
Other Information:
Soluble in dilute HCl.
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 Alstonite

Reference List:
Johnston (1835) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 6: 1 (as Barytocalcite).

Thomson (1835) Records of General Science, London: 1: 373 (as Bicalcareocarbonate of Barytes).

Johnston (1837) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 10: 373.

Thomson (1837) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 11: 45, 48.

Breithaupt, A. (1841) Vollständige Handbuch der Mineralogie, Vol. 2: 255 (as Alstonite).

Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 698.

Becker (1886) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 12: 222.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 284.

Kreutz (1909) Bulletin of the Academy of Science, Krakow: 771.

Spencer (1910) Mineralogical Magazine: 15: 302.

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 1: 9.

Hintze, Carl (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3096.

Gossner and Mussgnug (1930) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 220.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 218-219.

Lithos (1975): 8: 199.

Internet Links for Alstonite

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

Localities for Alstonite

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.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
Australia
 
  • Tasmania
    • Rosebery district
      • Rosebery
SUTHERLAND, F. L. and BOTTRILL, R.S., 2004. Zeolites of western Tasmania. Australian Jnl. Mineralogy, 10, 59-72
Austria
 
  • Styria
    • Weiz
Carinthia II (2012)
Brazil
 
  • Santa Catarina
    • Anitápolis
Comin-Chiaramonti, P., de Barros Gomes, C., Castorina, F., di Censi, P., Antonini, P., Furtado, S., ... & Scheibe, L. F. (2008). Geochemistry and geodynamic implications of the Anitápolis and Lages alkaline-carbonatite complexes, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Geology, 32(1), 43-58.
China
 
  • Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
    • Baotou League (Baotou Prefecture)
      • Bayan Obo Mining District
        • Bayan Obo
Zhang Peishan, Yang Zhuming, Tao Kejie, and Yang Xueming (1996): Mineralogy and Geology of Rare Earths in China. Science Press (Beijing), pp. 226.
Finland
 
  • Lapland Region
    • Savukoski
      • Tulppio
Lee, M. J., Lee, J. I., Garcia, D., Moutte, J., Williams, C. T., Wall, F., & Kim, Y. (2006). Pyrochlore chemistry from the Sokli phoscorite-carbonatite complex, Finland: Implications for the genesis of phoscorite and carbonatite association. GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL-JAPAN-, 40(1), 1.
Greenland
 
  • Qeqqata
    • Maniitsoq (Sukkertoppen)
Petersen, O. V. and Secher, K. (1993): The minerals of Greenland, The Mineralogical Record, Vol. 24(2), 1-65
Namibia
 
  • Karas Region
    • Lüderitz District
      • Rosh Pinah
Bezing, L. von, Bode, R. & Jahn, S. (2007): Namibia. Minerals and Localities. Edition Schloss Freudenstein, Bode Verlag, Haltern, 395 pp. (in English)
Russia
 
  • Northern Region
    • Murmanskaja Oblast'
      • Kola Peninsula
www.koeln.netsurf.de/~w.steffens/khib.htm
Sorokhtina, N.V., Chukanov, N.V., Voloshin, A.V., Pakhomovsky, Y.A., Bogdanova, A.N., and Moiseev, M.M. (2008): Geology of Ore Deposits 50(7), 620-628.
      • Northern Karelia
www.koeln.netsurf.de/~w.steffens/vuori.htm; Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
UK
 
  • England
    • Co. Durham
      • Durham Coalfield
        • Deerness Valley
Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219.; L. J. Spencer (1910) On the Occurrence of Alstonite and Ullmannite (A Species New to Britain) in a Barytes-Witherite Vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery Near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine 15:302-311
    • Cumbria
      • North and Western Region (Cumberland)
        • North Pennines
          • Alston Moor District
            • Nent Valley
BMS Database
            • Nenthead
Hall, T.M. (1868): The Mineralogist's Directory. Edward Stanford (London), 168 pp.; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219; Lithos 8 (1975), 199; BMS Collection
    • Derbyshire
Ford, T., A. Sarjeant & M. Smith (1993): The minerals of the Peak district of Derbyshire. UK Jour. Mines & Minerals 13, 16-55.
    • Northumberland
      • Tyne Valley
        • Hexham
          • Acomb
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: vi, 1 and xi, 45; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219.; L. J. Spencer (1910) On the Occurrence of Alstonite and Ullmannite (A Species New to Britain) in a Barytes-Witherite Vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery Near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine 15:302-311
  • Wales
    • Powys (Radnorshire)
      • Old Radnor
        • Wethel
T.F. Cotterell : "The mineralogy of Dolyhir quarry, Old Radnor, Powys, Wales, U.K. - a major new mineralogical site in Wales", 5th International Conference "Mineralogy & Museums", Paris, Sept. 5-8th 2004, Bull. de Liaison de la Soc. Franç. de Minéralogie et Cristallographie, 2004, Vol 16, N°2.; Cotterell TF et al (2011) The mineralogy of Dolyhir quarry, Old Radnor. Powys, Wales. UKJMM 32:5-61
    • Rhondda-Cynon-Taff (Mid Glamorgan; Glamorgan)
      • Llantrisant
Alabaster, C. 1990. Alstonite and barytocalcite from Llantrisant, South Wales and barytocalcite from Holwell, Mendip Hills, England. Journal of the Russell Society, 3, 1-6.
M.Wirth collection
USA
 
  • Illinois
    • Hardin Co.
      • Illinois - Kentucky Fluorspar District
        • Cave-in-Rock Sub-District
Rossman, G. R. and Squires, R. L. (1974) The occurence of alstonite at Cave in Rock, Illinois. Mineralogical Record 5: 266-269; Rocks & Minerals: 63: 214.; ; Mineralogical Record (1997) 28:3-49
  • Wyoming
    • Sweetwater Co.
      • Green River Formation
Am Min 26:646-650
Mineral and/or Locality  
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