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Altaite

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Formula:
PbTe
System:
Isometric
Colour:
Tin-white with a light ...
Hardness:
2 - 3
Member of:
Name:
After the discovery locality: Zavodinsk, Rudny Altai, Kazakhstan.

Classification of Altaite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
2.CD.10

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
C : Metal Sulfides, M: S = 1: 1 (and similar)
D : With Sn, Pb, Hg, etc.
2.8.1.3

2 : SULFIDES
8 : AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
3.6.7

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
6 : Sulphides etc. of Sb and Pb
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First Recorded Occurrence of Altaite

Year of Discovery:
1845

Occurrences of Altaite

Geological Setting:
Typically in hydrothermal vein Au–Te-bearing deposits.

Physical Properties of Altaite

Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Tin-white with a light yellow tint; yellow-brown, blue (tarnished)
Comment:
Handbook of Mineralogy: tarnishes bronze; in polished section, white with a delicate greenish hue
Streak:
Black
Hardness (Mohs):
2 - 3
Hardness (Vickers):
VHN100=47 - 53
Tenacity:
Sectile
Cleavage:
Perfect
on {001}
Fracture:
Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
8.19 g/cm3 (Measured)    8.27 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Altaite

Crystal System:
Isometric
Class (H-M):
m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:
Fm3m
Space Group Setting:
Fm3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.439Å
Unit Cell Volume:
V 266.97 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Rarely in very small cubes and octahedra; massive, as cleavages, to 1 cm; granular, myrmekitic in other sulfides.

Crystallographic forms of Altaite

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Altaite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Altaite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Toggle
Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

View
Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.23 (100)
2.29 (80)
1.859 (30)
1.610 (20)
1.443 (50)
1.314 (40)
1.074 (20)

Optical Data of Altaite

Type:
Isotropic
Reflectivity:
400nmR=59.6%
420nmR=62.6%
440nmR=65.2%
460nmR=67.5%
480nmR=69.3%
500nmR=70.6%
520nmR=71.2%
540nmR=71.1%
560nmR=70.1%
580nmR=68.7%
600nmR=66.8%
620nmR=65.1%
640nmR=63.4%
660nmR=61.9%
680nmR=60.6%
700nmR=59.4%

Reflectance graph
Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Top of box is 100%. Peak reflectance is 71.2%.
Colour in reflected light:
White with greenish hue

Chemical Properties of Altaite

Formula:
PbTe
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Campbell mine, Bisbee, Arizona, USA.
Pb (62.4)
Cu (0.4)
Bi (0.2)
Te (37.2)
Total (100.2)
Common Impurities:
Ag,Au,Cu,Fe,Se,S

Relationship of Altaite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
AlabanditeMnS
ClausthalitePbSe
GalenaPbS
Niningerite(Mg,Fe2+,Mn2+)S
Oldhamite(Ca,Mg)S
2.CD.05Herzenbergite(Sn,Pb)SnS2
2.CD.05Teallite(Pb,Sn)SnS2
2.CD.10AlabanditeMnS
2.CD.10ClausthalitePbSe
2.CD.10GalenaPbS
2.CD.10Niningerite(Mg,Fe2+,Mn2+)S
2.CD.10Oldhamite(Ca,Mg)S
2.CD.10Keilite(Fe2+,Mg)S
2.CD.15aCinnabarHgS
2.CD.15bHypercinnabarHgS
3.6.1Herzenbergite(Sn,Pb)SnS2
3.6.2Ottemannitebeta Sn2S3
3.6.3BerndtiteSnS2
3.6.4StistaiteSnSb
3.6.5GalenaPbS
3.6.6ClausthalitePbSe
3.6.8Furutobeite(Cu,Ag)6PbS4
3.6.9AschamalmitePb6Bi2S9
3.6.10Betekhtinite(Cu,Fe)21Pb2S15
3.6.11Shadlunite(Pb,Cd)(Fe,Cu)8S8

Other Names for Altaite

Name in Other Languages:
Russian:Алтаит
Simplified Chinese:碲铅矿
Spanish:Altaita

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 Altaite

Reference List:
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 205-206.

American Mineralogist (1949): 34: 342.

Internet Links for Altaite

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

Localities for Altaite

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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