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Gibbsite

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Formula:
Al(OH)
 
3
System:MonoclinicColour:White, light gray, light ...
Hardness:2½ - 3
Name:
Named by John Torrey in 1822 in honor of Colonel George Gibbs [January 7, 1777 Newport, RI - August 5, 1834 Sunswick Farms, NY], of Newport, Rhode Island, USA. Gibbs was a wealthy import merchant who was a geologist and mineralogist. He helped found early scientific societies for mineralogy and geology and wrote several scientific articles on geology, mineralogy, and agriculture. He amassed the finest mineral collection in the USA up to the 1810s and the collection was eventually purchased by Yale University where it was an excellent nucleus for it research and museum collection.
Polymorph of:Bayerite, Doyleite, Nordstrandite


Commonly as nodular white masses in laterite.

Classification of Gibbsite

IMA status:Approved
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/F.02-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:4.FE.10

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
F : Hydroxides (without V or U)
E : Hydroxides with OH, without H2O; sheets of edge-sharing octahedra
Dana 8th edition ID:6.3.1.1

6 : HYDROXIDES AND OXIDES CONTAINING HYDROXYL
3 : X(OH)3
Hey's CIM Ref.:7.6.4

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
6 : Oxides of Al
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Type Occurrence of Gibbsite

Type Locality:Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, USA
Year of Discovery:1822
Geological Setting of type material:Bog iron deposit.
Associated Minerals at type locality:
LimoniteGoethite

Physical Properties of Gibbsite

Lustre:Vitreous, Sub-Vitreous, Pearly, Dull, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:White, light gray, light green, reddish white; reddish yellow (impure)
Comment:Ideally white; colored by mineral mixtures
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):2½ - 3
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
{001}, but rarely observed because of its fine-grained nature.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven
Density (measured):2.38 - 2.42 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.44 g/cm3

Crystallography of Gibbsite

Crystal System:Monoclinic
Class (H-M):2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:P21/b {P1 1 21/b} {P21/c} {P1 21/c 1} {P21/a}
Cell Parameters:a = 8.65Å, b = 5.07Å, c = 9.7Å
β = 94.2°
Ratio:a:b:c = 1.706 : 1 : 1.913
Unit Cell Volume:V 424.26 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:8
Morphology:Almost always earthy and nodular; rare crystals tabular {001}, with {100} and (110} usually well-developed.
Twinning:1. About [130] as twin axis, very common. 2. On {001}, common, usually in combination with other twin laws. 3. On {100}, uncommon. 4. Rare on {110}
Comment:Space group P21/n
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
4.853 (100)
4.380 (36)
4.328 (18)
2.456 (12)
2.389 (16)
2.052 (12)
1.8074 (10)
Comments:Also ICDD 33-18 synthetic

Optical Data of Gibbsite

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.568 - 1.570 nβ = 1.568 - 1.570 nγ = 1.586 - 1.587
Birefringence:0.018
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 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 or r < v
Optical Extinction:Y^c = 69° X = b
Pleochroism:Non-pleochroic

Chemical Properties of Gibbsite

Formula:
Al(OH)
 
3
Simplified for copy/paste:Al(OH)3
Essential elements:Al, H, O
All elements listed in formula:Al, H, O
Common Impurities:Fe,Ga

Relationship of Gibbsite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
4.FE.05Amakinite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)(OH)
 
2
4.FE.05Brucite
Mg(OH)
 
2
4.FE.05Portlandite
Ca(OH)
 
2
4.FE.05Pyrochroite
Mn(OH)
 
2
4.FE.05Theophrastite
Ni(OH)
 
2
4.FE.10Bayerite
Al(OH)
 
3
4.FE.10Doyleite
Al(OH)
 
3
4.FE.10Nordstrandite
Al(OH)
 
3
4.FE.15Böhmite
AlO(OH)
4.FE.15Lepidocrocite
γ-Fe
3+
 
O(OH)
4.FE.20Grimaldiite
CrO(OH)
4.FE.20Heterogenite
CoO(OH)
4.FE.25Feitknechtite
Mn
3+
 
O(OH)
4.FE.25Lithiophorite
(Al,Li)MnO
 
2
(OH)
 
2
4.FE.30Quenselite
PbMnO
 
2
(OH)
4.FE.35Ferrihydrite
Fe
3+
5
O
 
3
(OH)
 
9
4.FE.40Feroxyhyte
Fe
3+
 
O(OH)
4.FE.40Vernadite
(Mn
4+
 
,Fe
3+
 
,Ca,Na)(O,OH)
 
2
· nH
 
2
O
4.FE.45Quetzalcoatlite
Zn
 
6
Cu
 
3
(TeO
 
6
)
 
2
(OH)
 
6
· Ag
 
x
Pb
 
y
Cl
 
x+2y
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
7.6.1Corundum
Al
 
2
O
 
3
7.6.2Böhmite
AlO(OH)
7.6.2Diaspore
AlO(OH)
7.6.5Bayerite
Al(OH)
 
3
7.6.6Nordstrandite
Al(OH)
 
3
7.6.7Doyleite
Al(OH)
 
3
7.6.8Akdalaite
4Al
 
2
O
 
3
· H
 
2
O

Other Names for Gibbsite

Synonyms:
b-KliachiteClausseniteGibbsite (of Torrey)GibbsitogeliteHydrargillite (of Cleaveland)
Wavellite (of Dewey)Zirlite
Other Languages:
Catalan:Gibbsita
Dutch:Gibbsiet
French:Gibbsite
German:Gibbsit
Claussenit
Gibbsitogelit
Italian:Gibbsite
Japanese:ギブス石
Polish:Gibbsyt
Portuguese:Gibbsita
Russian:Гиббсит
Simplified Chinese:三水铝石
Spanish:b-Kliachita
Claussenita
Gibbsita
Gibbsitogelita
Traditional Chinese:三水鋁石
Ukrainian:Гібсит

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Not fluorescent.
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 Gibbsite

Reference List:

- +
Dewey (1820), American Journal of Science: 2: 249 (as wavellite).

Torrey (1822), New York. Med. Phys. Journal: 1, no. 1: 68.

Rose (1839), Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 48: 564 (as hydrargillite).

Megaw (1934), Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 87: 185.

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: 663-667.

Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Supplement 4 (1991): 316.

Internet Links for Gibbsite

Search Engines:
  • Look for Gibbsite on Google
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  • External Links:
  • Look for Gibbsite on Webmineral
  • Look for Gibbsite on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Gibbsite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Gibbsite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Gibbsite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Buy from David K Joyce minerals
  • rare and unusual minerals mainly crystallized
  • Buy RARE Minerals from Rocks of Africa
  • Fine minerals from bisbeeborn.com
  • Top quality minerals from Kristalle of California
  • Wilensky Fine Minerals
  • Search for Gibbsite on Well-Arranged Molecules
  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
  • Mineral Classics - Worldwide Collector Quality Minerals and Gems
  • Fabre Minerals - search for Gibbsite specimens
  • Rare and Unusual minerals at Mineralogical Research Company
  • Find Gibbsite on www.crystalclassics.co.uk
  • Specimens:The following Gibbsite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Gibbsite

    The 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.
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