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Leucite

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Formula:
K(AlSi2O6)
System:
Tetragonal
Colour:
White, grey
Hardness:
5½ - 6
Member of:
Name:
From the Greek "leucos," for white, in allusion to its common colour.
Leucite is common in some volcanic rocks in which it crystallises with a cubic crystal structure at high temperature (ca. 900°C). Upon cooling to 700-600°C, it transforms into a tetragonal modification which is stable at room temperature, and forms characteristic polysynthetic twin lamellae. The transformation is reversible.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Leucite.

Classification of Leucite

Approved
9.GB.05

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
G : Tektosilicates with zeolitic H2O; zeolite family
B : Chains of single connected 4-membered rings
76.2.2.1

76 : TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
2 : Al-Si Framework Feldspathoids and related species
16.3.4

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
3 : Aluminosilicates of K
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First Recorded Occurrence of Leucite

Year of Discovery:
1791

Occurrences of Leucite

Geological Setting:
Potasium rich mafic and ultramafic lavas.

Physical Properties of Leucite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
White, grey
Hardness (Mohs):
5½ - 6
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Poor/Indistinct
Very poor om {110}
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
2.45 - 2.5 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.46 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Leucite

Crystal System:
Tetragonal
Class (H-M):
4/m - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
I41/a
Cell Parameters:
a = 13.056Å, c = 13.751Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 1.053
Unit Cell Volume:
V 2,343.98 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
16
Morphology:
Euhedral pseudocubic crystals
Twinning:
Common, repeated on {110} and {101}, from two complex displacive phase transformations during cooling.

Crystallographic forms of Leucite

Crystal Atlas:
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Leucite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Leucite no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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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 Leucite

Type:
Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.508 nε = 1.509
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.001
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Comments:
May be anomalously biaxial.

Chemical Properties of Leucite

Formula:
K(AlSi2O6)
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Ti,Fe,Mg,Ca,Ba,Na,Rb,Cs,H2O

Relationship of Leucite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
AlflarseniteNaCa2Be3Si4O13(OH) · 2H2O
AmiciteK2Na2Al4Si4O16 · 5H2O
Ammonioleucite(NH4,K)(AlSi2O6)
AnalcimeNa2(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
Barrerite(Na,K,Ca0.5)2[Al2Si7O18] · 7H2O
Beaumontite (of Lévy)
Bellbergite(K,Ba,Sr)2Sr2Ca2(Ca,Na)4[Al3Si3O12]6 · 30H2O
BikitaiteLiAlSi2O6 · H2O
BoggsiteCa8Na3(Si,Al)96O192 · 70H2O
Brewsterite
Brewsterite-Ba(Ba,Sr)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Brewsterite-Sr(Sr,Ba,Ca)[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
Chabazite-Ca(Ca,K2,Na2)2[Al2Si4O12]2 · 12H2O
Chabazite-K(K2,Ca,Na2,Sr,Mg)2[Al2Si4O12]2 · 12H2O
Chabazite-Levyne Subgroup
Chabazite-Mg(Mg0.7K0.5Ca0.5Na0.1)[Al3Si9O24]·10H2O
Chabazite-Na(Na2,K2,Ca,Sr,Mg)2[Al2Si4O12]2 · 12H2O
Chabazite-SrSr2[Al2Si4O12]2 · 12H2O
ChiavenniteCaMnBe2Si5O13(OH)2 · 2H2O
Clinoptilolite-Ca(Ca,Na,K)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
Clinoptilolite-K(K,Na,Ca)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
Clinoptilolite-Na(Na,K,Ca)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
CowlesiteCaAl2Si3O10 · 6H2O
Dachiardite-Ca(Ca,Na2,K2)5Al10Si38O96 · 25H2O
Dachiardite-Na(Na2,Ca,K2)5Al10Si38O96 · 25H2O
DirenzoiteNaK6MgCa2(Al13Si47O120) · 36H2O
EdingtoniteBa[Al2Si3O10] · 4H2O
EpistilbiteCaAl2Si6O16 · 5H2O
Erionite-Ca(Ca,K2,Na2)2[Al4Si14O36] · 15H2O
Erionite-K(K2,Ca,Na2)2[Al4Si14O36] · 15H2O
Erionite-Na(Na2,K2,Ca)2[Al4Si14O36] · 15H2O
Faujasite Subgroup
Faujasite-Ca(Ca,Na2,Mg)3.5[Al7Si17O48] · 32H2O
Faujasite-Mg(Mg,Na2,Ca)3.5[Al7Si17O48] · 32H2O
Faujasite-Na(Na2,Ca,Mg)3.5[Al7Si17O48] · 32H2O
Ferrierite
Ferrierite-K(K2,Na2,Mg,Ca)3-5Mg[Al5-7Si27.5-31O72] · 18H2O
Ferrierite-Mg(Mg,Na2,K2,Ca)3-5Mg[Al5-7Si27.5-31O72] · 18H2O
Ferrierite-Na(Na2,K2,Mg,Ca)3-5Mg[Al5-7Si27.5-31O72] · 18H2O
FerrochiavenniteCa1-2Fe[(Si,Al,Be)5Be2O13(OH)2]•2H2O
Flörkeite(K3Ca2Na)[Al8Si8O32] · 12H2O
GarroniteNa2Ca5Al12Si20O64 · 27H2O
GaultiteNa4Zn2Si7O18 · 5H2O
Gismondine
Gismondine-BaBa2Al4Si4O16 · 4-6H2O
Gismondine-CaCaAl2Si2O8 · 4H2O
Gmelinite
Gmelinite-Ca(Ca,Na2)[Al2Si4O12] · 6H2O
Gmelinite-K(K2,Na2,Ca)[Al2Si4O12] · 6H2O
Gmelinite-Na(Na2,Ca)[Al2Si4O12] · 6H2O
GobbinsiteNa4(Ca,Mg,K2)Al6Si10O32 · 12H2O
Gonnardite(Na,Ca)2(Si,Al)5O10 · 3H2O
GoosecreekiteCa[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
GottardiiteNa3Mg3Ca5Al19Si117O272 · 93H2O
Harmotome(Ba0.5,Ca0.5,K,Na)5[Al5Si11O32] · 12H2O
Heulandite-Ba(Ba,Ca,K,Na,Sr)5Al9Si27O72 · 22H2O
Heulandite-Ca(Ca,Na)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
Heulandite-K(K,Na,Ca)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
Heulandite-Na(Na,Ca)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
Heulandite-Sr(Sr,Na,Ca)2-3Al3(Al,Si)2Si13O36 · 12H2O
HsianghualiteCa3Li2(Be3Si3O12)F2
KirchhoffiteCs(BSi2O6)
LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
Lévyne
Lévyne-Ca(Ca,Na2,K2)[Al2Si4O12] · 6H2O
Lévyne-Na(Na2,Ca,K2)[Al2Si4O12] · 6H2O
LovdariteK2Na6Be4Si14O36•9H2O
MaricopaitePb7Ca2(Si,Al)48O100 · 32H2O
Mazzite-Mg(Mg,K,Ca)5(Si26Al10)O72 · 28H2O
Mazzite-NaNa8[Al4Si14O36]2 · 30H2O
Merlinoite(K,Na)5(Ca,Ba)2Al9Si23O64 · 23H2O
MesoliteNa2Ca2Si9Al6O30 · 8H2O
Montesommaite(K,Na)9Al9Si23O64 · 10H2O
Mordenite(Na2,Ca,K2)Al2Si10O24 · 7H2O
MutinaiteNa3Ca4Si85Al11O192 · 60H2O
NabesiteNa2BeSi4O10 · 4H2O
NatroliteNa2Al2Si3O10 · 2H2O
Natrolite Subgroup
OffretiteKCaMgAl5Si13O36 · 16H2O or near
PahasapaiteLi8(Ca,Li,K)10.5Be24(PO4)24 · 38H2O
ParanatroliteNa2Al2Si3O10 · 3H2O
ParthéiteCaAl2Si2O8 · 2H2O
Paulingite
Paulingite-Ca(Ca,K2,Na2,Ba)5[Al10Si35O90] · 45H2O
Paulingite-K(K2,Ca,Na2,Ba)5[Al10Si35O90] · 45H2O
Paulingite-Na(Na2,K2,Ca,Ba)5[Al10Si35O90] · 45H2O
PerlialiteK9Na(Ca,Sr)[Al2Si4O12]6 · 15H2O
Phillipsite-Ca(Ca0.5,K,Na,Ba0.5)4-7[Al4-7Si12-9O32 . 12H2O
Phillipsite-K(K,Na,Ca0.5,Ba0.5)4-7[Al4-7Si12-9O32] . 12H2O
Phillipsite-Na(Na,K,Ca0.5,Ba0.5)4-7[Al4-7Si12-9O32] · 12H2O
Pollucite(Cs,Na)2(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
RoggianiteCa2Be(OH)2Al2Si4O13 · 2.5H2O
ScoleciteCaAl2Si3O10 · 3H2O
StelleriteCa4(Si28Al8)O72 · 28H2O
Stilbite-CaNaCa4[Al9Si27O72] · nH2O
Stilbite-Na(Na,Ca,K)6-7[Al8Si28O72] · nH2O
StrontiohurlbutiteSrBe2(PO4)2
Terranovaite(Na,Ca)8(Si68Al12)O160 · 29H2O
Tetranatrolite
Thomsonite-CaNaCa2[Al5Si5O20] · 6H2O
Thomsonite-SrNa(Sr,Ca)2[Al5Si5O20] · 7H2O
Tschernichite(Ca,Na2)[Al2Si4O12] · 4-8H2O
TschörtneriteCa4(Ca,Sr,K,Ba)3Cu3[(OH)2|Al3Si3O12]4 · nH2O
WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
WeinebeneiteCaBe3(PO4)2(OH)2 · 4H2O
Wenkite(Ba,K)4(Ca,Na)6[(SO4)3|(Si,Al)20O39(OH)2] · 0.5H2O
WillhendersoniteKCa[Al3Si3O12] · 5H2O
YugawaraliteCaAl2Si6O16 · 4H2O
9.GB.05Ammonioleucite(NH4,K)(AlSi2O6)
9.GB.05AnalcimeNa2(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
9.GB.05HsianghualiteCa3Li2(Be3Si3O12)F2
9.GB.05LithositeK6Al4Si8O25 · 2H2O
9.GB.05Pollucite(Cs,Na)2(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
9.GB.05WairakiteCa(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
9.GB.05KirchhoffiteCs(BSi2O6)
9.GB.10LaumontiteCaAl2Si4O12 · 4H2O
9.GB.15YugawaraliteCaAl2Si6O16 · 4H2O
9.GB.20RoggianiteCa2Be(OH)2Al2Si4O13 · 2.5H2O
9.GB.25GoosecreekiteCa[Al2Si6O16] · 5H2O
9.GB.30Montesommaite(K,Na)9Al9Si23O64 · 10H2O
9.GB.35ParthéiteCaAl2Si2O8 · 2H2O
16.3.1LithositeK6Al4Si8O25 · 2H2O
16.3.2KaliophiliteKAlSiO4
16.3.3KalsiliteKAlSiO4
16.3.5MicroclineKAlSi3O8
16.3.6OrthoclaseKAlSi3O8
16.3.7SanidineKAlSi3O8
16.3.8MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2

Other Names for Leucite

Name in Other Languages:
Dutch:Leuciet
Hebrew:לוסיט
Italian:Leucite
Polish:Leucyt
Russian:Лейцит
Simplified Chinese:白榴石
Spanish:Leucita
Swedish:Leucit

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 Leucite

Reference List:
Klaproth, M.H. (1797): Untersuchung des Leucit, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Zweiter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 39-59

von Buch, L. (1800): Über die Formation des Leucits. Annalen der Physik, Vol. 6, 53-66.

Onorato, E. (1938): Ricerche roentgenografiche sulla leucite. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma, 85-97.

American Mineralogist (1976): 61: 108-115.

Mineralogical Record: 30: 5-6.

Hatch, D.M., Ghose, S., Stokes, H.T. (1990): Phase transitions in leucite, KAlSi2O6. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 17, 220–227.

American Mineralogist (1993): 78: 486.

Phillips, B.L. and Kirkpatrick, R.J. (1994) Short-range Al-Si order in leucite and analcime: determination of the configurational entropy from 27Al and variable-temperature 29Si NMR spectroscopy of leucite, its Cs- and Rb-exchanged derivatives, and analcime. American Mineralogist: 79: 1025-1031.

Internet Links for Leucite

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

Localities for Leucite

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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