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Minium

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Formula:
Pb
 
3
O
 
4
System:TetragonalColour:Red, brownish-red, ...
Lustre:Greasy, DullHardness:
Name:A name originally given to cinnabar. The cinnabar was adulterated with red-lead and, in time, the adulterant alone received the name.


A usually bright red lead oxide.
May be confused with litharge (red PbO) and powdery cinnabar.

Classification of Minium

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:4/B.06-50
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:4.BD.05

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
B : Metal: Oxygen = 3:4 and similar
D : With only large cations
Dana 8th edition ID:7.2.8.1

7 : MULTIPLE OXIDES
2 : AB2X4
Hey's CIM Ref.:7.11.22

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
11 : Oxides of Sn and Pb
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Occurrences of Minium

Geological Setting:A rare secondary alteration mineral. Also formed during mine fires.

Physical Properties of Minium

Lustre:Greasy, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Translucent
Colour:Red, brownish-red, yellowish tint at times; red in transmitted light.
Streak:Orange-yellow
Hardness (Mohs):
Density (measured):8.9 - 9.2 g/cm3
Density (calculated):8.92 g/cm3

Crystallography of Minium

Crystal System:Tetragonal
Class (H-M):4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) - Ditetragonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:P42/mbc {P42/m 21/b 2/c}
Cell Parameters:a = 8.811(5) Å, c = 6.563(3) Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 0.745
Unit Cell Volume:V 509.51 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:Massive, earthy, pulverulent. Microscopic crystalline scales.
Comment:On synthetic material.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.38 (100)
3.113 (20)
2.903 (50)
2.787 (45)
2.632 (30)
1.903 (20)
1.775 (30)

Optical Data of Minium

Type:Uniaxial
RI values: n = 2.42
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.000

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Optical Extinction:Extinction parallel, elongation negative
Pleochroism:Strong
Comments:X = deep reddish brown, Z = nearly colourless

Chemical Properties of Minium

Formula:
Pb
 
3
O
 
4
Simplified for copy/paste:Pb3O4
Essential elements:O, Pb
All elements listed in formula:O, Pb

Relationship of Minium to other Species

Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
7.11.1Romarchite
SnO
7.11.2Cassiterite
SnO
 
2
7.11.4Schoenfliesite
Mg[Sn(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.5Burtite
Ca[Sn(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.6Vismirnovite
Zn[Sn(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.7Wickmanite
Mn
2+
 
[Sn(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.8Tetrawickmanite
Mn
2+
 
[Sn
4+
 
(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.9Jeanbandyite
(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)[Sn
4+
 
(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.10Natanite
Fe
2+
 
[Sn(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.11Mushistonite
(Cu,Zn,Fe
2+
 
)[Sn(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.12Ferronigerite-2N1S
Sn(Fe,Mg)Al
 
6
O
 
11
(OH)
7.11.13Magnesionigerite
7.11.14Argutite
GeO
 
2
7.11.15Brunogeierite
Fe
2+
2
Ge
4+
 
O
 
4
7.11.16Stottite
Fe
2+
 
[Ge
4+
 
(OH)
 
6
]
7.11.17Carboirite
FeAl
 
2
(GeO
 
4
)O(OH)
 
2
7.11.18Otjisumeite
PbGe
 
4
O
 
9
7.11.19Bartelkeite
PbFe
2+
 
Ge
 
3
O
 
8
7.11.20Massicot
PbO
7.11.21Litharge
PbO
7.11.23Plattnerite
PbO
 
2
7.11.24Scrutinyite
alpha-PbO
 
2
7.11.25Murdochite
PbCu
 
6
O
 
8-x
(Cl,Br)
 
2x
where x<=0.5
7.11.26Macedonite
PbTiO
 
3
7.11.27Cesàrolite
Pb(Mn
4+
 
)
 
3
O
 
6
(OH)
 
2
7.11.28Coronadite
Pb(Mn
4+
6
Mn
3+
2
)O
 
16
7.11.29Quenselite
PbMnO
 
2
(OH)
7.11.30Plumboferrite
Pb
 
2
Fe
3+
11-x
Mn
2+
x
O
 
19-2x
, x = 1/3
7.11.31Magnetoplumbite
(Pb,Mn)(Fe,Mn)
 
12
O
 
19
7.11.32Senaite
Pb(Ti,Fe,Mn)
 
21
O
 
38

Other Names for Minium

Synonyms:
MinioRed Lead
Other Languages:
German:Mennige
Minium (Synonym)
Russian:Сурик
Simplified Chinese:铅丹
铅华

Other Information

Health Warning:Contains lead - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest.

References for Minium

Reference List:

- +
Darbyshire (1932), Journal Chem. Soc. London: 211.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Seventh edition, Volume I: 517-519.

Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Abhandlungen (1960): 94: 1187.

Internet Links for Minium

Search Engines:
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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Minium details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
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  • Search for Minium on Well-Arranged Molecules
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  • Buy from David K Joyce minerals
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  • rare and unusual minerals mainly crystallized
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  • Fine Minerals from Weinrich Minerals, Inc.
  • Specimens:The following Minium specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Minium

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