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Aragonite

This page kindly sponsored by Joseph H. Diamond
Formula:
CaCO3
System:
Orthorhombic
Colour:
Colorless to white or ...
Lustre:
Vitreous, Resinous
Hardness:
3½ - 4
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1797 by Abrahan Gottlieb Werner for the type locality, the village of Molina de Aragón, Spain, and not the province of Aragón, a mistake made by several later writers.
Polymorph of:
Aragonite Group.
The Ca analogue of strontianite.

The principal member of the Aragonite Group, aragonite is the second most common polymorph of natural calcium carbonate (the most common is calcite). It is significantly less widespread and abundant than calcite and is formed under a much narrower range of physio-chemical conditions. It is metastable relative to calcite and often converts to calcite accompanying changes in environment. It is nearly always a low-temperature, near surface mineral.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Aragonite.

Classification of Aragonite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
5.AB.15

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates
Dana 7th ed.:
14.1.3.1
11.4.2

11 : Carbonates
4 : Carbonates of Ca
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Type Occurrence of Aragonite

Occurrences of Aragonite

Geological Setting:
As speleothemes in limestone caves; as pisolites, sinters and massive lamellar deposits at geysers and hot springs; as seafloor oolites; with siderite in iron deposits; with calcite and dolomite and other magnesium minerals in altered serpentinites, dunites and peridotites; and as a replacement mineral in various rock types and ore deposits, formed from low-temperature and pressure aqueous solutions.

Physical Properties of Aragonite

Vitreous, Resinous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Colorless to white or grey, often stained various hues by impurities, such as blue, green, red or violet; colourless in transmitted light.
Streak:
Uncolored/white.
Hardness (Mohs):
3½ - 4
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Distinct/Good
On {010} distinct; On {110} and {011} very indistinct.
Fracture:
Sub-Conchoidal
Density:
2.947 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.944 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Aragonite

Crystal System:
Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.95Å, b = 7.96Å, c = 5.74Å
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.622 : 1 : 0.721
Unit Cell Volume:
V 226.17 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
4
Morphology:
Short to long prismatic [100], sometimes flattened {010}; acicular, often with steep pyramidal or domatic terminations; or tabular {001}; also stalactic, columnar, in stellate or radiating aggregates, and fibrous crusts of tiny acicular crystals.
Twinning:
Single crystals are typically twinned cyclically on {110} producing pseudo-hexagonal aggregates of contact and penetration twins. Polysynthetic twinning produces lamellae or fine striations parallel to [100].

Crystallographic forms of Aragonite

Crystal Atlas:
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Aragonite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.5 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.36 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.37 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.55 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.109 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.112 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.197 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Aragonite no.238 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Dal Negro A Ungaretti L (1971) Refinement of the crystal structure of aragonite. American Mineralogist 56:768-772.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
Epitaxi Comments:
Mutual orientation in certain calcite pseudomorphs after aragonite. Also in aragonite pseudomorphs after gypsum, with aragonite {010}[001] parallel to the gypsum {010}[001].
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.40(100)
3.27(50)
2.70(60)
2.48(40)
2.37(50)
2.34(30)
2.33(30)
1.977(60)

Optical Data of Aragonite

Type:
Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.529 - 1.530 nβ = 1.680 - 1.682 nγ = 1.685 - 1.686
2V:
Measured: 18° to 19°, Calculated: 16° to 18°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.156
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
High
Dispersion:
weak

Chemical Properties of Aragonite

Formula:
CaCO3
All elements listed in formula:
CAS Registry number:
471-34-1

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society
Common Impurities:
Sr,Pb,Zn

Relationship of Aragonite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3
5.AB.05GaspéiteNi(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.15CerussitePbCO3
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.35AlstoniteBaCa(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.55BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2
11.4.1CalciteCaCO3
11.4.3VateriteCaCO3
11.4.4MonohydrocalciteCaCO3 · H2O
11.4.5IkaiteCaCO3 · 6H2O
11.4.6DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
11.4.7HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4
11.4.8SergeeviteCa2Mg11(CO3)9(HCO3)4(OH)4•6H2O

Other Names for Aragonite

Other Information

Pale rose, yellow, white or bluish, with greenish or white phosphorescence (LW UV); yellowish (SW UV).
Thermal Behaviour:
Begins to convert to calcite at about 400° when heated in dry air.

Thermoluminescent.
Other Information:
Readily soluble in dilute acids with effervescence.
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 Aragonite

Reference List:
Davila, M. (1767) Catalogue syst. et raisonné des curiosités de la nature et de l’art qui composent de cabinet de M. Davila. 3 volumes, Paris: 2: 50, 52.

Linnaeus (1768) Systema Naturae of Linnaeus: 183 (as Stalactites Flos ferri; Marmoreus ramulosus).

Klaproth (1788) Bergmaaennusches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmannische Journal): 1: 299.

Klaproth (1788) Crell’s Chemical Journal, London: 1: 387 (as carbonate of lime).

Werner, A.G. (1788) Geschichte, Karakteristik, und kurze chemische Untersuchung des Apatits. IV. Kurze Nachricht von den sogenannten arragonischen Apatiten. Bergmännisches Journal: 1: 76-96. [as Arragonischer Apatit]

Born, I. von (1790) Catalogue méthodique et raisonné de la collection des fossils de Mlle. Eleonore de Raab. 4 volumes, Vienna: 2: 320.

Werner, A.G. (1790) Bergmännisches Journal: 2: 74. [as Arragonischer Kalkspath]

Hauy, C. (1791) Sur l'arragonite de Werner. Bulletin des Science, par la Société Philomathique: 2: 67-68.

Gmelin (1793) Linnaei Syst. Nat., 13th edition: 3: 92.

Kirwan, R. (1794) Elements of Mineralogy. (1784), second edition, London: 1: 87. [as Arragon Spar]

Estner, F.J.A. (1797) 286. Gattung Arragonit. Versuch einer Mineralogie für Anfänger und Liebhaber: 2: 1039-1045.

Esmark (1798) Bergmännisches Journal: 3: 99.

Karsten, D.L.G. (1800) Tabellarische Uebersicht der mineralogisch-einfachen Fossilien. Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin. First edition: 34, 74. [as Excentrischer Kalkstein]

Haüy, R.J. (1801) Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol. Paris: vol. 2.

Emmerling, L.. (1802) Lehrbuch der Mineralogie, 2nd. Edition, Giessen: 2: 684. [as Arragonit]

Stromeyer (1813) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig.

Clarke (1821) Annals of Philosophy, London: 2: 57, 147. [as Chimborazite]

Rose (1853) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 91: 147.

Sénarmont (1854) Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris: 41(3): 61.

Leydolt (1856) Königliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Sitzungsberichte: 19: 10.

Rose (1856) Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Abhandlungen: 64, 66.

Rose (1856) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 97: 161.

Luca (1858) Nuovo Cimento, Pisa: 7: 453.

Scharff (1861) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 31.

Forbes (1862) Quart. J. Geol. Soc.: 17: 45

Breithaupt (1865) Berg.- und hüttenmännische Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 24: 319.

Sandberger (1866) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 129: 472.

von Koksharov, N. (1870) Materialien zur Mineralogie Russlands. 11 volumes with atlas: vol. 6: 261.

Schrauf (1870) Königliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Sitzungsberichte: 62(2): 734.

Roepper analysis in: Genth (1875) Second Geological Survey, Pennsylvania, Report: 163.

Geinitz (1876) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 449.

Lasaulx (1879) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 505.

Domeyko (1881) Annales des mines: 18(7): 531.

Kalkowsky (1884) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 9: 497.

Traube (1884) Inaugural Dissertation, Greifswald.

Bauer (1886) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 72, 79.

Beckenkamp (1888) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 14: 375.

Mülheim (1888) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 14: 229.

Traube (1889) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 15: 410.

Bauer (1890) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: I: 12.

Offret (1890) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 13: 582.

Lemberg (1892) Zeitschrift der Deutsche geologische Gesellschaft, Berlin: 44: 232.

Jeremejev (1897) Bulletin de Académy imperial de sciences, St. Pétersburg: 7, no. 1.

Keilhack (1898) Zeitschrift der Deutsche geologische Gesellschaft, Berlin: 50: 131.

Lacroix (1898) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 126: 602.

Vater (1899) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 31: 575.

Beckenkamp (1900) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 32: 25.

Brauns (1901) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Stuttgart: 134.

Meigen (1901) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Stuttgart: 577.

Mügge (1901) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Beil.-Bd.: 14: 246.

Wyrouboff (1901) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 24: 371.

Panebianco (1902) Rivista di mineralogia e cristallografia italiana, Padua: 28: 5.

Vater (1902) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 35: 149.

Mügge (1903) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Beil.-Bd.: 16: 379.

Lacroix, A. (1909): 3: 670.

Thugutt (1910) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Stuttgart: 786.

Wetzel (1910) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Heidelberg, Stuttgart: II: 70.

Doelter, C. (1911) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 1: 337.

Butler (1913) Economic Geology: 8: 8 (Zn-aragonite).

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 1: 90.

Quercigh (1915) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Rend.: 24(5): 1231.

Watanabe (1915) Beiträge zur Mineralogie von Japan, Tokyo: no. 5: 237.

Johnson, Merwin, Wlliamson (1916) American Journal of Science: 41: 473.

Schäfer, Schubert (1916) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 50: 283.

Barca (1919) Mus. Nac. Cien. Nat. Trab. Madrid, Ser. Geol., no. 24.

Buttenbach (1919) Ann. Soc. geol.. Belgique: 42: 93.

Krüger (1922) Ak. Leipzig, Sitzber.: 74: 253.

Stevanović (1922) Ann. géol. pénin. Balkan: 7: 85. [Min. Abs. (1923): 2: 116]

Veit (1922) Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Beil.-Bd.: 45: 121.

Bragg (1924) Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: 105: 16; 105A: 370.

Tomkeieff, S.I. (1925) The Structure of Aragonite. Mineralogical Magazine: 20: 408-434.

Wyckoff, R.W.G. (1925) Orthorhombic space group criteria and their application to aragonite. American Journal of Science: 9: 145-175.

Hintze, Carl (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1[3A]: 2974, 3019.

Shannon (1926) U.S. National Museum Bull. 131: 237.

Vendl (1926) Hist. Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung.: 24: 223.

Yamaguchi (1927) Journal of the Geological Society of Tokyo: 34: 159.

Voigt, Woldemar (1928) Lehrbuch der Kristallphysik. 978 pp., Leipzig.

O'Daniel (1930) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 74: 333.

Köhler (1931) Chemie der Erde: 6: 257.

Obenauer (1931) Jahrbuch Mineralogie, Beil.-Bd.: 64: 437.

Reichert (1932) Földtani Közlöny, Budapest (Magyarhone Földtani Torsulat): 62: 196.

Shoji (1932) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 84: 74.

Köhler and Leitmeier (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 87: 146.

Kôzu and Kani (1934) Proceedings of the Imperial Academy, Tokyo: 10: 222.

Krejci-Graff (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 88: 260.

Leitmeier and Feigl (1934) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 45: 447.

Gagarin (1936) Ann. géol. pénin. Balkan: 13: 72.

Heritsch (1936) Zentralblatt Mineralien: 33.

Hutton (1936) Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand: 66: 35.

Siegl (1936) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 48: 286.

Rottenbach (1937) Inaugural Dissertation, Bonn.

Tokody (1937) Hist. Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung.: 31: 171.

Chudoba and Rottenbach (1938) Zentralblatt Mineralien: 261.

Seifert (1938) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 100: 120.

Alexander, A.E. (1940) An X-ray study of aragonite in natural and cultured pearls. American Journal of Science: 238: 366-371.

Haberlandt, H. (1940) Neue Ergebnisse der Lumineszenzanalyse an Mineralien mit organischen Beimengungen. Chemie der Erde: 13: 212.

Kleber (1940) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie, Beil.-Bd., Heidelberg, Stuttgart: 75: 465.

Alexander, A.E. (1941) Gemmologist: 10: 93.

Alexander, A.E. (1941) The rate of seasonal deposition of pearl aragonite. Science: 93: 110-111.

Jugovics, L. (1941) Aragonit vom Bénahegy im Komitat Nógrád / A bénahegyi aragonit Nógrád megyében. Földtani Közlöny, Budapest (Magyarhone Földtani Torsulat): 71: 23.

Andrews, D.A., Schaller, W.T. (1942) Dolomite pseudomorphous after crystals of aragonite. American Mineralogist: 27: 135-140.

Melmore, S. (1942) Conical refraction. Nature: 150: 382-383.

Bray, D.M. (1945) The determination of calcite and aragonite in invertebrate shells. Journal of the Royal Society of new South Wales: 78: 113-117.

Hugi, T. (1945) Gesteinsbildende wichtige Karbonate und deren Nachweis mittels Färbemethoden. Schweizerische mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen: 25: 114-140.

Zavaritzky, A.N., Milcheev, V.I. (1948) Doklady of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Earth Science Sections: 63: 725-728.

Faust, G.T. (1950) Thermal analysis studies on carbonates; I. Aragonite and calcite. American Mineralogist: 35: 207.

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: 182-193.

Northwood, D.O., Lewis, D. (1970) Strain induced calcite-aragonite transformation in calcium carbonate. The Canadian Mineralogist: 10: 216-224.

de Villiers, J.P.R. (1971) Crystal structures of aragonite, strontianite, and witherite. American Mineralogist: 56: 758-772.

Negro, A.D., Ungaretti, L. (1971) Refinement of the crystal structure of aragonite. American Mineralogist: 56: 768-772.

Frech, R., Wang, E.C., Bates, J.B. (1980) The IR and Raman-spectra of CaCO3 (aragonite). Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy: 36: 915-919.

Sato, T., Suda, J. (1996) Temperature dependence of the linewidth of the first-order Raman spectra for aragonite crystal. Journal of the Physical Society of Japan: 65: 482-488.

Alía, J.M., Díaz de Mera, Y.D., Edwards, H.G.M., Martín, P.G., Andrés, S.L. (1997) FT-Raman and infrared spectroscopic study of aragonite-strontianite (CaxSr1-xCO3) solid solution. Spectrochimica Acta Part A-Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy: 53: 2347-2362.

Gaines, R.V., Catherine, H., Skinner, W., Foord, E.E., Mason, B., Rosenzweig, A. (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition: 442.

Gauldie, R.W., Sharma, S.K., Volk, E. (1997) Micro-Raman spectral study of vaterite and aragonite otoliths of the coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-Physiology: 118: 753-757.

Reviews in Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America: 11.

Kontoyannis, C.G., Nikos, V.V. (2000) Calcium carbonate phase analysis using XRD and FT-Raman. Analyst: 125: 251-255.

Suito, K., Namba, J., Horikawa, T., Taniguchi, Y., Sakurai, N., Kobayashi, M., Onodera, A., Shimomura, O., Kikegawa, T. (2001) Phase relations of CaCO3 at high pressure and high temperature. American Mineralogist: 86: 997-1002.

Ono, S., Kikegawa, T., Ohishi, Y., Tsuchiya, J. (2005) Post-aragonite phase transformation in CaCO3 at 40 GPa. American Mineralogist: 90: 667-671.

Antao, S.M., Hassan, I. (2009) The orthorhombic structure of CaCO3, SrCO3, PbCO3 and BaCO3: Linear structural trends. The Canadian Mineralogist: 47: 1245-1255.

Buzgar, N., Apopei, A.I. (2009) The Raman study of certain carbonates. Analele Stiintifice Ale Universitatii, Al. I. Cuza Iasi Geologie: 55: 97-112.

Antao, S.M., Hassan, I. (2010) Temperature dependence of the structural parameters in the transformation of aragonite to calcite, as determined from in situ synchrotron powder X-ray-diffraction data. The Canadian Mineralogist: 48: 1225-1236.

Ye, Y., Smyth, J.R., Boni, P. (2012) Crystal structure and thermal expansion of aragonite-group carbonates by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. American Mineralogist: 97: 707-712.

Li, Y., Zou, Y., Chen, T., Wang, X., Qi, X., Chen, H., Du, J., Li, B. (2015) P-V-T equation of state and high-pressure behavior of CaCO3 aragonite. American Mineralogist: 100: 2323-2329.

Internet Links for Aragonite

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

Localities for Aragonite

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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