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Pyrargyrite

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Formula:
Ag3SbS3
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
Deep red or red gray
Lustre:
Adamantine
Hardness:
Name:
From the Greek, pyr and argyros, "fire-silver" in allusion to its color and silver content.
Dimorph of:

Classification of Pyrargyrite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
2.GA.05

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
G : Sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites
A : Neso-sulfarsenites, etc. without additional S
3.4.1.2

3 : SULFOSALTS
4 : ø = 3
5.2.9

5 : Sulphosalts - Sulpharsenites and Sulphobismuthites (those containing Sn, Ge,or V are in Section 6)
2 : Sulpharsenites etc. of Ag
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Occurrences of Pyrargyrite

Geological Setting:
Hydrothermal veins as a late stage, low temperature mineral; also formed by secondary processes.

Physical Properties of Pyrargyrite

Adamantine
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Translucent
Comment:
Darkens with exposure to light
Colour:
Deep red or red gray
Streak:
Purplish red
Hardness (Mohs):
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Distinct/Good
Distinct on {1011} very imperfect on {0112}
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density:
5.82 g/cm3 (Measured)    5.855 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Pyrargyrite

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3m - Ditrigonal Pyramidal
Space Group:
R3c
Cell Parameters:
a = 11.047Å, c = 8.719Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.789
Unit Cell Volume:
V 921.48 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
6
Morphology:
Prismatic crystals
Twinning:
On {1014}, less commonly on {1011}{1120} rarely {0120}

Crystallographic forms of Pyrargyrite

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Pyrargyrite no.8 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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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:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Pyrargyrite

Type:
Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 3.084 nε = 2.881
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.203
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
Type:
Anisotropic
Anisotropism:
Strong in yellow white and grey blue
Pleochroism:
Weak

Chemical Properties of Pyrargyrite

Formula:
Ag3SbS3
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
As

Relationship of Pyrargyrite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Proustite (see here)
Structurally related to group(s):
2.GA.05ProustiteAg3AsS3
2.GA.10PyrostilpniteAg3SbS3
2.GA.10XanthoconiteAg3AsS3
2.GA.15SamsoniteAg4MnSb2S6
2.GA.20SkinneriteCu3SbS3
2.GA.20WitticheniteCu3BiS3
2.GA.25LapieiteNiCuSbS3
2.GA.25MückeiteNiCu(Bi,Sb)S3
2.GA.25MalyshevitePdCuBiS3
2.GA.25LisiguangitePtCuBiS3
2.GA.30AktashiteCu6Hg3As4S12
2.GA.30GruzdeviteCu6Hg3Sb4S12
2.GA.30NowackiiteCu6Zn3As4S12
2.GA.35LaffittiteAgHgAsS3
2.GA.40RouthieriteTl(Cu,Ag)(Hg,Zn)2(As,Sb)2S6
2.GA.40StalderiteTl(Cu,Ag)(Zn,Fe,Hg)2(As,Sb)2S6
2.GA.45ErniggliiteTl2SnAs2S6
2.GA.50BournonitePbCuSbS3
2.GA.50SeligmannitePbCuAsS3
2.GA.50SoučekitePbCuBi(S,Se)3
5.2.1SmithiteAgAsS2
5.2.2TrechmanniteAgAsS2
5.2.3ProustiteAg3AsS3
5.2.4XanthoconiteAg3AsS3
5.2.5Pearceite[(Ag,Cu)6(As,Sb)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
5.2.6Pearceite-T2ac
5.2.7ArgentotennantiteAg6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]As4S13
5.2.8MiargyriteAgSbS2
5.2.10PyrostilpniteAg3SbS3
5.2.11StephaniteAg5SbS4
5.2.12Polybasite[(Ag,Cu)6(Sb,As)2S7][Ag9CuS4]
5.2.13BillingsleyiteAg7AsS6
5.2.14Polybasite-Tac
5.2.15FreibergiteAg6[Cu4Fe2]Sb4S13-x
5.2.16AramayoiteAg(Sb,Bi)S2
5.2.17MatilditeAgBiS2
5.2.18SchapbachiteAg0.4Pb0.2Bi0.4S
5.2.19Pavonite(Ag,Cu)(Bi,Pb)3S5
5.2.20ArcubisiteAg6CuBiS4
5.2.21BohdanowicziteAgBiSe2
5.2.22SelenostephaniteAg5Sb(Se,S)4
5.2.23BenleonarditeAg8(Sb,As)Te2S3
5.2.24VolynskiteAgBiTe2

Other Names for Pyrargyrite

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 Pyrargyrite

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: 362-366.

Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1966): 181-184.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (1990) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume I. Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 588pp.: 425.

Harlov, D.E. (1999): Thermochemistry of Ag-Cu exchange equilibria between proustite, sinnerite, and pearceite; constraints on Ag-Cu and As-Sb mixing in pyrargyrite-proustite. European Journal of Mineralogy, 11, 709-719.

Laufek, F.; Sejkora, J.; Dušek, M. (2010): The role of silver in the crystal structure of pyrargyrite: single crystal X-ray diffraction study. Journal of Geosciences, 55, 161-167.

Internet Links for Pyrargyrite

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

Localities for Pyrargyrite

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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