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Ralstonite

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Formula:
NaMg[Al(F,OH)
 
6
] · H
 
2
O
System:IsometricColour:Colourless, white
Hardness:
Name:Named after Rev. J. Grier Ralston, of Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA, who first observed the mineral.


Structurally related to the Pyrochlore Group.
Compare also Coulsellite.

Classification of Ralstonite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:3/C.03-60
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:3.CF.05

3 : HALIDES
C : Complex halides
F : Tekto-aluminofluorides
Dana 8th edition ID:11.6.12.1

11 : HALIDE COMPLEXES
6 : Aluminofluorides - Isolated Octahedra
Hey's CIM Ref.:8.6.9

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
6 : Halides of Al
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Type Occurrence of Ralstonite

Type Locality:Ivigtut Cryolite deposit, Ivittuut (Ivigtut), Arsuk Fjord, Sermersooq, Greenland
Year of Discovery:1871
Associated Minerals at type locality:
ThomsenoliteCryolite

Physical Properties of Ralstonite

Lustre:Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Colourless, white
Streak:White
Hardness (Mohs):
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Imperfect/Fair
On {111}.
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven
Density (measured):2.56 - 2.62 g/cm3

Crystallography of Ralstonite

Crystal System:Isometric
Class (H-M):m3m (4/m 3 2/m) - Hexoctahedral
Space Group:Fd3m
Cell Parameters:a = 9.89Å
Unit Cell Volume:V 967.36 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:Crystals octahedral, often with small {001}; less often cubo-octahedral, or cubic with small {111}.

Chemical Properties of Ralstonite

Formula:
NaMg[Al(F,OH)
 
6
] · H
 
2
O
Simplified for copy/paste:NaMg[Al(F,OH)6]·H2O
Essential elements:Al, F, H, Mg, Na, O
All elements listed in formula:Al, F, H, Mg, Na, O

Relationship of Ralstonite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
3.CF.10UM1941-01-F:AlCaHMgNa
NaCaMgAl
 
3
F
 
14
· 4H
 
2
O
3.CF.15Bøgvadite
Na
 
2
SrBa
 
2
Al
 
4
F
 
20
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
8.6.1Zharchikhite
AlF(OH)
 
2
8.6.2Chloraluminite
AlCl
 
3
· 6H
 
2
O
8.6.3Cadwaladerite
AlCl(OH)
 
2
· 4H
 
2
O
8.6.4Cryolithionite
Na
 
3
Li
 
3
[AlF
 
6
]
 
2
8.6.5Cryolite
Na
 
3
[AlF
 
6
]
8.6.6Chiolite
Na
 
5
Al
 
3
F
 
14
8.6.7Elpasolite
NaK
 
2
[AlF
 
6
]
8.6.8Weberite
Na
 
2
Mg[AlF
 
6
]F
8.6.10Koenenite
Na
 
4
Mg
 
9
Al
 
4
Cl
 
12
(OH)
 
22
8.6.11 Chlor-manasseite
Mg
 
x
Al(OH)
 
2x+2
Cl · (x-0.8)H
 
2
O x about 1.75
8.6.12Gearksutite
Ca[Al(F,OH)
 
5
(H
 
2
O)]
8.6.13Prosopite
CaAl
 
2
(F,OH)
 
8
8.6.14Yaroslavite
Ca
 
3
Al
 
2
F
 
10
(OH)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
8.6.15Carlhintzeite
Ca
 
2
[AlF
 
6
]F · H
 
2
O
8.6.16Colquiriite
CaLi[AlF
 
6
]
8.6.17Thomsenolite
NaCa[AlF
 
6
] · H
 
2
O
8.6.18Pachnolite
NaCa[AlF
 
6
] · H
 
2
O
8.6.19Zirklerite
(Fe,Mg,Ca)
 
9
Al
 
4
Cl
 
18
(OH)
 
12
· 14H
 
2
O (?)

Other Names for Ralstonite

Other Languages:
German:Ralstonit
Russian:Ральстонит
Simplified Chinese:氟钠镁铝石
Spanish:Ralstonita
Traditional Chinese:氟鈉鎂鋁石

Other Information

Other Information:Decomposed by HF with evolution of HF.
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 Ralstonite

Reference List:

- +
Brush (1871) American Journal of Science: 2: 30.

Bertrand (1881) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 4: 34.

Brandl (1882) Ann. Chem.: 213: 1.

Penfield and Harper (1886) American Journal of Science: 32: 380.

Brauns (1891) Die opt. Anom. der Kryst., Leipzig: 242.

Jimbo (1899) Journal of Science College Imperial University Tokyo: 11: 234

Bøggild (1912) Meddelelser om Grønland: 50: 121.

Moyd in: Gordon (1939) Academy of Sciences Philadelphia, Not. Nat., no. 11.

Pabst, A. (1939) Formula and structure of ralstonite. American Mineralogist: 24: 566-576.

Ferguson (1949) American Mineralogist: 34: 383.

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: 126-127.

Pauly, H. (1965) Ralstonite from Ivitut, South Greenland. American Mineralogist: 50: 1851-1864.

Di Girolamo, P. and Franco, E. (1968) Ralstonite nelle fratture fumarolizzate del tufo campano di S. Prosco (Caseria). Atti. ccad. Sci. Fis. Mat. Napoli: 7: 1-18.

Hitchon, B., Holloway, L.R., and Bayliss, P. (1976) Formation of ralstonite during low-temperature acid digestion of shales. Canadian Mineralogist: 14: 391-392.

Heinrich, E.W. (1977) Aluminofluoride minerals of the Goldie carbonatite, Fremont County, Colorado. Mountain Geol.: 14: 33-46.

Effenberger, H. and Kluger, F. (1984) Ralstonit: ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis von Zusammensetzung und Kristallstructur. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1984): 97-108.

Rosenberg, P.E. (1990) Stability relations of ralstonite in the system aluminum fluoride-aluminum oxide-water. Geological Society of America, Abstract Programs: 22: 340.

Mineralogical Magazine (1990): 54: 599.

Rosenberg, P.E. (2006): Stability relations of aluminum hydroxy-fluoride hydrate, a ralstonite-like mineral, in the system AlF3-Al2O3-H2O-HF. Can. Mineral. 44, 125-134.

Rosenberg, P.E. (2008): Stability relations of aluminum hydroxy-fluoride hydrate, a ralstonite-like mineral, in the system AlF3-Al2O3-H2O-HF: Erratum. Can. Mineral. 46, 541-542.

Internet Links for Ralstonite

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  • Look for Ralstonite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project[Link Broken?]
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Ralstonite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
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  • Search for Ralstonite on Well-Arranged Molecules
  • Specimens:The following Ralstonite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Ralstonite

    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.
    (TL) indicates type locality. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
    Antarctica
     
    • Eastern Antarctica
      • Victoria Land
        • Ross Island
    # Rosenberg, P.E. (1988) Aluminum fluoride hydrates, volcanogenic salts from Mount Erebus, Antarctica. American Mineralogist: 73: 855-860.
    • Western Antarctica
      • Antarctic Peninsula
        • South Shetland Islands
    Viramonte, J.G., Sureda, R.J., Bossi, G.E., Fourcade, N.H., Omarini, R.H., Geochemical and mineralogical study of the high temperature fumaroles from Decepcion Island, South Shetland, Antarctica. Inst. Assoc. of Volc. and chemistry of the erath interior. Symposium Andean and Antarctic Volcanology Problems. Chile (1974).
    Australia
     
    • South Australia
      • Mt Lofty Ranges
        • North Mt Lofty Ranges
          • Kapunda
    Peter Elliott
    • Tasmania
      • Heazlewood district
        • Luina
    Am Min 85:231-235; Birch, W. D., & Pring, A. (1990). A calcian ralstonite-like mineral from the Cleveland Mine, Tasmania, Australia. Mineralogical Magazine, 54(377), 599-602.
      • Waratah district
        • Waratah
    Bottrill
    Bolivia
     
    • La Paz Department
      • Inquisivi Province
        • Colquiri
    Walenta, K., Lehmann, B., & Zwiener, M. (1980). Colquiriit, ein neues Fluoridmineral aus der Zinnlagerstätte von Colquiri in Bolivien. Tschermaks mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, 27(4), 275-281.
    Brazil
     
    • Paraíba
      • Borborema mineral province
        • Pedra Lavrada
    R. Wegner, H. Pöllmann, T. Witzke, & W. Schuckmann (1998): Colquiriite, carlhintzeite, ralstonite and pachnolite from Serra Branca-Pegmatite/Brazil.- Proceedings 17th General Meeting, IMA, August 1998, Toronto, A151
    Cape Verde
     
    • Sotavento Islands
      • Fogo Island
    Universidade de Evora
    Finland
     
    • Southern Finland Region
      • Kotka
    Ilkka Mikkola collection
    Lahti Seppo I. 2011. Kotkan topaasilouhoksesta ja sen mineraaleista. Kivi-lehti 4.
    Greece
     
    • Attikí Prefecture (Attica; Attika)
      • Lavrion District (Laurion; Laurium)
        • Lavrion District Mines
          • Agios Konstantinos [St Constantine] (Kamariza)
            • Kamariza Mines (Kamareza Mines)
              • Hilarion area
    J. Gröbner und U. Kolitsch (2002): Neufunde von Laurion aus den Jahren 2001 und 2002. Aufschluss 53 (5-6), 363-371.
    Greenland
     
    • Sermersooq
      • Arsuk Fjord
        • Ivittuut (Ivigtut)
    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: 127; Pauly, 1965 - "Ralstonite from Ivigtut, South Greenland", American Mineralogist: 50: 1851-1864.; Petersen, O. V and K Secher (1993) The Minerals of Greenland. Mineralogical Record 24:36
    Iceland
     
    • Southern Region
    Garavelli, A., Balić-Žunić, T., Mitolo, D., Acquafredda, P., Leonardsen, E., Jakobson, S.P. (2010): Heklaite, KNaSiF6, a new fumarolic mineral from Hekla volcano, Iceland. Mineralogical Magazine, 74, 147-157.
    • Vestmannaeyjar archipelago (Westman islands)
      • Heimaey island
        • Heimaey
    Mitolo, D., Garavelli, A., Pedersen, L., Balić-Žunić, T., Jakobsson, S.P., Vurro, F. (2008): Mineralogy of actually forming sublimates at Eldfell Volcano, Heimaey (Vestmannaeyjar archipelago), Iceland. Plinius, 34, 322.; Balić-Žunić, T., Garavelli, A., Acquafredda, P., Leonardsen, E., & Jakobsson, S. P. (2009). Eldfellite, NaFe (SO4) 2, a new fumarolic mineral from Eldfell volcano, Iceland. Mineralogical Magazine, 73(1), 51-57.
      • Surtsey Island
    Jacobsson et al (1992) Encrustations from Lava Caves in Surtsey, Iceland. A Preliminary Report: Surtsey Research Progress Report X: 73-78 Reykjevik, Iceland.
    Italy
     
    • Campania
      • Naples Province
        • Somma-Vesuvius Complex
    Russo, M., Punzo, I. (2004): I minerali del Somma-Vesuvio, AMI
      • Phlegrean Volcanic Complex
        • Caserta Province
    Di Girolamo, P. (1968): Ralstonite nelle fratture fumarolizzate del tufo campano di San Prisco (Caserta), Rend. Acc. Sc. Fis. Mat., serie 4, Vol. 35, pp.70, Napoli
    • Tuscany
      • Siena Province
        • Chiusdino
    Brizzi G., Ciselli I, Santucci A. (1988) - Cetineite ed altre novità dalle Cetine di Cotorniano - Riv. Miner. Ital., Milano, fasc. 3, pp.73-82
    Japan
     
    • Hokkaido
      • Iburi Province
    Africano & Bernard (2000), Jour. Volcanology & Geothermal Research: 97: 475-495.
    Africano, F., & Bernard, A. (2000). Acid alteration in the fumarolic environment of Usu volcano, Hokkaido, Japan. Journal of volcanology and geothermal research, 97(1), 475-495.
    • Honshu Island
      • Kinki Region
        • Shiga Prefecture
          • Otsu City
    Jimbo (1899) Journal of Science College Imperial University Tokyo: 11: 234; 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: 127.
    Nigeria
     
    • Kaduna State
    Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
    Norway
     
    • Oppland
      • Lunner
        • Nordmarka
    Raade, G. & Haug, J. (1980): Rare Fluorides from a soda granite in the Oslo Region, Norway. Mineralogical Record, 11, 83-91
    Russia
     
    • Eastern-Siberian Region
      • Prebaikalia (Pribaikal'e)
        • Buriatia (Buryatia)
          • Mama River Basin
            • Maigunda River
    Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
      • Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye)
        • Chitinskaya Oblast'
    P.M. Karashov data
    Ripp, G. S., Bulnaev, K. B. & Zyablishchev, A. Yu. (1996): Alumofluorides of Zharchikhinskoe molybdenum deposit (western Transbaikalia). Zap. Vseross. Mineral. O-va. 125, 72-79. (in Russian) ; Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
      • Tuva Republic
    P.M. Kartashov data
    • Far-Eastern Region
      • Kamchatka Oblast'
        • Tolbachik volcano
          • Great Fissure eruption (Main Fracture)
            • Northern Breakthrough (North Breach)
    Vergasova, L. P., Filatov, S. K., & Dunin-Barkovskaya, V. V. (2007). Posteruptive activity on the First Cone of the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption and recent volcanogenic generation of bauxites. Journal of Volcanology and Seismology, 1(2), 119-139.
    L. P. Vergasova, S. V. Krivovichev, S. K. Filatov, S. N. Britvin, P. C. Burns & V. V. Ananyev (2006): Parageorgbokiite, beta-Cu5O2(SeO3)2Cl2 – a new mineral from volcanic exhalation (Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia). Proceedings of the Russian Mineralogical Society 135(4), 24–28.
      • Primorskiy Kray
        • Voznesenskii ore District
    Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
    • Northern Caucasus Region
      • Kabardino-Balkarian Republic
        • Elbrus Mt
    Gurbanov, A.G., Bogatikov, O.A., Dokuchaev, A.Y., Gazeev, V.M., Abramov, S.S., Groznova, E.O., and Shevchenko, A.V. (2008): Geology of Ore Deposits 50(3), 199-217.
    • Urals Region
      • Southern Urals
        • Chelyabinsk Oblast'
          • Ilmen Mts
            • Ilmen Natural Reserve
    Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
    Saint Helena
     
    Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980
    Switzerland
     
    • Wallis (Valais)
      • Binn Valley
        • Kriegalp Valley (Chriegalp Valley)
    Kolitsch, U. (1998): Neue Mineralfunde vom Wannigletscher im Binntal, Schweiz. Mineralien-Welt 9 (3), 45-53. (in German)
    Ukraine
     
    • Zhytomyr Oblast' (Zhitomir Oblast')
    Yurk Yu.Yu., Gurov E.P., Gurova E.P. (1973) Pecularities of fluorin mineralogy of Ukrainian crystalline shield, - Naukova Dumka, Kiev, pp.184 (in Russian).; Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
    USA
     
    • Arizona
      • Cochise Co.
        • Mule Mts
          • Warren District
    Mineralogical Record: 24: 421.
    Mineralogical Record 24:421-436
    Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 351; Graeme, R. (1993), Bisbee revisited, Min.Rec.: 24: 421-436.
      • Coconino Co.
        • San Franciscan volcanic field (San Francisco Peaks; San Francisco Mts)
    Hanson, S. L., A. U. Fastner, W. B. Simmons (2008) Mineralogy of the Fumerole deposits at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Northern Arizona. Rocks & Mnerals 83:6 pp 534-544.
    • Colorado
      • El Paso Co.
        • Cheyenne District (St. Peters Dome District)
    Cross and Hillebrand, 1883 - "On minerals of the Cryolite group recently found in Colorado"; 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: 127.
    Am Min 51:299-323
    Pavel M. Kartashov analytical data, material of Dean Allum
    Am Min 51:299-323
      • Fremont Co.
    "Minerals of Colorado, updated & revised", p. 16, by Eckel, Edwin B., 1997; Armbrustmacher, T. J. (1988) Geology and resources of thorium and associated elements in the Wet Mountains area, Fremont and Custer counties, Colorado. USGS Professional Paper: 1049-F
    • Hawaii
      • Hawaii Co. (Hawaii Island)
    Hon, K., Bove, D.J., Lee, L., and Thornber, C., 2009, The origin and zonation of sublimates and precipitates in active Hawaiian lava tubes: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 41, no. 7, p.193.
    • Nevada
      • Churchill Co.
        • Lake District
    NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
      • Lander Co.
        • Iowa Canyon District
    NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
      • Mineral Co.
        • Fitting District
          • Gillis Range
    Mineralogical Record: 31: 204.
    • Texas
      • Hudspeth Co.
        • Sierra Blanca Peaks
    American Mineralogist: 72: 1122-1130.
    • Utah
      • Juab Co.
        • Honeycomb Hills
    Rocks & Minerals: 73(3): 196-201.
    • Virginia
      • Amelia Co.
        • Winterham
    [Kearns, 1995- "Alumino-Fluorides from the Morefield Pegmatite", MinRec 26:551-557]; Richards, R. P., Kearns, L. E., & Cook, W. R. (1998). Morphology of Chiolite twins from the Morefield mine, Amelia County, Virginia. Canadian mineralogist, 36, 1009-1016.
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