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Sylvanite

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Formula:
(Au,Ag)
 
2
Te
 
4
System:MonoclinicColour:Grey, white, pale yellow ...
Lustre:MetallicHardness:1½ - 2
Name:
Named in 1835 by Louis Albert Necker de Sausaure for the Transylvania region of Romania, where it was first found, and Sylvanium, one of the names proposed for the newly discovered element tellurium, which it contains.


Compare krennerite.

Classification of Sylvanite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:2/D.16-20
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:2.EA.05

2 : SULFIDES and SULFOSALTS (sulfides, selenides, tellurides; arsenides, antimonides, bismuthides; sulfarsenites, sulfantimonites, sulfbismuthites, etc.)
E : Metal Sulfides, M: S <= 1:2
A : M:S = 1:2 - With Cu, Ag, Au
Dana 8th edition ID:2.12.13.3

2 : SULFIDES
12 : AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Hey's CIM Ref.:3.3.9

3 : Sulphides, Selenides, Tellurides, Arsenides and Bismuthides (except the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au, which are included in Section 1)
3 : Sulphides etc. of Au
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Type Occurrence of Sylvanite

Type Locality:Baia de Arieş (Offenbánya), Alba Co., Romania
Year of Discovery:1835

Occurrences of Sylvanite

Geological Setting:Low temperature hydrothermal veins. Late forming mineral in medium to high temperature hydrothermal veins.

Physical Properties of Sylvanite

Lustre:Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Grey, white, pale yellow silver-white
Streak:Silver-white
Hardness (Mohs):1½ - 2
Hardness (Vickers):VHN100=154 - 172 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Perfect
on {010}
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven
Density (measured):8.16 g/cm3
Density (calculated):8.161 g/cm3

Crystallography of Sylvanite

Crystal System:Monoclinic
Class (H-M):2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:P2/b
Cell Parameters:a = 8.95(1) Å, b = 4.478(5) Å, c = 14.62(2) Å
β = 145.35(5)°
Ratio:a:b:c = 1.999 : 1 : 3.265
Unit Cell Volume:V 333.14 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:2
Morphology:Short prismatic, thick tabular, skeletal, bladed, columnar, granular.
Twinning:Common on {100}
Crystal Atlas:
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Sylvanite - {100}, {010}, {101}, highly modified
Sylvanite - {100}, {010}, {-101}, {-103}, highly modified

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Sylvanite

Type:Anisotropic
Anisotropism:Very strong
Colour in reflected light:Creamy white
Pleochroism:Strong
Comments:Cream white to leather brown.

Chemical Properties of Sylvanite

Formula:
(Au,Ag)
 
2
Te
 
4
Simplified for copy/paste:(Au,Ag)2Te4
Essential elements:Au, Te
All elements listed in formula:Ag, Au, Te
Common Impurities:Sb,Pb,Cu,Ni

Relationship of Sylvanite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
2.EA.10Calaverite
AuTe
 
2
2.EA.15Kostovite
CuAuTe
 
4
2.EA.15Krennerite
(Au,Ag)Te
 
2
2.EA.20Berndtite
SnS
 
2
2.EA.20Kitkaite
NiTeSe
2.EA.20Melonite
NiTe
 
2
2.EA.20Merenskyite
(Pd,Pt)(Te,Bi)
 
2
2.EA.20Moncheite
(Pt,Pd)(Te,Bi)
 
2
2.EA.20Shuangfengite
IrTe
 
2
2.EA.20Sudovikovite
PtSe
 
2
2.EA.25Verbeekite
PdSe
 
2
2.EA.30Drysdallite
Mo(Se,S)
 
2
2.EA.30Jordisite
MoS
 
2
2.EA.30Molybdenite
MoS
 
2
2.EA.30Tungstenite
WS
 
2
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
3.3.1Calaverite
AuTe
 
2
3.3.2Krennerite
(Au,Ag)Te
 
2
3.3.3Kostovite
CuAuTe
 
4
3.3.4Uytenbogaardtite
Ag
 
3
AuS
 
2
3.3.5Fischesserite
Ag
 
3
AuSe
 
2
3.3.6Petrovskaite
AuAg(S,Se)
3.3.7Petzite
Ag
 
3
AuTe
 
2
3.3.8Muthmannite
AuAgTe
 
2
3.3.10Penzhinite
(Ag,Cu)
 
4
Au(S,Se)
 
4
3.3.11Bezsmertnovite
(Au,Ag)
 
4
Cu(Te,Pb)
3.3.12Bilibinskite
PbCu
 
2
Au
 
3
Te
 
2
3.3.13Bogdanovite
(Au,Te,Pb)
 
3
(Cu,Fe)
3.3.14Montbrayite
(Au,Sb)
 
2
Te
 
3

Other Names for Sylvanite

Synonyms:
AurotelluriteGoldschmidtiteGraphic TelluriumSylvanite (of Necker)Yellow Tellurium
Other Languages:
French:Or graphique
Sylvane graphique
German:Aurotellurit
Goldschmidtit
Goldtellur
Schrifterz
Sylvanit
Weißgolderz
Latin:Aurum Bismuthicum
Aurum Graphicum
Russian:Сильванит
Simplified Chinese:针碲金银矿
针碲金矿
Spanish:Aurotellurita
Goldschmidtita
Sylvanita

Other Information

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 Sylvanite

Reference List:

- +
von Reichenstein (1785): Phys. Arb. Wien: 3: 48.

von Born (1790): 2: 467.

Klaproth, M.H. (1802): Chemische Untersuchung der siebenbürgischen Golderze, B. Schrifterz, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Dritter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 16-19

Necker (1835). Sylvanit. [?]

Palache, C. (1900): American Journal of Science: 10: 419.

Spencer (1903): Mineralogical Magazine: 13: 271.

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: 338-341.

American Mineralogist (1949): 34: 342.

Tschermaks Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen (1984): 33: 203-212.

Internet Links for Sylvanite

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
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  • Look for Sylvanite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Sylvanite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Sylvanite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
  • Mineral Dealers:
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  • DAKOTA MATRIX offers Cabinet and Rare Species from Worldwide Localities.
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  • Search for Sylvanite on Well-Arranged Molecules
  • Buy from McDougall Minerals
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  • Sylvanite specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • Buy from Dave Bunk Minerals
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  • Find Sylvanite on www.crystalclassics.co.uk
  • Specimens:The following Sylvanite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Sylvanite

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