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Thorite

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Formula:
(Th,U)SiO4
System:
Tetragonal
Colour:
Yellow, yellow-brown, ...
Hardness:
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1829 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius as it was the mineral in which he found the new element thorium.
Dimorph of:
Zircon Group. The thorium analogue of Zircon and Hafnon.

This is a rare mineral that is commonly hydrated, and is radioactive.

Classification of Thorite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
9.AD.30

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
D : Nesosilicates without additional anions; cations in [6] and/or greater coordination
51.5.2.3

51 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
5 : Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in >[6] coordination
14.11.1

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
11 : Silicates of Th and Hg
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Type Occurrence of Thorite

Year of Discovery:
1829

Physical Properties of Thorite

Resinous, Greasy, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Yellow, yellow-brown, red-brown, green, orange to black
Hardness (Mohs):

Crystallography of Thorite

Crystal System:
Tetragonal
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.13Å, c = 6.32Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.886
Unit Cell Volume:
V 321.29 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)

Optical Data of Thorite

Type:
Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.790 - 1.840 nε = 1.780 - 1.820
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.010 - 0.020
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High

Chemical Properties of Thorite

Formula:
(Th,U)SiO4
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Al,Fe,Pb,Ca,P,Ti,REE,Y,Mg,H2O

Relationship of Thorite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
HafnonHfSiO4
StetinditeCe4+SiO4
ZirconZrSiO4
9.AD.05LarniteCa2SiO4
9.AD.10Calcio-olivineCa2SiO4
9.AD.15MerwiniteCa3Mg(SiO4)2
9.AD.20BredigiteCa7Mg(SiO4)4
9.AD.25AndraditeCa3Fe23+(SiO4)3
9.AD.25AlmandineFe32+Al2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25Calderite(Mn2+,Ca)3(Fe3+,Al)2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25GoldmaniteCa3V23+(SiO4)3
9.AD.25GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25HenritermieriteCa3(Mn3+,Al)2(SiO4)2(OH)4
9.AD.25HibschiteCa3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4x
9.AD.25HydroandraditeCa3Fe23+(SiO4)3-x(OH)4x
9.AD.25KatoiteCa3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4x
9.AD.25KimzeyiteCa3(Zr,Ti)2((Si,Al,Fe3+)O4)3
9.AD.25KnorringiteMg3Cr2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25MajoriteMg3(Fe2+,Si,Al)2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25MorimotoiteCa3(Ti,Fe2+,Fe3+)2((Si,Fe3+)O4)3
9.AD.25PyropeMg3Al2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25SchorlomiteCa3(Ti,Fe3+)2((Si,Fe3+)O4)3
9.AD.25SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3
9.AD.25Wadalite(Ca,Mg)6(Al,Fe3+)4((Si,Al)O4)3O4Cl3
9.AD.25HoltstamiteCa3(Al,Mn3+)2(SiO4)2(OH)4
9.AD.25KerimasiteCa3Zr2(SiO4)(Fe3+O4)2
9.AD.25ToturiteCa3Sn2(SiO4)(Fe3+O4)2
9.AD.25Momoiite(Mn2+,Ca)3V23+(SiO4)3
9.AD.25EltyubyuiteCa12Fe103+Si4O32Cl6
9.AD.25HutcheoniteCa3Ti2(SiAl2)O12
9.AD.30Coffinite(U4+,Th)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4x
9.AD.30HafnonHfSiO4
9.AD.30ZirconZrSiO4
9.AD.30StetinditeCe4+SiO4
9.AD.35HuttoniteThSiO4
9.AD.35Tombarthite-(Y)Y4(Si,H4)4O12-x(OH)4+2x
9.AD.40EulytineBi4(SiO4)3
9.AD.45ReiditeZrSiO4
14.11.2HuttoniteThSiO4
14.11.3UmbozeriteNa3Sr4Th[Si(O,OH)3-4]8
14.11.4Thornasite(Na,K)12Th3[Si8O19]4 · 18H2O
14.11.5Yttrialite-(Y)(Y,Th)2Si2O7
14.11.6Edgarbaileyite(Hg-Hg)3Si2O7

Other Names for Thorite

Name in Other Languages:
Dutch:Thoriet
Italian:Thorite
Lithuanian:Toritas
Russian:Торит
Simplified Chinese:钍石

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 Thorite

Reference List:
Berzelius, J.J. (1829): Über den Thorit ein neues Mineral und eine darin enthaltene neue Erde, die Thorerde. Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 91: 633-634

Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar (1829), 1-30.

Esmark, [H.] M.T.. (1836): Thoriten, opdagen og beskreven af M.Thr. Esmark. Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne, 12, 77-78.

Acta Crystallographica: B34: 1074-1079.

Canadian Mineralogist (1989): 27: 643.

Internet Links for Thorite

Localities for Thorite

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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