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Brown, yellow, ...
Re-named "vesuvian" in 1795 by Abraham Gottlob Werner after its discovery locality, Mount Vesuvius, Campania, Italy. Originally named in 1723 by Moritz Anton Cappeler "hyacinthus dictus octodecahedricus. Renamed in 1772 by Jean-Baptiste Louis Romé de L’Isle "hyacinte du Vesuve" and possibly the inspiration for Werner's name choice. In 1799, Rene Just Haüy introduced "idocrase", which was formerly a popular name.
Hydroxyl analogue of Fluorvesuvianite.

Visit for gemological information about Vesuvianite.

Classification of Vesuvianite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
B : Sorosilicates
G : Sorosilicates with mixed SiO4 and Si2O7 groups; cations in octahedral [6] and greater coordination

58 : SOROSILICATES Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups
2 : Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups with cations in [6] and higher coordination; single and double groups (n = 1, 2)

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
23 : Aluminosilicates of Fe, Ca, and Mg URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.

Type Occurrence of Vesuvianite

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Mining Academy, Freiberg, Germany, no. 23278
Year of Discovery:

Occurrences of Vesuvianite

Geological Setting:
Skarns or regional metamorphism of limestones.

Physical Properties of Vesuvianite

Vitreous, Resinous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Brown, yellow, brown-black, light green, emerald green, white, red, purple, violet, blue-green to blue
Hardness (Mohs):
Poor on {110}
Very poor on {100} {001}
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
3.32 - 3.43 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.42 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Vesuvianite

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 15.52Å, c = 11.82Å
a:c = 1 : 0.762
Unit Cell Volume:
V 2,847.09 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Short pyramidal to long prismatic, columnar, granular, massive.
Twinned domains observed at very fine scale.

Crystallographic forms of Vesuvianite

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Vesuvianite no.57 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Vesuvianite no.89 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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 Vesuvianite

Uniaxial (+/-)
RI values:
nω = 1.703 - 1.752 nε = 1.700 - 1.746
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.003 - 0.006
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
O= colorless to yellowish
E= yellowish, greenish, brownish
May also be biaxial. Sectored.

Chemical Properties of Vesuvianite

All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:

Relationship of Vesuvianite to other Species

Other Members of Group:
9.BG.20Julgoldite-(Fe2+)Ca2Fe2+Fe23+(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O
9.BG.20OkhotskiteCa2(Mn,Mg)(Mn3+,Al,Fe3+)2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O
9.BG.20Pumpellyite-(Fe2+)Ca2Fe2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O
9.BG.20Pumpellyite-(Fe3+)Ca2(Fe3+,Mg)(Al,Fe3+)2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH,O)2 · H2O
9.BG.20Pumpellyite-(Mg)Ca2MgAl2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O
9.BG.20Pumpellyite-(Mn2+)Ca2Mn2+Al2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O
9.BG.20ShuiskiteCa2MgCr2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · 2H2O
9.BG.20Julgoldite-(Fe3+)Ca2Fe3+Fe23+(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH) · H2O
9.BG.20Pumpellyite-(Al)Ca2Al3(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH,O)2 · H2O
9.BG.20PoppiiteCa2(V3+,Fe3+,Mg)(V3+,Al)2(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH,O)2 · H2O
9.BG.20Julgoldite-(Mg)Ca2MgFe23+(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O

Other Names for Vesuvianite

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 Vesuvianite

Reference List:
Werner, A.G. (1795) Über Vesuvian

Klaproth, M.H. (1797): Untersuchung des Vesuvians, Vesuvian vom Vesuv, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Zweiter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 27-32

Vogel, J.H. (1888) Über die chemische Zusammensetzung des Vesuvians. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 17: 215 (in German).

Warren, B.E. and Modell, D.I. (1931) The structure of vesuvianite Ca10Al4(Mg,Fe)2Si9O34(OH)4. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 78: 422-432.

Gädeke, R. (1938) Die gesetzmässigen Zusammenhänge und Anomalien in der Vesuviangruppe und einigen anderen Kalksilikaten. Chemie der Erde 11: 592-636 (in German).

Kononova, V.A. (1961) On a metamict variety of vesuvianite from an alkaline pegmatite in southwest Tuva. Dokladi Academii Sci SSR: 130: 129-132.

Peters, T. (1961) Differentialthermoanalyse von Vesuvian. Schweizerische Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen: 41: 325-334. (in German).

Chatterjee, N.D. (1962) Vesuvianite-epidote paragenesis as a product of greenschist facies of regional metamorphism in the Western Alps. Beiträge zur Mineralogie und Petrographie: 8: 432-439.

Braitsch, O. and Chatterjee, N.D. (1963) Metamorphe Mineralreaktionen in vesuvianführenden Paragenesen. Beiträge zur Mineralogie und Petrographie: 9: 353-373 (in German).

Murdoch, Joseph and Ingram, B.L. (1966) A cerian vesuvianite from California. American Mineralogist: 51: 381-387.

Trommsdorf, V. (1968) Mineralreaktione mit Wollastonit und Vesuvian in einem Kalksilikatfels der alpinen Disthenzone (Claro Tessin), Schweizerische Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen: 48: 655-666 (in German).

Arem, J.E. and Burnham, C.W. (1969) Structural variations in idocrase. American Mineralogist: 54: 1546-1550.

Coda, A., Della Giusta, A., Isetti, G., and Mazzi, F. (1970) On the structure of vesuvianite. Atti dell' Accademia delle Scienze di Torino: 105: 1-22.

Arem, J.E. (1973) Idocrase (vesuvianite) - A 250-year puzzle. Mineralogical Record: 4: 164-174.

Joesten, R. (1974) Pseudomorphic replacement of melilite by idocrase in a zoned calc-silicate skarn. Christmas Mountains, Big Bend region, Texas American Mineralogist: 5: 694-699.

Rucklidge, J.C., Hemingway, B.S., and Fisher, J.R. (1975) The crystal structure of three Canadian vesuvianites. Canadian Mineralogist: 13: 15-21.

Olesch, M. (1978) Obere thermische Stabilität von Vesuvian (Idocrase) bis 2 kbar und Vesuvian + Quarz bis 5 kbar im System CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O. Fortschritte der Mineralogie: 56, Beiheft 1: 99 (in German).

Olesch, M. (1979) Natürliche und synthetische Fe-haltige Vesuviane. Fortschritte der Mineralogie: 57: Beiheft 1: 114-115 (in German).

Valley, J.W. and Essene, E.J. (1979) Vesuvianite, akermanite, monticellite and wollastonite equlibria and high X H2O/CO2 at Cascade slide, Mt Marcy Quad, Adirondack Mts. EOS: 60: 423.

Himmelberg, G.R. and Miller, T.P. (1980) Uranium- and thorium-rich vesuvianite from the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. American Mineralogist: 65: 1020-1025.

Hochella, M.F.J., Liou, J.G., Keskinen, M.J., and Kim, H.S. (1982) Synthesis and stability relations of magnesium idocrase. Economic Geology: 77: 798-808.

Giuseppetti, G. and Mazzi, F. (1983) The crystal structure of a vesuvianite with P4/n symmetry. Tschermaks Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen: 31: 277-288.

Hoisch, T.D. (1985) The solid solution chemistry of vesuvianite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 89: 205-214.

Valley, J.M., Peacor, D.R., Bowman, J.R., Essene, E.J., and Allard, M.J. (1985) Crystal chemistry of a Mg-vesuvianite and implications of phase equilibria in the system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O-CO2. Journal of Metamorphic Geology: 3: 137-153.

Fitzgerald, S., Rheingold, A.L., and Leavens, P.B. (1986) Crystal structure of a Cu-bearing vesuvianite. American Mineralogist: 71: 1011-1014.

Fitzgerald, S., Leavens, P.B., Rheingold, A.L., and Nelen, J.A. (1987) Crystal structure of a REE-bearing vesuvianite from San Benito County, California. American Mineralogist: 72: 625-628.

Veblen, D.R. and Wiechmann, M.J. (1991) Domain structure of low-symmetry vesuvianite from Crestmore, California. American Mineralogist: 76: 397-404.

Allen, F.M. and Burnham, C.W. (1992) A comprehensive structure-model for vesuvianite: Symmetry variation and crystal growth. Canadian Mineralogist (1992): 30: 1-18,

Groat, L.A., Hawthorne, F.C., and Ercit, T.S. (1992) The chemistry of vesuvianite. Canadian Mineralogist: 30: 19-48.

Canadian Mineralogist (1992): 30: 1065-1075.

Ohkawa, M., Yoshiasa, A., and Takeno, S. (1992) Crystal chemistry of vesuvianite: site preferences of square-pyramidal coordinated sites. American Mineralogist: 77: 945-953.

Plyusnina, L.P., Likhoydov, G.G., and Nekrasov, I.Y. (1992) Vesuvianite equilibria: experiments, calculations and petrologic applications. Doklady Rossiyskoy Akademii Nauk 234: 172-175.

Groat, L.A., Hawthorne, F.C., Ercit, T.S., and Putnis, A. (1993) The symmetry of vesuvianite. Canadian Mineralogist: 31: 617-635.

Groat, L.A., Hawthorne, F.C., and Ercit, T.S. (1994a) Excess Y-group cations in the crystal structure of vesuvianite. Canadian Mineralogist 32: 497-504.

Groat, L.A., Hawthorne, F.C., and Ercit, T.S. (1994b) The incorporation of boron into the vesuvianite structure. Canadian Mineralogist: 32: 505-523.

Henmi, C., Kusachi, I., and Henmi, K. (1994) Vesuvianite from Kushiro, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Abstracts General Meeting International Mineralogical Association Pisa, Italy, 172.

Ohkawa, M., Yoshiasa, A., and Takeno, S. (1994) Structural investigation of high- and low-symmetry vesuvianite. Mineralogical Journal: 17: 1-20.

Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1995): 264.

Groat, L.A., Hawthorne, F.C., Lager, G.A., Schutz, A.J., and Ercit, T.S. (1996) X-ray and neutron crystal-structure refinements of a boron-bearing vesuvianite. Canadian Mineralogist: 34: 1059-1070.

Bogoch, R., Kumarapeli, S., and Matthews, A. (1997) High-pressure K-feldspar-vesuvianite bearing assemblage in the central metasedimentary belt of the Grenville Province, Saint Jovite area, Quebec. Canadian Mineralogist: 35: 1269-1275.

Groat, L.A and Hawthorne, F.C. (1998) Diffuse reflections and the symmetry of vesuvianite. Phase Transitions: 67: 137-151.

Tribaudino, M. and Prencipe, M. (1999) A high-temperature in situ single-crystal study of P4/n vesuvianite. European Journal of Mineralogy: 11: 1037-1042.

Armbruster, T. and Gnos, E. (2000a) Tetrahedral vacancies and cation ordering in low-temperature Mn-bearing vesuvianites: indication of a hydrogranet-like substitution. American Mineralogist: 85: 570-577.

Armbruster, T. and Gnos, E. (2000b) 'Rod' polytypism in vesuvianite: crystal structure of a low-temperature P4nc vesuvianite with pronounced octahedral cation ordering. Schweizerische Mineralogische und Petroraphische Mitteilungen: 80: 109-116.

Armbruster, T. and Gnos, E. (2000c) P4/n and P4nc long range ordering in low-temperature vesuvianite. American Mineralogist: 85: 563-569.

Tribaudino, M. and Prencipe, M. (2001) The compressional behavior of P4/n vesuvianite. Canadian Mineralogist: 39: 145-151.

Bellatreccia, F. (2003) La Cristallochimica delle Vesuvianiti. PhD thesis, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Roma, Italia.

Borovikova, E.Yu., Kurazhkovskaya, V.S., and Alferova, M.S. (2003) Infrared spectra and factor group analysis of vesuvianites in OH region. International Symposium on Light Elements in Rock-Forming Minerals (LERM 2003), Abstract, 8.

Galuskin, E.V., Galuskina, I.O., Sitarz, M., and Stadnicka, K. (2003a) Si-deficient, OH-substituted, boron-bearing vesuvianite from the Wiluy River, Yakutia, Russia. Canadian Mineralogist: 41: 833-842.

Galuskin, E.V., Armbruster, T., Malsy, A., Galuskina, I.O., and Sitarz, M. (2003b) Morphology, composition and structure of low-temperature P4/nnc High-fluorine vesuvianite whiskers from polar Yakutia, Russia. Canadian Mineralogist: 41: 843-856.

Gnos, Edwin and Thomas Armbruster (2006): Relationship among metamorphic grade, vesuvianite "rod polytypism," and vesuvianite composition. American Mineralogist: 91: 862-870.

Balassone, G., Talla, D., Beran, A., Mormone, A., Altomare, A., Moliterni, A., Mondillo, N., Saviano, M., Petti, C.P. (2011): Vesuvianite from Somma-Vesuvius volcano (southern Italy): chemical, X-ray diffraction and single-crystal polarized FTIR investigations. Periodico di Mineralogia, 80, 369-384.

Internet Links for Vesuvianite

The following Vesuvianite specimens are currently listed for sale on

Localities for Vesuvianite

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.
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