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Benitoite

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Formula:
BaTi(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
System:HexagonalColour:Sapphire blue, white to ...
Hardness:6 - 6½
Member of:Benitoite Group
Name:After the type locality in San Benito County, California, USA.


Benitoite Group. The titanium analogue of Pabstite.

Related to Rogermitchellite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Benitoite. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Benitoite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/E.01-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.CA.05

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
A : [Si3O9]6- 3-membered single rings (dreier-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions
Dana 8th edition ID:59.1.1.2

59 : CYCLOSILICATES Three-Membered Rings
1 : Three-Membered Rings, anhydrous, no other anions
Hey's CIM Ref.:14.9.9

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
9 : Silicates of Ti
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Type Occurrence of Benitoite

Type Locality:California State Gem Mine (Dallas Gem Mine; Benitoite Mine; Benitoite Gem Mine; Gem Mine), Dallas Gem Mine area, San Benito River headwaters area, New Idria District, Diablo Range, San Benito Co., California, USA
Year of Discovery:1907

Physical Properties of Benitoite

Lustre:Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Sapphire blue, white to colorless, pink
Hardness (Mohs):6 - 6½
Cleavage:Poor/Indistinct
Poor on {1011}
Fracture:Conchoidal
Density (measured):3.65 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.68 g/cm3

Crystallography of Benitoite

Crystal System:Hexagonal
Class (H-M):6 m2 - Ditrigonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:P62c
Cell Parameters:a = 6.641Å, c = 9.7597(10) Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 1.47
Unit Cell Volume:V 372.76 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:2
Morphology:Flat pyramidal crystals
Twinning:By rotation around [0001]
Crystal Atlas:
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Benitoite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Benitoite no.9 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

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.

Toggle
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 Benitoite

Type:Uniaxial (+)
RI values: nω = 1.756 - 1.757 nε = 1.802 - 1.804
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.046

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Pleochroism:Visible
Comments:O= colorless
E= purple, indigo, greenish blue

Chemical Properties of Benitoite

Formula:
BaTi(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
Simplified for copy/paste:BaTi(Si3O9)
Essential elements:Ba, O, Si, Ti
All elements listed in formula:Ba, O, Si, Ti
Common Impurities:Na

Relationship of Benitoite to other Species

Member of:Benitoite Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Bazirite
BaZr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
Pabstite
Ba(Sn,Ti)(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
Wadeite
K
 
2
Zr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.CA.05Bazirite
BaZr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
9.CA.05Pabstite
Ba(Sn,Ti)(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
9.CA.10Wadeite
K
 
2
Zr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
9.CA.15Calciocatapleiite
CaZr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
) · 2H
 
2
O
9.CA.15Catapleiite
Na
 
2
Zr(Si
 
3
O
 
9
) · 2H
 
2
O
9.CA.20Pseudowollastonite
CaSiO
 
3
9.CA.25Margarosanite
Pb(Ca,Mn
2+
 
)
 
2
(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
9.CA.25Walstromite
BaCa
 
2
(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
9.CA.30Bobtraillite
(Na,Ca)
 
13
Sr
 
11
(Zr,Y,Nb)
 
14
(Si
 
3
O
 
9
)
 
10
(H
 
2
BSi
 
2
O
 
9
)
 
6
· 12H
 
2
O
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
14.9.1Natisite
Na
 
2
Ti(SiO
 
4
)O
14.9.2Lorenzenite
Na
 
2
Ti
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
6
)O
 
3
14.9.3Lintisite
LiNa
 
3
Ti
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
6
)
 
2
O
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
14.9.4Davanite
K
 
2
TiSi
 
6
O
 
15
14.9.5Kazakovite
Na
 
6
Mn
2+
 
Ti(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
14.9.6Titanite
CaTi(SiO
 
4
)O
14.9.7Ohmilite
Sr
 
3
(Ti,Fe
3+
 
)(Si
 
4
O
 
12
)(O,OH) · 2-3H
 
2
O
14.9.8Lamprophyllite
(Sr,K,Ba)
 
2
(Na,Ti,Mn
2+
 
,Fe
3+
 
)
 
4
Ti
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
O(O,OH,F)
14.9.10Batisite
BaNaNaTi
 
2
(Si
 
4
O
 
12
)O
 
2
14.9.11Fresnoite
Ba
 
2
Ti(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)O
14.9.12Joaquinite-(Ce)
NaBa
 
2
Ce
 
2
FeTi
 
2
[Si
 
4
O
 
12
]
 
2
O
 
2
(OH,F) · H
 
2
O
14.9.13Orthojoaquinite-(Ce)
NaBa
 
2
Ce
 
2
FeTi
 
2
[Si
 
4
O
 
12
]
 
2
O
 
2
(O,OH) · H
 
2
O
14.9.14Strontiojoaquinite
Sr
 
2
Ba
 
2
(Na,Fe)
 
2
Ti
 
2
[Si
 
4
O
 
12
]
 
2
O
 
2
(O,OH)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
14.9.15Bario-orthojoaquinite
(Ba,Sr)
 
4
Fe
 
2
Ti
 
2
[Si
 
4
O
 
12
]
 
2
O
 
2
· H
 
2
O
14.9.16Strontio-orthojoaquinite
(Na,Fe)
 
2
Sr
 
2
Ba
 
2
Ti
 
2
[Si
 
4
O
 
12
]
 
2
O
 
2
(O,OH)
 
2
· H
 
2
O
14.9.17Bafertisite
Ba(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)
 
2
Ti(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)O(F,OH)
 
2
14.9.18Hejtmanite
Ba(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
Ti(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)O(OH,F)
14.9.19Delindeite
(Na,K)
 
2
(Ba,Ca)
 
2
(Ti,Fe,Al)
 
3
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
O
 
2
(OH)
 
2
· 2H
 
2
O
14.9.20Barytolamprophyllite
(Ba,Na)
 
2
(Na,Ti,Fe
3+
 
)
 
4
Ti
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
O(OH,F)
14.9.21Trimounsite-(Y)
Y
 
2
Ti
 
2
(SiO
 
4
)O
 
5
14.9.22Perrierite-(Ce)
(Ce,Ca,Th)
 
4
(Fe
2+
 
,Mg)Fe
3+
2
(Ti,Fe
3+
 
)
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
O
 
8
14.9.23Chevkinite
(Ce,Ca,Th)
 
4
(Fe,Mn)
 
2
(Ti,Fe)
 
3
[Si
 
2
O
 
7
]
 
2
O
 
8
14.9.24Strontiochevkinite
(Sr,La,Ce,Ca)
 
4
Fe
2+
 
(Ti,Zr)
 
2
Ti
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
O
 
8
14.9.25Tisinalite
Na
 
3
H
 
3
(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi
 
6
(O,OH)
 
18
· 2H
 
2
O
14.9.26Neptunite
Na
 
2
KLi(Fe
2+
 
,Mn
2+
 
)
 
2
Ti
 
2
(Si
 
8
O
 
24
)
14.9.27Manganoneptunite
Na
 
2
KLi(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)
 
2
Ti
 
2
[Si
 
8
O
 
24
]
14.9.28Kupletskite
(K,Na)
 
3
(Mn,Fe)
 
7
Ti
 
2
Si
 
8
O
 
26
(OH)
 
4
F
14.9.29Astrophyllite
(K,Na)
 
3
(Fe,Mn)
 
7
Ti
 
2
Si
 
8
O
 
24
(O,OH)
 
7
14.9.30Hydroastrophyllite
(H
 
3
O,K,Ca)
 
3
(Fe,Mn)
 
5-65
Ti
 
2
Si
 
8
(O,OH)
 
31
14.9.31Magnesioastrophyllite
(Na,K)
 
4
Mg
 
2
(Fe,Fe,Mn)
 
5
Ti
 
2
Si
 
8
O
 
24
(O,OH,F)
 
7
14.9.32Baratovite
KCa
 
7
(Ti,Zr)
 
2
Li
 
3
Si
 
12
O
 
36
F
 
2
14.9.34Aenigmatite
Na
 
2
Fe
2+
5
Ti(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)O
 
2
14.9.35Schorlomite
Ca
 
3
(Ti,Fe
3+
 
)
 
2
((Si,Fe
3+
 
)O
 
4
)
 
3
14.9.36Tinaksite
K
 
2
Na(Ca,Mn
2+
 
)
 
2
Ti[O|Si
 
7
O
 
18
(OH)]
14.9.37Janhaugite
(Na,Ca)
 
3
(Mn
2+
 
,Fe
2+
 
)
 
3
(Ti,Zr,Nb)
 
2
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
O
 
2
(OH,F)
 
2
14.9.38Koashvite
Na
 
6
(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si
 
6
O
 
18
· H
 
2
O

Other Names for Benitoite

Synonyms:
Benitoide
Other Languages:
Dutch:Benitoiet
Finnish:Benitoiitti
French:Benitoïte
German:Benitoit
Italian:Benitoite
Lithuanian:Benitoitas
Polish:Benitoit
Portuguese:Benitoíte
Russian:Бенитоит
Simplified Chinese:蓝锥矿
Spanish:Benitoita
Traditional Chinese:藍錐礦

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Invariably fluorescent blue in SW UV.
Other Information:Cathodoluminescent
Special Storage/
Display Requirements from:
California State Gem Mine,..., San Benito Co., California, USANone
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 Benitoite

Reference List:

- +
Louderback, G.D. & W.C. Blasdale (1907), Benitoite, a new California gem mineral, with chemical analysis by Walter C. Blasdale, University of California, Department of Geological Science Bull.: 5: 149-153.

Kraus, E.H. (1908), Interpretation of the chemical composition of the mineral benitoite, Science, new series: 7: 710-711.

Louderback, G.D. & W.C. Blasdale (1908), Benitoite, its mineralogy, paragenesis, and geological occurrence (abstract), Science, new series: 27: 411.

Louderback, G. D. (1910): Benitoite, its Paragenesis and Mode of Occurrence. Univ. Calif. Pub. 5, 331.

Blasdale, W.C. (1908), Chemical formula of the mineral benitoite: Science, new series: 28: 233-234.

Hlawatsch, C. (1909), Bemerkungen, von über die Krystallklasse des Benitoit: Tschermak's Mitt., Band 28, pp. 178-181, 1909…(abstract): Zeitschr. Kristallographic, Band 50, p. 617, 1912.

Hlawatsch, C. (1909), Die Kristalform des Benitoit: Centralbl. Mineralogie, 1909, pp. 293-302, 410.

Hlawatsch, C. (1909), Bemerkungen über den Benitoit: Zeitschr. Kristallographic, Band 46, p. 602, 1909.

Louderback, G.D. & W.C. Blasdale (1909), Benitoite, its paragenesis and mode of occurrence, University of California, Departmenty of Geologic Science Bull.: 5: 331-380.

Palache, Charles (1909), Note on a crystal form of benitoite: Am. Jour. Sci., 4th. series: 27: 398; …(abstract): Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 46: 379.

Valeton, J.J.P. (1927), Über die Struktur des Benitoits: Fortschr. Mineralogie, Band 12: 91-92.

Zachariasen, W.H. (1930), The crystal structure of benitoite, BaTiSi3O9: Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 74: 139-146

Fischer, K. (1969), Verfeinerung der Kristallstructur von Benitoite: Zeits. Krist.: 129: 222-243.

Laird, J. & A.L. Albee (1972), Chemical composition and physical, optical, and structural properties of benitoite, neptunite and joaquinite: American Mineralogist: 57: 85-102.

Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1987): 16-30.

Gaft, M., Nagli, L., Waychunas, G., and Weiss, D. (2004) The nature of blue luminescence from natural benitoite BaTiSi3O9. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 31: 365-373.

Mindat.org articles about Benitoite

Article entries:
The Care and Feeding of Your Benitoite SpecimenRick Kennedy

Internet Links for Benitoite

Search Engines:
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  • External Links:
  • Look for Benitoite on Webmineral
  • Look for Benitoite on Athena Mineralogy
  • Look for Benitoite on Wikipedia
  • Look for Benitoite on Mineralien Atlas
  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Benitoite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Specimens:The following Benitoite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

    Localities for Benitoite

    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.
    Czech Republic
     
    • Moravia (Mähren; Maehren)
      • Vysočina Region
        • Třebíč
    Krmíček, L., Cempírek J., Havlín A., Přichystal A., Houzar S, Krmíčková M, Gadas P. (2011): Mineralogy and petrogenesis of a Ba–Ti–Zr-rich peralkaline dyke from Šebkovice (Czech Republic): Recognition of the most lamproitic Variscan intrusion. In: Lithos, 121 (2011), 75-86; Elsevier.; KRMÍČEK L. 2010: Pre-Mesozoic lamprophyres and lamproites of the Bohemian Massif (Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria). Mineralogia - Special Papers, vol. 37, pp. 38-46
    Japan
     
    • Honshu Island
      • Chubu Region
        • Niigata Prefecture
          • Itoigawa City
    The Mineral Species of Japan (5th ed) Matsubara
    specimens in numerous japanese collections
    specimens in numerous japanese collections
    Hiroaki Tano specimen
      • Kanto Region
        • Tokyo Metropolis
          • Nishi-Tama-gun
            • Okutama-cho
    Ohe Rikosha specimens, and collector labels.
    • Kyushu Region
      • Oita Prefecture
        • Saiki City
    Ohe Rikosha specimen
    USA
     
    • Arkansas
      • Hot Spring Co.
        • Magnet Cove
    Barwood, H (1995), Benitoite and Joaquinite in Arkansas, Min.News: 11(5):2, 5.
    EDS id Chris Stefano
    • California
      • Fresno Co.
        • Big Creek-Rush Creek District
          • Rush Creek deposit
            • Big Creek
    [MinRec 33:161]; Canadian Mineralogist (2001): 39:1053-1058.
            • Rush Creek
    Alfors, J.T., M.C. Stinson, R.A. Matthews & A. Pabst (1965), Seven new barium minerals from eastern Fresno County, California: American Mineralogist: 50: 319; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 466.
      • Kern Co.
        • Lost Hills
    Reed, Ralph Daniel & J.P. Bailey (1927), Subsurface correlation by means of heavy minerals: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin: 11: 363; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 288; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California: 466, 484.
    Reed, Ralph Daniel & J.P. Bailey (1927), Subsurface correlation by means of heavy minerals: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin: 11: 363; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 102.
      • Mariposa Co.
        • East Belt
          • Clearing House District
            • Clearing House
              • Trumbull Peak
    [MinRec 30:414]
      • San Benito Co.
        • Diablo Range
          • New Idria District
    www.benitoitemine.com
            • Picacho Peak
              • Clear Creek area
                • Hernandez
                  • Clear Creek
    William S. Wise (1982) Strontiojoaquinite and bario-orthojoaquinite: two new members of the joaquinite group . American Mineralogist 67:809-816.
    Pabst, Adolf (1978) Zur morphologie des taramellits. Tschermaks Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen: 25: 245-256; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 465-466, 467; American Mineralogist (1984): 69: 358-373; Joseph F. Cooper Jr., Gail E. Dunning, Ted A.Hadley (2003) Minerology of the Victor Claim, Clear Creek Area, New Idria District, San Benito County, California.
            • San Benito Mountain Natural Area
              • San Benito Peak (San Benito Mountain)
    William S. Wise (1982) Strontiojoaquinite and bario-orthojoaquinite: two new members of the joaquinite group . American Mineralogist 67:809-816.
            • San Benito River headwaters area
              • Dallas Gem Mine area
    Louderback, George Davis & Walter C. Blasdale (1909), Benitoite, its mineralogy, paragenesis and mode of occurrence: University of California, Department of Geological Sciences Bulletin: 5: 331; Louderback, George Davis & Walter C. Blasdale (1907), Benitoite, a new California gem mineral, with chemical analysis by Walter C. Blasdale: University of California, Department of Geological Sciences Bulletin: 5: 149-153; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 102; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 372, 466; Wise, W.S & Gill, R.H. (1977): Minerals of the Benitoite Gem mine. Mineralogical Record 8, 442-452.
                • North of the Dallas Gem Mine
    Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 467.
      • Tulare Co.
        • Dumtah
    Mineralogical Record: 34(2): 159-166
    • Montana
      • Meagher Co.
    Chakhmouradian A.R. & Mitchell R.H. (2002) The mineralogy of Ba- and Zr-rich alkaline pegmatites from Gordon Butte, Crazy Mountains (Montana, USA): comparisons between potassic and sodic agpaitic pegmatites. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., 143, 93-114. ; Chakhmouradian, A. R. & Mitchell, R. H. (2002): The mineralogy of Ba- and Zr-rich alkaline pegmatites from Gordon Butte, Crazy Mountains (Montana, USA): comparisons between potassic and sodic agpaitic pegmatites. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 143, 93-114.
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    Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
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