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Benitoite

This page kindly sponsored by Jim Bean
Formula:
BaTi(Si3O9)
System:
Hexagonal
Colour:
Sapphire blue, white to ...
Hardness:
6 - 6½
Member of:
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.

Classification of Benitoite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
9.CA.05

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

59 : CYCLOSILICATES Three-Membered Rings
1 : Three-Membered Rings, anhydrous, no other anions
14.9.9

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
9 : Silicates of Ti
mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-624.html
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First Recorded Occurrence of Benitoite

Year of Discovery:
1907

Physical Properties of Benitoite

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:
3.65 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.68 g/cm3 (Calculated)

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]

Crystallographic forms of Benitoite

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Benitoite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Benitoite no.9 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Toggle
Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

View
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 Benitoite

Type:
Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.756 - 1.757 nε = 1.802 - 1.804
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.046
Image 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(Si3O9)
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Na

Relationship of Benitoite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
BaziriteBaZr(Si3O9)
PabstiteBa(Sn,Ti)(Si3O9)
WadeiteK2Zr(Si3O9)
9.CA.05BaziriteBaZr(Si3O9)
9.CA.05PabstiteBa(Sn,Ti)(Si3O9)
9.CA.10WadeiteK2Zr(Si3O9)
9.CA.15CalciocatapleiiteCaZr(Si3O9) · 2H2O
9.CA.15CatapleiiteNa2Zr(Si3O9) · 2H2O
9.CA.20PseudowollastoniteCaSiO3
9.CA.25MargarosanitePb(Ca,Mn2+)2(Si3O9)
9.CA.25WalstromiteBaCa2(Si3O9)
9.CA.30Bobtraillite(Na,Ca)13Sr11(Zr,Y,Nb)14(Si3O9)10(H2BSi2O9)6 · 12H2O
14.9.1NatisiteNa2Ti(SiO4)O
14.9.2LorenzeniteNa2Ti2(Si2O6)O3
14.9.3LintisiteLiNa3Ti2(Si2O6)2O2 · 2H2O
14.9.4DavaniteK2TiSi6O15
14.9.5KazakoviteNa6Mn2+Ti(Si6O18)
14.9.6TitaniteCaTi(SiO4)O
14.9.7OhmiliteSr3(Ti,Fe3+)(Si4O12)(O,OH) · 2-3H2O
14.9.8Lamprophyllite(Sr,K,Ba)2(Na,Ti,Mn2+,Fe3+)4Ti2(Si2O7)2O(O,OH,F)
14.9.10BatisiteBaNaNaTi2(Si4O12)O2
14.9.11FresnoiteBa2Ti(Si2O7)O
14.9.12Joaquinite-(Ce)NaBa2Ce2FeTi2[Si4O12]2O2(OH,F) · H2O
14.9.13Orthojoaquinite-(Ce)NaBa2Ce2FeTi2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH) · H2O
14.9.14StrontiojoaquiniteSr2Ba2(Na,Fe)2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH)2 · H2O
14.9.15Bario-orthojoaquinite(Ba,Sr)4Fe2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2 · H2O
14.9.16Strontio-orthojoaquinite(Na,Fe)2Sr2Ba2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH)2 · H2O
14.9.17BafertisiteBa(Fe2+,Mn2+)2Ti(Si2O7)O(F,OH)2
14.9.18HejtmaniteBa(Mn2+,Fe2+)2Ti(Si2O7)O(OH,F)
14.9.19Delindeite(Na,K)2(Ba,Ca)2(Ti,Fe,Al)3(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2 · 2H2O
14.9.20Barytolamprophyllite(Ba,Na)2(Na,Ti,Fe3+)4Ti2(Si2O7)2O(OH,F)
14.9.21Trimounsite-(Y)Y2Ti2(SiO4)O5
14.9.22Perrierite-(Ce)(Ce,Ca,Th)4(Fe2+,Mg)Fe23+(Ti,Fe3+)2(Si2O7)2O8
14.9.23Chevkinite(Ce,Ca,Th)4(Fe,Mn)2(Ti,Fe)3[Si2O7]2O8
14.9.24Strontiochevkinite(Sr,La,Ce,Ca)4Fe2+(Ti,Zr)2Ti2(Si2O7)2O8
14.9.25TisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2O
14.9.26NeptuniteNa2KLi(Fe2+,Mn2+)2Ti2(Si8O24)
14.9.27ManganoneptuniteNa2KLi(Mn2+,Fe2+)2Ti2[Si8O24]
14.9.28Kupletskite(K,Na)3(Mn,Fe)7Ti2Si8O26(OH)4F
14.9.29Astrophyllite(K,Na)3(Fe,Mn)7Ti2Si8O24(O,OH)7
14.9.30Hydroastrophyllite(H3O,K,Ca)3(Fe,Mn)5-65Ti2Si8(O,OH)31
14.9.31Magnesioastrophyllite(Na,K)4Mg2(Fe,Fe,Mn)5Ti2Si8O24(O,OH,F)7
14.9.32BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2
14.9.34AenigmatiteNa2Fe52+Ti(Si6O18)O2
14.9.35SchorlomiteCa3(Ti,Fe3+)2((Si,Fe3+)O4)3
14.9.36TinaksiteK2Na(Ca,Mn2+)2Ti[O|Si7O18(OH)]
14.9.37Janhaugite(Na,Ca)3(Mn2+,Fe2+)3(Ti,Zr,Nb)2(Si2O7)2O2(OH,F)2
14.9.38KoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2O

Other Names for Benitoite

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

Other Information

Invariably fluorescent blue in SW UV.
Other Information:
Cathodoluminescent
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 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.

Internet Links for Benitoite

Specimens:
The following Benitoite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Benitoite

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 for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? 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; Yamada, S. (2004) Nihonsan-koubutsu Gojuon-hairetsu Sanchi-ichiranhyou (111 pp.)
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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