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Calcite

This page kindly sponsored by Dragon Minerals
Formula:
CaCO3
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
White, Yellow, Red, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous, Pearly
Hardness:
3
Member of:
Name:
Ancient name. Named as a mineral by Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the elder) in 79 from Calx, Latin for Lime.
Polymorph of:
Isostructural with:
Calcite Group. Calcite-Rhodochrosite Series.

A very common and widespread mineral with highly variable forms and colours. Calcite is best recognized by its relatively low Mohs hardness (3) and its high reactivity with even weak acids, such as vinegar, plus its prominent cleavage in most varieties.



Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Calcite.

Classification of Calcite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
5.AB.05

5 : CARBONATES (NITRATES)
A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates
Dana 7th ed.:
14.1.1.1
14.1.1.1

14 : ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
1 : A(XO3)
11.4.1

11 : Carbonates
4 : Carbonates of Ca
mindat.org URL:
http://www.mindat.org/min-859.html
Please feel free to link to this page.

Occurrences of Calcite

Geological Setting:
Found in most geologic settings and as a later forming replacement mineral in most other environments in one form or another, it is most common as massive material in limestones and marbles. It forms as chemical sedimentary deposits as limestone, can be regionally or contact metamorphosed into marbles and rarely forms igneous rocks (carbonatites). Also is a common gangue mineral in hydrothermal deposits.

Physical Properties of Calcite

Vitreous, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Comment:
Pearly on cleavage and {0001}. Can be dull or earthy in chalk variety.
Colour:
White, Yellow, Red, Orange, Blue, Green, Brown, Grey etc.
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
3
Hardness Data:
Mohs hardness reference species
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {1011}.
Parting:
Readily along twin lamellae {0112} and {0001}.
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
2.7102(2) g/cm3 (Measured)    2.711 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Calcite

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
R3c
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.9896(2) Å, c = 17.061(11) Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 3.419
Unit Cell Volume:
V 367.85 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
6
Morphology:
Over 800 different forms have been described. Most commonly as acute rhombohedrons or prismatic with scalenohedral terminations, or combinations of the two.
Twinning:
At least four twin laws have been described, the most common being when the twin plane and the composition plane are {0112}. Also common with twinning on {0001} with {0001} as the compositional surface, producing re-entrant angles. Uncommon with {1011} or {0221} as twin planes, producing somewhat heart-shaped crystals ("butterfly" twins).

Crystallographic forms of Calcite

Crystal Atlas:
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Calcite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.2 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.3 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.4 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.5 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.6 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.8 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.9 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.10 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.11 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.12 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.13 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.14 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.15 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.16 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.17 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.18 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.19 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.20 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.21 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.22 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.23 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.24 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.25 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.26 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.27 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.28 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.29 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.30 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.31 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.32 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.33 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.34 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.35 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.36 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.37 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.38 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.39 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.40 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.41 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.42 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.43 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.44 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.45 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.46 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.47 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.48 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.49 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.50 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.51 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.52 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.53 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.54 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.55 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.56 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.57 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.58 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.59 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.60 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.61 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.62 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.63 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.64 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.65 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.66 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.67 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.68 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.69 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.70 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.71 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.72 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.73 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.74 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.75 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.76 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.77 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.78 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.79 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.80 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.81 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.82 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.83 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.84 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.85 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.86 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.87 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.88 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.89 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.90 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.91 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.92 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.93 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.94 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.95 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.96 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.97 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.98 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.99 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.100 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.101 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.102 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.103 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.104 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.105 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.106 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.107 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.108 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.109 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.110 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.111 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.112 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.113 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.114 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.115 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.116 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.117 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.118 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.119 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.120 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.121 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.122 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.123 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.132 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.162 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.1708 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1709 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1710 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1711 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1712 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1713 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1714 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1715 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1716 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1717 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1718 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1719 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1720 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1721 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1722 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1723 - Goldschmidt (1913)
Calcite no.1724 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2032 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2179 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2266 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2323 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2326 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2342 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2403 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2467 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite no.2481 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Calcite - Contact twin on {012}
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Maslen E N Streltsov V A Streltsova N R (1993) X-ray study of the electron density in calcite, CaCO3. Acta Crystallographica, Section B 49:636-641.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database

Epitaxial Relationships of Calcite

Epitaxial Minerals:
QuartzSiO2
DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Epitaxi Comments:
Often noted overgrowing crystals of other members of the calcite group and of dolomite with the crystal axes oriented in parallel position. Calcite is similarly noted overgrown by these species. Noted in oriented position on quartz, with calcite {0112} parallel to quartz {1011}
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.86(10)
3.035(100)
2.495(10)
2.285(20)
1.913(20)
1.875(20)
1.604(10)

Optical Data of Calcite

Type:
Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.640 - 1.660 nε = 1.486
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.154 - 0.174
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Optical Extinction:
Symmetrical to cleavage traces.

Chemical Properties of Calcite

Formula:
CaCO3
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
CAS Registry number:
471-34-1

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society
Common Impurities:
Mn,Fe,Zn,Co,Ba,Sr,Pb,Mg,Cu,Al,Ni,V,Cr,Mo

Relationship of Calcite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Rhodochrosite (see here)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
5.AB.05Gaspéite(Ni,Mg,Fe)CO3
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3
5.AB.05RhodochrositeMnCO3
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCa(Mn,Mg,Fe)(CO3)2
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2
5.AB.35AlstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.40OlekminskiteSr(Sr,Ca,Ba)(CO3)2
5.AB.40ParalstoniteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2
5.AB.55Benstonite(Ba,Sr)6(Ca,Mn)6Mg(CO3)13
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2
11.4.2AragoniteCaCO3
11.4.3VateriteCaCO3
11.4.4MonohydrocalciteCaCO3 · H2O
11.4.5IkaiteCaCO3 · 6H2O
11.4.6DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
11.4.7HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4
11.4.8SergeeviteCa2Mg11(CO3)13 · 10H2O

Other Names for Calcite

Name in Other Languages:
Anglo-Saxon:Calcite
Basque:Kaltzita
Belarusian:Кальцый
Bosnian (Latin Script):Kalcit
Bulgarian:Калцит
Catalan:Calcita
Croatian:Kalcit
Czech:Kalcit
Danish:Kalk
Dutch:Calciet
Esperanto:Kalcito
Estonian:Kaltsiit
Finnish:Kalsiitti
Galician:Calcita
Greek:χάλζ
Hebrew:קלציט
Hungarian:Kalcit
Japanese:方解石
Latvian:Kalcīts
Lithuanian:Kalcitas
Norwegian (Bokmål):Kalk
Persian:کلسیت
Polish:Kalcyt
Portuguese:Calcita
Romanian:Calcit
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Калцит
Simplified Chinese:方解石
Slovak:Kalcit
Turkish:Kalsit
Ukrainian:Кальцит
Vietnamese:Canxit

Other Information

May be fluorescent under LW UV, mid-range UV or SW UV as well as under X-rays, cathode rays and even sunlight, in a number of colors and shades, commonly an intense red under SW with Mn as an activator (such as at Franklin, New Jersey, USA, and Langban in
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Mined extensively for a wide variety of uses ranging from lime (cement) to limestone and marble building stones and aggregates, agricultural supplements and optical calcite.

References for Calcite

Reference List:
Irby (1879) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 3: 610.

Rogers (1901) School of Mines Quarterly: 22: 429 (morphological summary).

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1909), Some calcite crystals with new forms: Washington Academy of Science Proceedings: 11: 1-16; …Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 48: 148-157 (1910).

Whitlock (1910) New York State Museum Mem. 13.

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 2: 5.

Bragg (1914) Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: 89A: 246.

Johnson, Merwin, and Williamson (1916) American Journal of Science: 41: 473.

Wyckoff (1920) American Journal of Science: 50: 317.

Compton et al (1925) Physical Review, a Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics: 25: 618.

Krieger (1930) American Mineralogist: 15: 23.

Bearden (1931) Physical Review, a Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics: 38: 1389.

Lipson (1943) Nature: 151: 250.

Zeitschr. Kristallographie: 156: 233-243.

Schulman, J.H., et al (1947) The sensitized luminescence of manganese-activated calcite. Journal of Applied Physics: 18: 732-739.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 142-161.

Kerr (1959) Optical Mineralogy 3rd ed. 422pp.

Goldsmith, J.R., D.L. Graf, J. Witters & D.A. Northrop (1962), Studies in the system CaCO3•MgCO3•FeCO3: (1) Phase relations; (2) A method for major element spectrochemical analyses; and (3) Composition of some ferroan dolomites: Journal of Geology: 70: 659-688.

Van der Veen, A.H. (1965) Calcite-dolomite intergrowths in high-temperature carbonate rocks. American Mineralogist: 50: 2070-2077.

Merrill, L. & W.A. Bassett (1972), Crystal structures of the high pressure phases of calcite: EOS: 53: 1121.

Singh, A.K. & G.C. Kennedy (1974), Compression of calcite to 40 kbar: Journal of Geophysical Research: 79: 2615-2622.

Irving, A.J. and Wyllie, P.J. (1975) Subsolidus and melting relationships for calcite, magnesite and the join CaCO3 - MgCO3 to 36 kbar. Geochimica et Cosmochmica Acta: 39: 35-53.

Merrill, L. & W.A. Bassett (1975), The crystal structure of CaCO3 (II), a high pressure metastable phase of calcium carbonate: Acta Crystallographica: B31: 343-349.

Markgraf, S.A., and R.J. Reeder (1985), High-temperature structure refinements of calcite and magnetite: American Mineralogist: 70: 590.

Reviews in Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America: 11.

Brock, K. (1993): The crystal forms of Calcite. Mineralogical Record, 24, 451-470.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition: 426.

Richards, P. (1999): The Four Twin Laws of Calcite and How to Recognize Them. Rocks and Minerals, 74 (5), 308-317.

"ExtraLapis English No. 4: Calcite", Lapis International, June 2003.

Marco Bruno, Francesco Roberto Massaro , Marco Rubbo , Mauro Prencipe and Dino Aquilano (2010): (10.4), (01.8), (01.2), and (00.1) Twin Laws of Calcite (CaCO3): Equilibrium Geometry of the Twin Boundary Interfaces and Twinning Energy. Cryst. Growth Des., 10 (7), 3102–3109.

Smyth, J.R. & T.J. Ahrens, The crystal structure of calcite III: Geophysical Research Letters: 25: 1595-1598.

http://nsminerals.atspace.com/calcite.html

Internet Links for Calcite

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

Localities for Calcite

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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