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Albite

This page kindly sponsored by Norman King
Formula:
NaAlSi3O8
System:
Triclinic
Colour:
White to grey, bluish, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
6 - 6½
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1815 by Johan Gottlieb Gahn and Jöns Jacob Berzelius from Latin "albus", white, alluding to its usual color.
Feldspar Group.

Na-rich end member of the Albite-Anorthite Series.

Low- and high-temperature structural modifications exist ('low albite' and 'high albite'), with ordered and disordered Al-Si distribution, respectively.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Albite.

Classification of Albite

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
9.FA.35

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
F : Tektosilicates without zeolitic H2O
A : Tektosilicates without additional non-tetrahedral anions
Dana 7th ed.:
76.1.3.1
76.1.3.1

76 : TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
1 : Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
16.2.1

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
2 : Aluminosilicates of Na
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Type Occurrence of Albite

Year of Discovery:
1815

Occurrences of Albite

Geological Setting:
A major constituent of granites and granite pegmatites, alkalic diorites, basalts, and in hydrothermal and alpine veins. A product of potassium metasomatism and in low-temperature and low-pressure metamorphic facies and in some schists. Detrital and authigenic in sedimentary rocks.

Physical Properties of Albite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Comment:
Pearly on cleavages
Colour:
White to grey, bluish, greenish, reddish
Comment:
may be chatoyant
Streak:
White
Hardness (Mohs):
6 - 6½
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
on [001], good on [010], imperfect on {110}
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density:
2.6 - 2.65 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.615(6) g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Albite

Crystal System:
Triclinic
Class (H-M):
1 - Pinacoidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.16Å, b = 12.87Å, c = 7.11Å
α = 93.45°, β = 116.4°, γ = 90.28°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 0.634 : 1 : 0.552
Z:
4
Morphology:
Crystals commonly tabular parallel {010} , may be curved, to 3 cm; divergent aggregates, granular, cleavable massive.
Twinning:
Common around
[010] or perpendicular {010} , giving polysynthetic striae on 001 or {010} ; many other laws, contact, simple and multiple.
Comment:
High and low forms; both are described in the non-standard space-group C-1 (chosen by convention to facilitate comparison with C-centred monoclinic orthoclase and sanidine).

Crystallographic forms of Albite

Crystal Atlas:
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Albite no.78 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Albite no.80 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Albite no.256 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Albite no.267 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Albite no.309 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Albite - {110}, {010}, {1-11}, modified
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Gualtieri A F (2000) Accuracy of XRPD QPA using the combined Rietveld-RIR method Locality: Baveno, Novara, Italy. Journal of Applied Crystallography 33:267-278.

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

Type:
Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.528 - 1.533 nβ = 1.532 - 1.537 nγ = 1.538 - 1.542
2V:
Measured: 45° , Calculated: 76° to 82°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.010
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Low
Dispersion:
r < v weak
Comments:
Biaxial - for high variety.

Chemical Properties of Albite

Formula:
NaAlSi3O8
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:
Ca,K,Mg

Relationship of Albite to other Species

Series:
Forms a series with Anorthite (see here)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
Amazonite
Andesine(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
AnorthiteCaAl2Si2O8
Anorthoclase(Na,K)AlSi3O8
BanalsiteBaNa2[Al2Si2O8]2
Buddingtonite(NH4)AlSi3O8
Bytownite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)Si2O8]
CelsianBaAl2Si2O8
DmisteinbergiteCaAl2Si2O8
Hyalophane(K,Ba)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
Labradorite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)Si2O8]
MicroclineKAlSi3O8
Oligoclase(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
OrthoclaseKAlSi3O8
ParacelsianBaAl2Si2O8
ReedmergneriteNa[BSi3O8]
SanidineKAlSi3O8
Slawsonite(Sr,Ca)Al2Si2O8
StronalsiteSrNa2[Al2Si2O8]2
SvyatoslaviteCaAl2Si2O8
9.FA.05KaliophiliteKAlSiO4
9.FA.05KalsiliteKAlSiO4
9.FA.05Nepheline(Na,K)AlSiO4
9.FA.05Panunzite(K,Na)AlSiO4
9.FA.05Trikalsilite(K,Na)AlSiO4
9.FA.05Yoshiokaite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)O4]
9.FA.05MegakalsiliteKAlSiO4
9.FA.10MalinkoiteNaBSiO4
9.FA.15VirgiliteLiAlSi2O6
9.FA.25LisitsyniteKBSi2O6
9.FA.30AdulariaKAlSi3O8
9.FA.30Anorthoclase(Na,K)AlSi3O8
9.FA.30Buddingtonite(NH4)AlSi3O8
9.FA.30CelsianBaAl2Si2O8
9.FA.30Hyalophane(K,Ba)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
9.FA.30MicroclineKAlSi3O8
9.FA.30OrthoclaseKAlSi3O8
9.FA.30SanidineKAlSi3O8
9.FA.30Rubicline(Rb,K)AlSi3O8
9.FA.30MonalbiteNaAlSi3O8
9.FA.35Andesine(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
9.FA.35AnorthiteCaAl2Si2O8
9.FA.35Bytownite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)Si2O8]
9.FA.35Labradorite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)Si2O8]
9.FA.35Oligoclase(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
9.FA.35ReedmergneriteNa[BSi3O8]
9.FA.40ParacelsianBaAl2Si2O8
9.FA.45SvyatoslaviteCaAl2Si2O8
9.FA.45KumdykoliteNaAlSi3O8
9.FA.50Slawsonite(Sr,Ca)Al2Si2O8
9.FA.55LisetiteCaNa2Al4Si4O16
9.FA.60BanalsiteBaNa2[Al2Si2O8]2
9.FA.60StronalsiteSrNa2[Al2Si2O8]2
9.FA.65DanburiteCaB2Si2O8
9.FA.65MaleeviteBaB2Si2O8
9.FA.65PekoviteSrB2Si2O8
9.FA.70Lingunite(Na,Ca)AlSi3O8
9.FA.75KokchetaviteKAlSi3O8
16.2.2AnalcimeNa2(Al2Si4O12) · 2H2O
16.2.3UssingiteNa2AlSi3O8OH
16.2.4ParagoniteNaAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
16.2.5NatroliteNa2Al2Si3O10 · 2H2O
16.2.6Tetranatrolite
16.2.7ParanatroliteNa2Al2Si3O10 · 3H2O
16.2.8EphesiteLiNaAl2(Al2Si2O10)(OH)2
16.2.9Rectorite(Na,Ca)Al4((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)4 · 2H2O
16.2.10JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6
16.2.11Brammallite(Na,H3O)(Al,Mg,Fe)2((Si,Al)4O10)(OH)2

Other Names for Albite

Name in Other Languages:
Bosnian (Latin Script):Albit
Croatian:Albit
Czech:Albit
Dutch:Albiet
Esperanto:Albito
Estonian:Albiit
Finnish:Albiitti
French:Albite
Hebrew:אלביט
Hungarian:Albit
Italian:Albite
Japanese:曹長石
Latvian:Albīts
Lithuanian:Albitas
Norwegian (Bokmål):Albitt
Polish:Albit
Portuguese:Albita
Russian:Альбит
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Албит
Simplified Chinese:钠长石
Slovak:Albit
Slovenian:Albit
Swedish:Albit
Turkish:Albit
Ukrainian:Альбіт

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 Albite

Reference List:
Rose. G. (1823): Über den Feldspat, Albit, Labradorit und Anorthit, Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Vol. 73/NF-43, 175-208.

Schaller, Waldemar Theodore (1911), Krystallographische Notizen ueber Albit, Phenakit, und Neptunit: Zeitschr. für Kristallographie, Band 48: 550-558; USGS Bull. 490: 53-56 (1911).

MacKenzie, W.S. (1957) The crystalline modifications of NaAlSi3O8: American Journal of Science: 255: 481-516.

Ferguson, R.B., R.J. Trail & W.H. Taylor (1958), The crystal structure of low-temperature and high-temperature albites: Acta Crystallographica: 11: 331-348.

Smith, J.V. and MacKenzie, W.S. (1958) Alkali feldspars. IV. The cooling history of high-temperature sodium-rich feldspars. American Mineralogist: 43: 872-889.

Williams, P.P. and Megaw, H.D. (1964) The crystal structure of low and high albites at -180°C. Acta Crystallographica: 17: 882-890.

Crawford, W.A. (1966), Optical properties of metamorphic albite: American Mineralogist: 51: 523-524.

Martin, R.F. (1969) The hydrothermal synthesis of low albite. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 23: 323-339.

MacKenzie, W.S. and J. Zussman, Eds., The Feldspars (1974). Manchester University Press, U.K.

Moore, D. E. & J.G. Liou (1979), Chessboard-twinned albite from Franciscan metaconglomerates of the Diablo Range, California: American Mineralogist: 64: 329-336.

Sebastian, A. and Lagache, M. (1990) Experimental study of the equilibrium between pollucite, albite, and hydrothermal fluid in pegmatite systems. Mineralogical Magazine: 54: 447-454.

Knoche, R., Dingwell, D.B., and Webb, S.L. (1992a) Non-linear temperature dependence of liquid volumes in the system albite-anorthite-diopside. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 111: 61-73.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (1995) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume II. Silica, Silicates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 904pp., 2 sub-volumes: 13.

Benusa, M.T., R.J. Angel & N.L. Ross (2005), Compression of albite, NaAlSi3O8: American Mineralogist: 90: 1115-1120.

Internet Links for Albite

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

Localities for Albite

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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