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Chrysotile

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Formula:
Mg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
System:
Monoclinic
Colour:
Green
Lustre:
Silky
Hardness:
Name:
Named in 1843 by Franz von Kobell from the Greek chrysos - "gold" and tilos - "fiber."
Serpentine Group.
Polytypes are clinochrysotile, orthochrysotile, and parachrysotile. Clinochrysotile represents almost all of the known chrysotile specimens. Orthochrysotile is rare and parachrysotile is very rare.
Lizardite and antigorite are closely related Serpentine Group species.

Most of the asbestos that was mined worldwide, consists of chrysotile.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Chrysotile.

Classification of Chrysotile

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
8/DX.00-00
9.ED.15

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
E : Phyllosilicates
D : Phyllosilicates with kaolinite layers composed of tetrahedral and octahedral nets
71.1.5.1

71 : PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
1 : Sheets of 6-membered rings with 1:1 layers
14.4.4

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
4 : Silicates of Mg
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First Recorded Occurrence of Chrysotile

Physical Properties of Chrysotile

Silky
Colour:
Green
Hardness (Mohs):

Crystallography of Chrysotile

Polytype:
Formula:
Crystal System:
Class (H-M)
Space Group:
Space Group Setting:
Cell Parameters:
Ratio:
Unit Cell Volume (calc):
Z:
ClinochrysotileOrthochrysotileParachrysotile
Monoclinic Orthorhombic Orthorhombic 
2/m - Prismatic
   
   
a = 5.3Å, b = 9.19Å, c = 14.63Å
β = 93°
a = 5.34Å, b = 9.24Å, c = 14.2Å
a = 5.3Å, b = 9.24Å, c = 14.71Å
a:b:c = 0.577 : 1 : 1.592a:b:c = 0.578 : 1 : 1.537a:b:c = 0.574 : 1 : 1.592
V 711.61 ų
(Calculated from Unit Cell)
V 700.65 ų
(Calculated from Unit Cell)
V 720.38 ų
(Calculated from Unit Cell)
4  

Optical Data of Chrysotile

Type:
Biaxial
RI values:
nα = 1.569 nγ = 1.570
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.001
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate
Dispersion:
r > v or r < v

Chemical Properties of Chrysotile

Formula:
Mg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Chrysotile to other Species

Other Members of Group:
AmesiteMg2Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
AntigoriteMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
Baumite(Mg,Al,Mn,Zn,Fe)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
Berthierine(Fe2+,Fe3+,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
Brindleyite(Ni,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
Caryopilite(Mn,Mg)3(Si2O5)(OH)4
Clinochrysotile
CronstedtiteFe22+Fe3+((Si,Fe3+)2O5)(OH)4
DickiteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Fraipontite(Zn,Al)3((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
GreenaliteFe2-3(Si2O5)(OH)4
HalloysiteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
KellyiteMn22+Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
LizarditeMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
ManandoniteLi2Al4(Si2AlB)O10(OH)8
NacriteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Népouite(Ni,Mg)3(Si2O5)(OH)4
Odinite(Fe,Mg,Al,Fe,Ti,Mn)2.4((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
Orthochrysotile
Parachrysotile
PecoraiteNi3(Si2O5)(OH)4
Webskyite
9.ED.05DickiteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.05KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.05NacriteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.05Odinite(Fe,Mg,Al,Fe,Ti,Mn)2.4((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.10HalloysiteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.10HisingeriteFe23+(Si2O5)(OH)4 · 2H2O
9.ED.10Halloysite-7ÅAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15AmesiteMg2Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
9.ED.15AntigoriteMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15Berthierine(Fe2+,Fe3+,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
9.ED.15Brindleyite(Ni,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4
9.ED.15Caryopilite(Mn,Mg)3(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15CronstedtiteFe22+Fe3+((Si,Fe3+)2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15Fraipontite(Zn,Al)3((Si,Al)2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15GreenaliteFe2-3(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15KellyiteMn22+Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4
9.ED.15LizarditeMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15ManandoniteLi2Al4(Si2AlB)O10(OH)8
9.ED.15Népouite(Ni,Mg)3(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15PecoraiteNi3(Si2O5)(OH)4
9.ED.15GuidottiiteMn2Fe3+(Fe3+SiO5)(OH)4
9.ED.20Allophane(Al2O3)(SiO2)1.3-2 · 2.5-3H2O
9.ED.20ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O (x < 1)
9.ED.20ImogoliteAl2SiO3(OH)4
9.ED.20Neotocite(Mn,Fe,Mg)SiO3 · H2O
9.ED.25BismutoferriteFe23+Bi(SiO4)2(OH)
9.ED.25ChapmaniteFe23+Sb3+(Si2O5)O3(OH)
14.4.1ForsteriteMg2SiO4
14.4.2EnstatiteMgSiO3
14.4.3ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3
14.4.5Clinochrysotile
14.4.6Orthochrysotile
14.4.7Parachrysotile
14.4.8LizarditeMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
14.4.9TalcMg3(Si4O10)(OH)2
14.4.10SpadaiteMgSiO2(OH)2 · H2O (?)
14.4.11SepioliteMg4(Si6O15)(OH)2 · 6H2O
14.4.12LoughliniteNa2Mg3Si6O16 · 8H2O
14.4.13EifeliteKNa3Mg4Si12O30
14.4.14Stevensite(Ca,Na)xMg3-x(Si4O10)(OH)2
14.4.15AntigoriteMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4
14.4.16 Magnesio-anthophyllite

Other Names for Chrysotile

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 Chrysotile

Reference List:
Whittaker, E.J.W. (1953) The structure of chrysotile. Acta Crystallographica: 6: 747-748.

Whittaker, E.J.W. (1956a) The structure of chrysotile . II. Clinochrysotile. Acta Crystallographica: 9: 855-862.

Whittaker, E.J.W. (1956b) The structure of chrysotile . III. Orthochrysotile. Acta Crystallographica: 9: 862-864.

Whittaker, E.J.W. (1956b) The structure of chrysotile . IV. Parachrysotile. Acta Crystallographica: 9: 865-867.

Yada, K. (1971) Study of microstructure of chrysotile asbestos by high-resolution electron microscope. Acta Crystallographica: 27: 659-664.

Wicks, F.J. (1979) Mineralogy, chemistry and crystallography of chrysotile asbestos. Section I, Part B. In: Mineralogical Techniques of Asbestos Determination (R.L. Ledoux, ed.). Mineralogical Association of Canada, Short Course Handbook 4: 35-78.

Evans, Bernard W. (2004): The Serpentinite Multisystem Revisited: Chrysotile is Metastable. International Geology Review, 46, 479–506.

Ristić, M. et al. (2010): Spectroscopic characterization of chrysotile asbestos from different regions. Journal of Molecular Structure (in press).

Internet Links for Chrysotile

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

Localities for Chrysotile

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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