Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat Articles
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

The Mines and Minerals of Lavrion - Vanadinite

Last Updated: 25th Jan 2019

By Branko Rieck

Vanadinite, Pb5(VO4)3Cl, hexagonal

General Appearance
The mineral vanadinite usually occurs as short to long prismatic crystals. Most crystals show a pronounced basal pinacoid, however there have been rare occurrences of pyramidal terminations as well. The color ranges from pale yellow to an intense orange. Zonal growth is commonly observed with translucent off-white colored cores of vanadium-bearing mimetite surrounded by a (mostly thin) rim of orange vanadinite. The matrix consists of heavily altered host rock.

Fig. 1: Typical vanadinite crystal exhibiting faces {100}, {001}, {111}, {101}, {121}, {211}. (See Fig.6)

The source of vanadium has been debated and is as yet unclear. The close proximity to heavily altered mafic rocks may point to pyroxens and micas initially contained in these mafic rocks which are known – from less altered portions of the deposit – to contain vanadium in noticeable amounts. Vanadinite is a late stage secondary mineral that has grown in cavities in and on clear calcite crystals. A rare constituent of the paragenesis is dark brown crystals of arsendescloizite/descloizite solid solutions.

Currently there are three spots known for vanadinite in Lavrion. The most prominent being the one from which vanadinite was first discovered from Lavrion. It is a short working in the side of the Plaka #80 gallery. This locality has yielded nearly all of the vanadinite currently in the hands of collectors. While the “primary” source – a layer of rock about 20 cm thick, visible over a length of about 4 m – for vanadinite has been thoroughly mined out during 20 years of collecting, small crystals can still be found in the rubble.
Fig. 2: The short working in the Plaka #80 gallery. The band of white material to the left yielded the vanadinite. FOV: 3 m wide at the entrance and about 12 m deep.

In September 2012 the author discovered tiny vanadinite crystals while waiting for his colleagues at a connection between the Adami 2 adit and the Plaka #80 gallery. This connection is in parts hewn into the same type of rock that appears at the first occurrence of vanadinite. The crystals from Adami 2 adit are much smaller but otherwise can easily be mistaken for #80 specimens.
In April 2014 an occurrence of the now familiar rock type was encountered in the Adit #145 in Plaka. And again, vanadinite was discovered. In this locality the vanadinite is of the “arsenatian” variety, and actually most of the crystals are in fact vanadium-bearing mimetite. At this locality the crystals are zoned along the c-axis with orange vanadinite “bands” in nominally mimetite crystals. Most attractive are the crystals that have an orange “cap”.

Fig. 3: Tabular crystal of vanadinite from the #80 gallery. FOV: 3 mm.

Fig. 4: A milky white core of mimetite is covered by a narrow rim of brown vanadinite from the #80 gallery. The zonal growth occurred along the a-axis. FOV: 3 mm.

Fig. 5: Typical short prismatic crystal of vanadinite from the #80 gallery. FOV: 3 mm.

Fig. 6: Orange vanadinite from the Adami 2 occurrence. This is the best specimen I know from this locality. FOV: 2 mm.

Fig. 7: Arsenatian vanadinite from the Plaka #145 occurrence. Note the zonal growth along the c-axis between arsenatian vanadinite and a narrow band of almost As-free vanadinite. FOV: 3 mm.

Thanks go to Dr. Uwe Kolitsch for constructive comments and diligent proofreading to improve this article.

Article has been viewed at least 517 times.


Just love the minerals from the Lavrion area, this rarity for the Plaka Mine.

Steve Rust
28th Jan 2019 2:26pm

In order to leave comments to this article, you must be registered
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: March 25, 2019 01:27:40
Go to top of page