Donate now to keep mindat.org alive!Help mindat.org|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
The most common minerals on earthMineral PhotographyThe Elements and their Minerals
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
Keyword(s):
 
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

The Mineralogy of Carbon

General Properties
Symbol:C
Atomic Number:6
Standard atomic weight (Ar):12.0107(8)
Electron configuration:[He] 2s2 2p2
Photos
<
Glassy carbon and a 1cm³ graphite cube
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.55
Atomic Radius:67 pm
Ionic Radius:16 pm (+4)
Van der Waals Radius:170 pm
1st Ionization energy:1087 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-154 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-4,-3,-2,-1,1,2,3,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:covalent network
Melting Point:3823 K
Boiling Point:4300 K
Density:2.26 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:nonmetal
Main isotopes of Carbon
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
11Csynthetic20minβ+11B
12C98.9%stable
13C1.1%stable
14Ctrace5730yβ−14N
Main ions of Carbon
NameIonExample minerals
carbonateCO32-Calcite, Dolomite, Rhodochrosite, Siderite
hydrogen carbonate (bicarbonate)HCO3-
Other Information
Year Discovered:3750 BC
Discovered By:Egyptians and Sumerians
Recognised as an element:1789
Recognised By:
Antoine Lavoisier
Named For:from Latin: carbo - coal
CPK color coding:#909090
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidescarbon disulphideCS2+4
Selenidescarbon diselenideCSe2+4
HydridesmethaneCH4+4Methane Ice
Fluoridescarbon tetrafluorideCF4+4
Chloridescarbon tetrachlorideCCl4+4
Bromidescarbon tetrabromideCBr4+4
Iodidescarbon tetraiodideCI4+4
Oxidescarbon dioxideCO2+4Carbon Dioxide Ice
carbon monoxideCO+2Carbon Monoxide Ice
carbon suboxideC3O2+4
Carbon as a chromophore in minerals and gems
ChromophoreDescription
CO3-maxixe beryl owes its blue colour to an admixture of CO2-3 and HCO-3 free radical ions which decompose to CO-3 under the influence of prolonged natural radiation.
Mineral Diversity of Carbon
1. Elements 14 valid mineral species
3. Halides4 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 5 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 229 valid mineral species
6. Borates9 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 11 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates8 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 37 valid mineral species
10. Organic Compounds46 valid mineral species
Total:363 valid species containing essential Carbon
Geochemistry of Carbon
Goldschmidt classification:Atmophile
C4+ is one of the eight most abundant solutes in average river water.
C4- forms minerals with Si4+.
Elemental Carbon in Nature
Found as native element:DiamondC
LonsdaleiteC
Shungite
ChaoiteC
Elemental Abundance for Carbon
Crust (CRC Handbook)2.00 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)1.80 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)3.76 x 10-3mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)2.8 x 10-5mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)2.8 x 10-5mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Atmosphere (NASA)397ppmas CO2
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)1.0 x 101atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)1.0 x 101atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)1.01 x 101atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Carbon in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Carbon and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Carbon and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Carbon.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Carbon% of C mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen375 minerals with C and O93.98%22.89% higher
Hydrogen278 minerals with C and H69.67%29.35% higher
Calcium138 minerals with C and Ca34.59%40.38% higher
Sodium104 minerals with C and Na26.07%37.53% higher
Magnesium64 minerals with C and Mg16.04%16.34% higher
Silicon58 minerals with C and Si14.54%47.70% lower
Aluminium54 minerals with C and Al13.53%31.93% lower
Cerium50 minerals with C and Ce12.53%278.90% higher
Fluorine43 minerals with C and F10.78%29.18% higher
Sulfur40 minerals with C and S10.03%48.76% lower
Iron36 minerals with C and Fe9.02%60.52% lower
Copper34 minerals with C and Cu8.52%32.06% lower
Barium33 minerals with C and Ba8.27%78.05% higher
Yttrium33 minerals with C and Y8.27%215.69% higher
Uranium31 minerals with C and U7.77%62.07% higher
Lanthanum30 minerals with C and La7.52%339.85% higher
Chlorine30 minerals with C and Cl7.52%0.33% lower
Lead28 minerals with C and Pb7.02%26.81% lower
Manganese26 minerals with C and Mn6.52%43.71% lower
Strontium23 minerals with C and Sr5.76%104.11% higher
Neodymium21 minerals with C and Nd5.26%444.74% higher
Potassium21 minerals with C and K5.26%45.74% lower
Phosphorus20 minerals with C and P5.01%54.66% lower
Nickel16 minerals with C and Ni4.01%23.33% higher
Zinc15 minerals with C and Zn3.76%29.75% lower
Nitrogen13 minerals with C and N3.26%70.25% higher
Boron12 minerals with C and B3.01%40.93% lower
Zirconium9 minerals with C and Zr2.26%6.62% lower
Niobium6 minerals with C and Nb1.50%55.53% lower
Titanium6 minerals with C and Ti1.50%78.24% lower
Chromium6 minerals with C and Cr1.50%9.06% lower
Cobalt5 minerals with C and Co1.25%11.26% lower
Gadolinium5 minerals with C and Gd1.25%1,024.06% higher
Mercury4 minerals with C and Hg1.00%41.98% lower
Dysprosium4 minerals with C and Dy1.00%1,248.87% higher
Samarium3 minerals with C and Sm0.75%574.44% higher
Thorium3 minerals with C and Th0.75%15.70% lower
Tungsten3 minerals with C and W0.75%1.30% lower
Tantalum3 minerals with C and Ta0.75%44.57% lower
Bismuth3 minerals with C and Bi0.75%81.61% lower
Arsenic3 minerals with C and As0.75%93.41% lower
Lithium3 minerals with C and Li0.75%66.56% lower
Tellurium3 minerals with C and Te0.75%75.33% lower
Vanadium2 minerals with C and V0.50%87.90% lower
Praseodymium1 mineral with C and Pr0.25%574.44% higher
Beryllium1 mineral with C and Be0.25%88.76% lower
Iodine1 mineral with C and I0.25%46.05% lower
Cadmium1 mineral with C and Cd0.25%50.04% lower
Bromine1 mineral with C and Br0.25%20.65% lower
Germanium1 mineral with C and Ge0.25%53.49% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
 
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with C Relative Frequency
Boron << Carbon >> Nitrogen


Most widespread minerals containing Carbon
This list of minerals containing Carbon is built from the mindat.org locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Carbon mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
CalciteCaCO3Trigonal25216
MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2Monoclinic11383
DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2Trigonal7534
SideriteFeCO3Trigonal5874
AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2Monoclinic5168
CerussitePbCO3Orthorhombic4732
AragoniteCaCO3Orthorhombic3018
AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2Trigonal2862
GraphiteCHexagonal2519
SmithsoniteZnCO3Trigonal2331
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Carbon mineral species
map should go here
1Poudrette quarry (Demix quarry; Uni-Mix quarry; Carrière Mont Saint-Hilaire; MSH), Mont Saint-Hilaire, La Vallée-du-Richelieu RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada77 C minerals
2Clara Mine, Rankach valley, Oberwolfach, Wolfach, Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany37 C minerals
3Tsumeb Mine (Tsumcorp Mine), Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region (Oshikoto), Namibia29 C minerals
4Vuoriyarvi alkaline-ultrabasic massif, Northern Karelia, Murmanskaya Oblast', Northern Region, Russia25 C minerals
5Sounion Mine No. 19 ("Chloridstollen"), Sounion Mines, Sounion area, Lavrion District Mines, Lavrion District (Laurion; Laurium), Attikí Prefecture (Attica; Attika), Greece24 C minerals
6Friedrichssegen Mine, Frücht, Bad Ems District, Lahn valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany23 C minerals
7Jáchymov (St Joachimsthal), Jáchymov District (St Joachimsthal), Krušné Hory Mts (Erzgebirge), Karlovy Vary Region, Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Czech Republic22 C minerals
8Långban, Filipstad, Värmland, Sweden22 C minerals


Important ores of Carbon
Although most pure carbon is produced from processing coals and oils, pure carbon in the form of graphite is still mined in many parts of the world.
NameFormulaCrystal System
GraphiteCHexagonal
Photos


Important industrial minerals containing Carbon
NameFormulaCrystal System
DiamondCIsometric
Coal
CalciteCaCO3Trigonal
DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2Trigonal
Photos


Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2017, 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: November 24, 2017 03:41:22
Go to top of page