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Posted by Harjo Neutkens  
Harjo Neutkens November 28, 2010 02:07PM
Click here to view Best Minerals X and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?

Xenotime-(Y)YPO4 Tetragonal

Xenotime-(Y) from Trimouns, France. FOV 0,3cm

Xenotime is a rare earth phosphate mineral, whose major component is yttrium orthophosphate (YPO4). It forms a solid solution series with chernovite-(Y) (YAsO4) and therefore may contain trace impurities of arsenic, as well as silicon dioxide and calcium. The rare earths dysprosium, erbium, terbium, and ytterbium, and metal elements like thorium and uranium (all replacing yttrium) are the expressive secondary components of xenotime.
Due to uranium and thorium impurities, some xenotime specimens may be weakly to strongly radioactive. Lithiophyllite, monazite, and purpurite are sometimes grouped with xenotime in the informal "anhydrous phosphates" group. Xenotime is used chiefly as a source of yttrium and heavy lanthanide metals (dysprosium, ytterbium, erbium, and gadolinium). Occasionally, gemstones are also cut from the finer xenotime crystals.
The etymology of the name xenotime is from the Greek words "κευός vain and τιμή honor because the yttrium contained within it was first thought to be a new element. According to Vickery, the original name of the mineral was "kenotime", but due to a misprint, the "k" became an "x", and the change stuck. Xenotime was first described for an occurrence in Vest-Agder, Norway in 1832.

Crystallising in the tetragonal (I41/amd) crystal system, xenotime is typically translucent to opaque (rarely transparent) in shades of brown to brownish yellow (most common), but also reddish to greenish brown and gray.
Xenotime has a variable habit: It may be prismatic (stubby or slender and elongate) with dipyramidal terminations, in radial or granular aggregates, or rosettes. A soft mineral (Mohs hardness 4.5), xenotime is—in comparison to most other translucent minerals—fairly dense, with a specific gravity between 4.4–5.1. Its lustre, which may be vitreous to resinous, together with its crystal system, may lead to a confusion with zircon (ZrSiO4), that a similar crystal structure and with which xenotime may sometimes occur.
Xenotime has two directions of perfect prismatic cleavage and its fracture is uneven to irregular (sometimes splintery). It is considered brittle and its streak is white.
The refractive index of xenotime is 1.720-1.815 with a birefringence of 0.095 (uniaxial positive). Xenotime is dichroic with pink, yellow, or yellowish brown seen in the extraordinary ray, and brownish yellow, grayish brown or greenish brown seen in the ordinary ray. There is no reaction under ultraviolet light. While xenotime may contain significant amounts of thorium or uranium, the mineral does not undergo metamictization like sphene or zircon would.

Occurring as a minor accessory mineral, xenotime is found in pegmatites and other igneous rocks, as well as gneisses rich in mica and quartz. Associated minerals include biotite and other micas, chlorite group minerals, quartz, zircon, certain feldspars, analcime, anatase, brookite, rutile, siderite, and apatite. Xenotime is also known to be diagenetic: It may form as minute grains or as extremely thin (less than 10 µ) coatings on detrital zircon grains in siliciclastic sedimentary rocks. The importance of these diagenetic xenotime deposits in the radiometric dating of sedimentary rocks is only beginning to be realised.

Xenotime-(Y)AustriaSalzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Obersulzbach valley, Hopffeld area, Hopffeldboden

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,2cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm

Rocksled material, consisting mainly of aplitic gneisses with small miarolitic cavities hosting some rare minerals.
The best finds in the (at that times) fresh material were made in the 1980s.

Xenotime-(Y)AustriaSalzburg, Hohe Tauern Mts, Rauris valley, Hüttwinkl valley, Lohning quarry (Lohninger quarry)

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,2cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,6cm

The bottom of the Hüttwinkl valley is filled with rocksled material, originating from different places in the Krumlbach and upper Hüttwinkl valleys. These boulders are worked in the Kaiserer and Lohning quarries. The minerals therefore, originate from a large variety of different parageneses.
Presently (2005), the Lohning quarry is not strictly active - the owner excavates marble from an upper quarry and cuts marble plates etc. for subsequent sale.

Xenotime-(Y)AustriaTyrol, North Tyrol, Zamser Grund (Zams valley), Schrammacher Mt., Oberschrammach glacier

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,25cm

Info needed.

Xenotime-(Y)BelgiumLuxembourg Province, Bertrix, La Haie forest, Old quarry

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm

Xenotime-(Y) is a rare mineral for Belgium. Reasonably nice but very small crystals have been found in the early 20th century in the classic Quartzite localities south of Brussels (Nil-St-Vincent, Opprebais, Dongelberg). Small grains have been noticed from the Ardennes.
Surprisingly, in 2005 very nice Xenotime-(Y) crystals were found in the remains of a very small old long closed and overgrown quarry. Xenotime-(Y) occurs in small cavities in a massive Quartz vein together with Rutile, Brookite, Anatase, Apatite, Titanite and Fuchsite.

Xenotime-(Y)BrazilBahia, Ibitiara

Xenotime-(Y) 4,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) 3,5cm

Xenotime-(Y)BrazilBahia, Novo Horizonte

Xenotime, Quartz 3,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) 3cm

Until the mid 1990's Ibitiara county was big and Remedios and Novo Horizonte
were districts of Ibitiara; then there was a vote and Novo Horizonte was
split from Ibitiara and became a new county ("município" ), and Remedios
voted to join Novo Horizonte, so now the only county that produce rutilated
quartz and rutile on hematite is Novo Horizonte, and Remedios is just a
district of Novo Horizonte.

Xenotime-(Y)BrazilMinas Gerais, Doce valley, Governador Valadares, Ibituruna peak, Atalaia Quarry (Ataléia Mine)

Xenotime, Quartz 2,5cm
Xenotime-(Y) 2,5cm

The Atalaia quarry is also known under the incorrect name 'Ataléia Mine'.
Aimorés pegmatite district, Eastern Brazilian pegmatite province.
Locality for outstanding large Xenotime-(Y) crystals.

Xenotime-(Y)FranceMidi-Pyrénées, Ariège, Luzenac, Trimouns Talc Mine

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV0,3cm

Info needed.

Xenotime-(Y)ItalyPiedmont, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Baceno, Ossola Valley, Devero Alp (Devero Valley; Val Devero), Mount Cervandone

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,35cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV0,3cm

Italian side of Cherbadung, Wallis (Valais), Switzerland (
In the rocks under the walls of the mountain often minerals are found coming from the Punta della Rossa etc. (see there).
So you can also take the minerals from the 'Ghiacciaio della Rossa' here. Although they should be cut off...

Xenotime-(Y)ItalyTrentino-Alto Adige, Bolzano Province (South Tyrol), Vizze Valley (Pfitsch Valley)

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,2cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,2cm

Info needed.

Xenotime-(Y)MalawiZomba District, Mt Malosa

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,1cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,2cm

Alkali pegmatites with unusual REE minerals. Famous for excellent and large aegirine crystals, feldspars, arfvedsonites and rare Be minerals.

Xenotime-(Y)NorwayAust-Agder, Evje og Hornes

Xenotime-(Y) 1,7cm
Xenotime-(Y) 2,6cm

The Evje-Iveland area is famous for its pegmatite minerals.
Info needed.

Xenotime-(Y)NorwayTysfjord, Hundholmen

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,4cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,4cm

Granite pegmatite.
Info needed.

Xenotime-(Y)PakistanFederally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Mulla Ghori, Khyber Agency, Zagi Mountain (Zegi Mountain)

Xenotime-(Y) 4,5cm
Xenotime-(Y) 1,32cm
Xenotime-(Y) 7cm
Xenotime-(Y) 2,9cm
Xenotime-(Y) 1,1cm
Xenotime-(Y) 1,2cm

Located approximately 5.5 km southeast of the Warsak Dam, about 40km NNW of Peshawar, NWFP, Pakistan, Zagi Mountain covers an area of approximately 3 x 5 km, with an elevation of approximately 175 m above its surroundings.
Currently the best locality worldwide for Xenotime-(Y) minerals (along with a host of other well crystallised REE minerals)

Xenotime-(Y)RussiaNorthern Region, Karelia Republic, Northern Karelia, Lopatova Guba mica pit

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 1,5cm

Mica pit in granitic pegmatite. Deposit located on Khetolambina strait shore near famous corundum deposit Khit Ostrov.

Xenotime-(Y)RussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Kyshtym (Kychtym; Kishtim), Slyudorudnik Mine

Xenotime-(Y) grains up to 3,5cm

A mica mine located near Kyshtym.

Xenotime-(Y)RussiaUrals Region, Southern Urals, Chelyabinsk Oblast', Astaf'evskoe (Astafievskoe) quartz deposit

Xenotime-(Y) 2.8cm tall

This is very large quartz deposit being in operation from 30th years. Quartz veins contain pockets with great quartz crystals. This xenotime is from a such pocket (as you can to see it was ingrown into quartz, this is the reason why the crystal is scepter like). But main part of xenotime is smaller and are completely intergrowen in quartz (often together with thortveitite, pyrite, fuchsite, monazite-(Ce), gersdorfite). Quartz quarry of the deposit is 3 km long and 80-100 m deep. The deposit was initially operated for piezoelectric grade quartz, later quartz for growing of synthetic quartz.

Xenotime-(Y)SwitzerlandGrischun (Grisons; Graubünden), Vorderrhein Valley, Tujetsch (Tavetsch), Curnera Valley, Cavradi gorge

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,4cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm

Clefts and copper mineralizations in Permo-Carboniferous rocks.

Xenotime-(Y)SwitzerlandWallis, Binn Valley, Lercheltini (Lärcheltini) area

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,15cm
Xenotime-(Y) FOV 0,3cm

Paragneisses of the Monte Leone nappe. The area encompasses the southern slopes of the upper Binn valley, stretching from northeast of the Lengenbach quarry to the northwest slope of Bochtenhorn mountain. It comprises the following localities (from northeast to southwest):
- Hinterer Kohlergraben
- Vorderer Kohlergraben
- Riggi
- Spissen
- Gorb

Xenotime-(Y)USAColorado, Jefferson Co., South Platte Pegmatite District, Big Bertha Mine (Big Bertha pegmatite)

Xenotime-(Y) crystal 3cm
Xenotime-(Y) crystal 1,5cm

A pegmatite mine located in the SW¼ Sec 22, T.8S., R.70W. Workings include a large open cut.
Mineralization is an unzoned, lobate pegmatite body in granite.

Xenotime-(Y)USAMassachusets, Marlborough, I-290/I-495 interchange road cuts

Xenotime-(Y) FOV 1cm
Xenotime-(Y) crystal 0,6cm

Large road cuts on I-290 and I-495. Three phases of construction in 1970, 1973 & 1980.

Xenotime-(Y)USANew York, New York City, Manhattan (New York Co.), Manhattan Island, 185th Street & Harlem Speedway

Xenotime-(Y) crystal 0,25cm
A 4mm Xenotime-(Y) xl

Granite pegmatites in outcrops and street excavations at the east end of 185th street, near the Harlem River.

Click here to view Best Minerals X and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Edited 47 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2012 11:57AM by Rock Currier.
Rock Currier November 28, 2010 09:31PM
A fine addition the Best Minerals project. You even have got it in the fast navigation section. But we really must settle on the line spacing between the rows of images. One or two line spacings. If we settle on one line spacing then we must go back and make a large amount of changes to the articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens November 28, 2010 11:11PM
Don't worry about the line spacing between the photographs Rock, the rule should maybe be that the horizontal spacing should more or less correspond with the vertical spacing, creating a nice rhythm in the block.
Smaller photos next to each other with a wider space in between them ask for a two line horizontal spacing. Larger photos with only very little space in between ask for a one line horizontal spacing.


Rock Currier November 29, 2010 05:06AM
Harjo, sounds good to me. If you rewrite the formatting section like I suggested, be sure to suggest this method to prospective article writers.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Evan Johnson (2) November 29, 2010 05:50AM
I think it's spelled "Xenotime-(Y)"
Harjo Neutkens November 29, 2010 07:55AM
Wow, Evan, that's a stupid spelling mistake from me, and it got nicely repeated copying and pasting through the whole article.......
Rock Currier November 29, 2010 08:02AM
I just hate it when that happens. Harjo, you are now a full fledged author here on Best Minerals!

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Harjo Neutkens November 29, 2010 08:04AM
Blame it on the red wine OK ;-)
I changed the endlessly copied mistake, thanks again Evan!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/2010 08:06AM by Harjo Neutkens.
Rock Currier November 29, 2010 08:11AM
You can always say you thought that was the correct British spelling and blame it on Jolyon.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Ralph Bottrill November 29, 2010 12:06PM
Excellent article Harjo. I have seen some nice big crystals from South Australia, I will locate a photo if I can.

Harjo Neutkens November 29, 2010 12:29PM
That would be great Ralph!
Pavel Kartashov December 01, 2010 01:57AM
Hi Harjo

Silicon may to replace in xenotimes only P not Y&REE, and only for stabilization structure during incorporation of U&Th - according to scheme Y3+ + P5+ = U4+ + Si4+. Similar situation is with calcium - 2Y3+ = U4+ + Ca2+.
By the way, note small but very interesting compositionally specimen which mark out connection in system xenotime-pretulite-wakefieldite.
Besides that, we also have some xenotime here in Russia. ;) It isn't so nice as from Pakistan but quite large sometimes - up to match-box size (Mt Ploskaya).
I found, that Russian xenotimes were absent on mindat, and upload couple of photos - and

Harjo Neutkens December 01, 2010 07:24AM
Thanks Pavel, I'll add the Russian Xenotime immediately, and also thanks for the information.
Rock Currier March 26, 2012 07:02PM
You may wish to add Xenotime-(Yb) to this article. There appears to be such an animal.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Kelly Nash March 26, 2012 07:51PM
The first picture of the Harlem Speedway (NTC) xenotimes is actually labelled as zircons on the locality page. The other picture is quite nice. I just uploaded a picture of a xenotime from there yesterday, but Van's is the better crystal.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2012 07:52PM by Kelly Nash.
Rock Currier March 27, 2012 06:00AM
Thanks for bringing this mistake to our attention. I have removed the offending image. Yes, Vans is better, but yours is good enough so I put it in the article.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Rock Currier October 19, 2012 11:01AM
Yes, a worthy addition! I have put it in the article. Can you tell us something about the deposit?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
Pavel Kartashov October 19, 2012 02:51PM
This is very large quartz deposit being in operation from 30th years. Quartz veins contain pockets with great quartz crystals. This xenotime is from a such pocket (as you can to see it was ingrown into quartz, this is the reason why the crystal is sceptre like). But main part of xenotime is smaller and are completely ingrow in quartz (often together with thortveitite, pyrite, fuchsite, monazite-(Ce), gersdorfite). Quartz quarry of the deposit is 3 km long and 80-100 m deep.
Rock Currier October 20, 2012 08:53AM
\What it the main ore they are mining?

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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