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Louis Cordier
Also given as (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).n(H2O,CO2,Na+,K+);
X0-1(Mg,Fe,Li)2(Al,Si,Be)9O18 (X = H2O, CO2, Ar, Xe, Na, K); (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).[Ch]X
Grey, blue, blue-violet, greenish, yellowish brown; colourless to very light blue in transmitted light.
7 - 7½
Specific Gravity:
2.6 - 2.66
Crystal System:
After Pierre Louis Antoine Cordier (Abbeville, France 31 March 1777 - Paris 30 March 1861), French mining engineer and geologist, who first studied this species. He founded microscopic mineralogy and was head of the Museum d'histoire naturelle.
Dimorph of:
The Mg analogue of Sekaninaite. Cordierite-Sekaninaite Series.

The hexagonal high-temperature dimorph of cordierite is indialite.
Cordierite is often altered to pinite.

May be confused with members of the Osumilite Group.

The structure of cordierite and indialite is somewhat similar to that of beryl.

Microporous cordierite (and beryl) may contain some molecular N2 (Bebout et al,. 2016).

HT- and LP-cordierites characterize in potassium admixtures and are characteristic of pyrometamorphic rocks (e.g., Schreyer et al., 1990). They may also have abnormal Al/Si ratios. Potassium is localized in structural channels (e.g., Daniels, 1992). Presence of argon ("at the centre of large holes") and water (likely attached to wall of large cavities) is described, e.g., by Smith & Schreyer (1962), while aliphatic hydrocarbons (likely dominated by butane, also localized in channels, with molecular axes || b) are reported to occur (in pegmatitic material) by Khomenko and Langer (1999).

Visit for gemological information about Cordierite.

Classification of Cordierite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
J : [Si6O18]12- 6-membered single rings (sechser-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions

61 : CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
2 : Six-Membered Rings with Al substituted rings

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
19 : Aluminosilicates of Fe and Mg

Physical Properties of Cordierite

Transparent, Translucent
Grey, blue, blue-violet, greenish, yellowish brown; colourless to very light blue in transmitted light.
7 - 7½ on Mohs scale
On {100}, fair; On {001} and {010}, poor.
2.6 - 2.66 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.505 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Cordierite

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.527 - 1.560 nβ = 1.532 - 1.574 nγ = 1.538 - 1.578
Measured: 75° to 89°, Calculated: 54° to 86°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.011 - 0.018
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r < v, weak to marked
X = c = Pale yellow, green
Y = a = Violet, blue-violet
Z = b = Light blue

Chemical Properties of Cordierite


Also given as (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).n(H2O,CO2,Na+,K+);
X0-1(Mg,Fe,Li)2(Al,Si,Be)9O18 (X = H2O, CO2, Ar, Xe, Na, K); (Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18).[Ch]X
IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of Cordierite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 17.079(3) Å, b = 9.730(2) Å, c = 9.356(2) Å
a:b:c = 1.755 : 1 : 0.962
Unit Cell V:
1,554.77 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals short prismatic, striated parallel to [001]. Commonly granular to compact, massive.
Common on {110} and {130}, simple, lamellar, and cyclical.

Crystallographic forms of Cordierite

Crystal Atlas:
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Cordierite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Cordierite no.30 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder Diffraction

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Type Occurrence of Cordierite

Synonyms of Cordierite

Other Language Names for Cordierite

Varieties of Cordierite


Name for gem-grade, violet-blue cordierite.

Relationship of Cordierite to other Species

Forms a series with:

Common Associates

BiotiteA series or subgroup of the Mica Group.
Garnet Structural GroupX3Z2(TO4)3
K FeldsparPotassium-dominant feldspars with unknown crystal symmetry and Al-Si ordering state.
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz20 photos of Cordierite associated with Quartz on
Garnet8 photos of Cordierite associated with Garnet on
Rutile8 photos of Cordierite associated with Rutile on
Biotite8 photos of Cordierite associated with Biotite on
Mullite6 photos of Cordierite associated with Mullite on
Talc6 photos of Cordierite associated with Talc on
Hematite6 photos of Cordierite associated with Hematite on
Almandine5 photos of Cordierite associated with Almandine on
Anthophyllite5 photos of Cordierite associated with Anthophyllite on
Kyanite5 photos of Cordierite associated with Kyanite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping

9.CJ.05StoppaniiteBe3Fe3+2(Si6O18) · H2O
9.CJ.15cKoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2O
9.CJ.15aLovozeriteNa2Ca(Zr,Ti)(Si6O12)[(OH)4O2] · H2O
9.CJ.15aTisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.30DioptaseCuSiO3 · H2O
9.CJ.35KostyleviteK2Zr(Si3O9) · H2O
9.CJ.40PetarasiteNa5Zr2(Si6O18)(Cl,OH) · 2H2O
9.CJ.45Gerenite-(Y)(Ca,Na)2(Y,REE)3Si6O18 · 2H2O

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals Grouping

16.19.22VermiculiteMg0.7(Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)8O20(OH)4 · 8H2O
16.19.23Corrensite(Mg,Fe)9((Si,Al)8O20)(OH)10 · nH2O

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.),Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)

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.

Cordierite in petrology

An essential component of (items highlighted in red)
Common component of (items highlighted in red)

References for Cordierite

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Venkatesh, V. (1952) Development and growth of cordierite in para-lavas. American Mineralogist: 37: 831-847.
Miyashiro, A., T. Iiyama, M. Yamasaki, and T. Miyashiro (1955) The polymorphism of cordierite and indialite. American Journal of Science: 253: 185-208.
Smith, J.V., Schreyer, W. (1962): Location of Argon and Water in Cordierite. Mineralogical Magazine: 33(258): 226-236
Seifert F., Schreyer, W. (1970): Lower temperature stability limit of Mg cordierite in the range 1–7 kb water pressure: A redetermination. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 27, 3, 225-238
Stout, J. H. (1975). Apparent Effects of Molecular Water on the Lattice Geometry of Cordierite. American Mineralogist, vol 60, pp 229-234.
Stout, J. H. (1976). Apparent effects of molecular water on the lattice geometry of cordierite: A reply. American Mineralogist, vol. 61, pp 1041-1044.
Armbruster, T., & Irouschek, A. (1983). Cordierites from the Lepontine Alps: Na+ Be→ Al substitution, gas content, cell parameters, and optics.Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 82(4), 389-396.
Richet, P. and Bottinga, Y. (1984) Anorthite, andesine, wollastonite, diopside, cordierite, and pyrope thermodynamics of melting, glass transitions, and properties of the amorphous phases. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 67: 415-432.
Putnis, A., Fyfe, C.A., and Gobbi, G.C. (1985) Aluminum-silicon ordering in cordierite using "magic angle spinning" NMR. I. Silicon-29 spectra of synthetic cordierite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 12: 211-216.
Putnis, A. and Angel, R.J. (1985) Aluminum-silicon ordering in cordierite using "magic angle spinning" NMR. II: models of aluminum-silicon order from NMR data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 12: 217-222.
American Mineralogist (1986): 71: 746-757.
Schreyer, W. (1986): The Mineral Cordierite: Structure Reactions in the Presence of Fluid Phases. Berichte der Bunsen- Gesellschaft für physikalische Chemie 90, 748-755.
Putnis, A., Salje, E., Redfern, S.A.T., Fyfe, C.A., and Strobl, H. (1987), Structural states of Mg-cordierite I: order parameters from synchrotron X-ray and NMR data. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 14: 446-454.
Schreyer, W., Maresch, W.V., Daniels, P., Wolfsdorff, P. (1990): Potassic cordierites: characteristic minerals for high-temperature, very low-pressure environments. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 105, 162-172.
Daniels, P. (1992): Structural effects of the incorporation of large-radius alkalis in high cordierite. American Mineralogist: 77: 407-411
Kihle, Jan (1993): Cordieritt-Bamble-sektorens gåtefulle blå mineral, Stein No.2, pp 88-94
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 140: 344-352.
Carrington, D. P., & Harley, S. L. (1996). Cordierite as a monitor of fluid and melt H2O contents in the lower crust: An experimental calibration. Geology,24(7), 647-650.
Khomenko, V.H., Langer, K. (1999): Aliphatic hydrocarbons in structural channels of cordierite: A first evidence from polarized single-crystal IR-absorption spectroscopy. American Mineralogist: 84: 1181-1185
Simandl, G.J., Marshall, D., Laird, J. (1999): Gem-quality Cordierite Deposits, Slocan Valley, British Columbia (NTS 82F/12E). British Columbia Geological Survey Geological Fieldwork 1999, Paper 2000-1: 349-358
Kolesov, B. A., & Geiger, C. A. (2000). Cordierite II: The role of CO2 and H2O. American Mineralogist, vol 85, pp 1265-1274.
Geiger, C. A., Armbruster, T., Khomenko, V., & Quartieri, S. (2000). Cordierite I: The coordination of Fe2+. American Mineralogist, vol 85, pp1255-1264.
Ogiermann, Jörn C. (2002): Cordierite and its retrograde breakdown products as monitors of fluid-rock interaction during retrograde path metamorphism: case studies in the Schwarzwald and the Bayerische Wald (Variscan belt, Germany). Dissertation submitted to theCombined Faculties for the Natural Sciences and for Mathematics of the Ruperto-Carola University of Heidelberg, Germany for the degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences. 199 pages
Bertoldi, C., Proyer, A., Garbe-Schönberg, D., Behrens, ., and Dachs, E. (2004) Comprehensive chemical analyses of natural cordierites: implications for exchange mechanisms. Lithos: 78: 389-409.
Yakubovich, O. V., Massa, V., Pekov, I. V., Gavrilenko, P. G. & Chukanov, N. V. (2004): Crystal structure of the Na-, Ca-, Be-cordierite and crystallochemical regularities in the cordierite-sekaninaite series. Crystallography Reports 49, 953-963.
Tamborenea, S., Mazzoni, A. D., & Aglietti, E. F. (2004). Mechanochemical activation of minerals on the cordierite synthesis. Thermochimica Acta, 411(2), 219-224.
Ganesha, A.V., Basavalingu, B., Tareen, J.A.K., Pasha, M.A. (2004): Breakdown of synthetic potassic cordierite at low P-T conditions. Current Science: 87(1): 104-108
Della Ventura, G., Radica, F., Bellatreccia, F., Cavallo, A., Capitelli, F., & Harley, S. (2012). Quantitative analysis of H2O and CO2 in cordierite using polarized FTIR spectroscopy. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology,164(5), 881-894.
Miletich, R., Scheidl, K. S., Schmitt, M., Moissl, A. P., Pippinger, T., Gatta, G. D., Schuster, B., Trautmann, C. (2014): Static elasticity of cordierite I: Effect of heavy ion irradiation on the compressibility of hydrous cordierite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals:41:8:579-591
Hövelmann, J., Austrheim, H., & Putnis, A. (2014). Cordierite formation during the experimental reaction of plagioclase with Mg-rich aqueous solutions.Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 168(3), 1-13.
Bebout, G.E., Lazzeri, K.E., Geiger, C.A. (2016): Pathways for nitrogen cycling in Earth’s crust and upper mantle: A review and new results for microporous beryl and cordierite. American Mineralogist: 101: 7-24.
G. Bruno and S. C. Vogel (2017): Simultaneous determination of high-temperature crystal structure and texture of synthetic porous cordierite. J. Appl. Crystallogr. 50, 749-762.

Internet Links for Cordierite URL:
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Localities for Cordierite

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