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About AlstoniteHide

Colourless to snow white, yellow-gray; pale gray, pale cream, pink to pale rose-red
4 - 4½
Specific Gravity:
3.67 - 3.711
Crystal System:
After the original locality near Alston, England.
Alstonite-Barytocalcite Group

A low-temperature hydrothermal mineral.

Classification of AlstoniteHide

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

A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates

2 : AB(XO3)2

11 : Carbonates
5 : Carbonates of Sr and Ba

Pronounciation of AlstoniteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of AlstoniteHide

Transparent, Translucent
Colourless to snow white, yellow-gray; pale gray, pale cream, pink to pale rose-red
may fade on exposure to light; colorless in transmitted light, showing six or twelve domains
4 - 4½ on Mohs scale
On pseudo-orthorhombic {110}, imperfect
3.67 - 3.711 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.67 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of AlstoniteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.526 nβ = 1.671 nγ = 1.672
Measured: 6° , Calculated: 8°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.146
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v weak

Chemical Properties of AlstoniteHide


Crystallography of AlstoniteHide

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 17.38 Å, b = 14.4 Å, c = 6.12 Å
α = 90.35°, β = 90.12°, γ = 120.08°
a:b:c = 1.207 : 1 : 0.425
Unit Cell V:
1,325.34 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals are pseudo-dihexagonal dipyramids formed by repeated twinning of individuals bounded by {111} and {021}; also as acute dipyramids bounded by {221}. The evident dipyramidal faces are strongly striated horizontally (perpendicular to pseudohexagonal [0001]) and are divided vertically by a medial, slightly reentrant twinning line parallel to the pseudohexagonal [0001].

Common on pseudo-orthorhombic {110} and {301}, forming the pseudohexagonal groups.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
3.55 (100)
2.835 (10)
2.507 (35)
2.050 (23)
1.941 (19)
1.846 (15)
1.589 (8)
Powder pattern essentially identical to that of paralstonite.

Type Occurrence of AlstoniteHide

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Mining Academy, Freiberg, Germany, 15818.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Low-temperature hydrothermal deposit.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Synonyms of AlstoniteHide

Other Language Names for AlstoniteHide

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Witherite40 photos of Alstonite associated with Witherite on mindat.org.
Calcite17 photos of Alstonite associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Baryte14 photos of Alstonite associated with Baryte on mindat.org.
Pyrite7 photos of Alstonite associated with Pyrite on mindat.org.
Benstonite6 photos of Alstonite associated with Benstonite on mindat.org.
Fluorite4 photos of Alstonite associated with Fluorite on mindat.org.
Sphalerite3 photos of Alstonite associated with Sphalerite on mindat.org.
Barytocalcite3 photos of Alstonite associated with Barytocalcite on mindat.org.
Quartz2 photos of Alstonite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Galena1 photo of Alstonite associated with Galena on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m)
5.AB.05RhodochrositeMnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCaMn2+(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2Orth. mm2
5.AB.55BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.5.1StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
11.5.2WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
11.5.3NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
11.5.6BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
11.5.7BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13Trig. 3 : R3

Fluorescence of AlstoniteHide

Weak yellow fluorescence (SW & LW UV).

Other InformationHide

Soluble in dilute HCl.
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 AlstoniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Johnston (1835) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 6: 1 (as Barytocalcite).
Thomson (1835) Records of General Science, London: 1: 373 (as Bicalcareocarbonate of Barytes).
Johnston (1837) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 10: 373.
Thomson (1837) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 11: 45, 48.
Breithaupt, J.F.A. (1841) Holoëdrites syntheticus oder Alstonit. in Vollständiges Handbuch der Mineralogie. Vol. 2: 255-256. [as Alstonite]
Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 698.
Becker (1886) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 12: 222.
Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 284.
Kreutz (1909) Bulletin of the Academy of Science, Krakow: 771.
Spencer, L.J. (1910) On the occurrence of alstonite and ullmannite (a species new to Britain) in a barytes-witherite vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine: 15: 302-311.
Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 1: 9.
Hintze, C. (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3096.
Goßner, B., Mußgnug, F. (1930) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie: 1930: 220-238.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 218-219.
Sartori, F. (1975) New data on alstonite. Lithos: 8: 199-207.
Kapustin, Y.L. (1980) Alstonite, barytocalcite and norsethite. in Mineralogy of Carbonatites, Amerind Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. (New Delhi), 151-153.
Young, B., Greenbank, L., Nancarrow, P.H.A. (1990) Alstonite in situ at Brownley Hill mine, Nenthead, Cumbria. Mineralogical Magazine: 54: 515-516.

Internet Links for AlstoniteHide

Localities for AlstoniteHide

This 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.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
  • New South Wales
    • Hunter Co.
      • Jerrys Plains
Handbook of Mineralogy
  • Tasmania
    • West Coast municipality
      • Rosebery district
        • Rosebery
SUTHERLAND, F. L. and BOTTRILL, R.S., 2004. Zeolites of western Tasmania. Australian Jnl. Mineralogy, 10, 59-72
  • Styria
    • Weiz
Carinthia II (2012)
  • Santa Catarina
    • Anitápolis
Comin-Chiaramonti, P., de Barros Gomes, C., Castorina, F., di Censi, P., Antonini, P., Furtado, S., ... & Scheibe, L. F. (2008). Geochemistry and geodynamic implications of the Anitápolis and Lages alkaline-carbonatite complexes, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Geology, 32(1), 43-58.
  • Inner Mongolia
    • Baotou League (Baotou Prefecture)
      • Bayan Obo mining district
        • Bayan Obo
Zhang Peishan, Yang Zhuming, Tao Kejie, and Yang Xueming (1996): Mineralogy and Geology of Rare Earths in China. Science Press (Beijing), pp. 226.
  • Greenland
    • Qeqqata
      • Maniitsoq (Sukkertoppen)
Petersen, O. V. and Secher, K. (1993): The minerals of Greenland, The Mineralogical Record, Vol. 24(2), 1-65
  • Lapland
    • Savukoski
      • Tulppio
Lee, M. J., Lee, J. I., Garcia, D., Moutte, J., Williams, C. T., Wall, F., & Kim, Y. (2006). Pyrochlore chemistry from the Sokli phoscorite-carbonatite complex, Finland: Implications for the genesis of phoscorite and carbonatite association. GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL-JAPAN-, 40(1), 1.
  • Occitanie
    • Hautes-Pyrénées
      • Argelès-Gazost
        • Pierrefitte
Handbook of Mineralogy
  • Karas Region
    • Oranjemund
      • Rosh Pinah
Bezing, L. von, Bode, R. & Jahn, S. (2007): Namibia. Minerals and Localities. Edition Schloss Freudenstein, Bode Verlag, Haltern, 395 pp. (in English)
  • Podlaskie Voivodeship
Kubicki, S., & Ryka, W. (1984). Późnoprekambryjski magmatyzm platformowy i karbonatyty w polskiej części platformy wschodnioeuropejskiej. Przegląd Geologiczny, 32(5), 252-259.
  • Murmansk Oblast
    • Northern Karelia
www.koeln.netsurf.de/~w.steffens/vuori.htm; Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
Sorokhtina, N.V., Chukanov, N.V., Voloshin, A.V., Pakhomovsky, Y.A., Bogdanova, A.N., and Moiseev, M.M. (2008): Geology of Ore Deposits 50(7), 620-628.
  • Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
    • Daldyn-Alakit kimberlite field
      • Daldyn
Sharygin, V. V., Kamenetsky, V. S., & Kamenetsky, M. B. (2008). Potassium sulfides in kimberlite-hosted chloride–“nyerereite” and chloride clasts of Udachnaya-East pipe, Yakutia, Russia. The Canadian Mineralogist, 46(4), 1079-1095.
  • England
    • Co. Durham
      • Deerness Valley
Spencer, L.J. (1910) On the occurrence of alstonite and ullmannite (a species new to Britain) in a barytes-witherite vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery Near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 15, n° 71, 302-311.; Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219.
    • Cumbria
      • Eden
        • Alston Moor
          • Nenthead
Hall, T.M. (1868): The Mineralogist's Directory. Edward Stanford (London), 168 pp.; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219; Lithos 8 (1975), 199; BMS Collection
BMS Database
    • Derbyshire
Ford, T., A. Sarjeant & M. Smith (1993): The minerals of the Peak district of Derbyshire. UK Jour. Mines & Minerals 13, 16-55.
    • Northumberland
      • Acomb
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: vi, 1 and xi, 45; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219.; L. J. Spencer (1910) On the Occurrence of Alstonite and Ullmannite (A Species New to Britain) in a Barytes-Witherite Vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery Near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine 15:302-311
  • Wales
    • Powys
      • Old Radnor
        • Wethel
T.F. Cotterell : "The mineralogy of Dolyhir quarry, Old Radnor, Powys, Wales, U.K. - a major new mineralogical site in Wales", 5th International Conference "Mineralogy & Museums", Paris, Sept. 5-8th 2004, Bull. de Liaison de la Soc. Franç. de Minéralogie et Cristallographie, 2004, Vol 16, N°2.; Cotterell TF et al (2011) The mineralogy of Dolyhir quarry, Old Radnor. Powys, Wales. UKJMM 32:5-61
    • Rhondda Cynon Taf
      • Llantrisant
Alabaster, C. 1990. Alstonite and barytocalcite from Llantrisant, South Wales and barytocalcite from Holwell, Mendip Hills, England. Journal of the Russell Society, 3, 1-6.
Handbook of Mineralogy
M.Wirth collection
  • Illinois
    • Hardin Co.
      • Cave-in-Rock Sub-District
        • Cave-in-Rock
          • Ozark-Mahoning group
Rossman, G. R. and Squires, R. L. (1974) The occurence of alstonite at Cave in Rock, Illinois. Mineralogical Record 5: 266-269; Rocks & Minerals: 63: 214.; ; Mineralogical Record (1997) 28:3-49
  • Wyoming
    • Sweetwater Co.
      • Green River Formation
Am Min 26:646-650
Mineral and/or Locality  
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