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Mg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 4H2O
Colourless to white; ...
Vitreous, Silky, Pearly, Earthy
Named in 1827 by Hans Gabriel Trolle-Wachmeister in allusion to the composition, being a HYDRated MAGNESium carbonate.
A low-temperature hydrothermal mineral occurring in veinlets in serpentine and altered magnesium-rich igneous rocks; also as an alteration product of brucite in periclase marbles.

Lowest hydrate in a group of similar species comprising also dypingite, giorgiosite, and 'UM1973-06-CO:MgH'.

Classification of Hydromagnesite

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

D : Carbonates with additional anions, with H2O
A : With medium-sized cations

7 : Miscellaneous

11 : Carbonates
3 : Carbonates of Mg

Physical Properties of Hydromagnesite

Vitreous, Silky, Pearly, Earthy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Colourless to white; colourless in transmitted light
Hardness (Mohs):
On {010}.
Possible parting on {100}.
2.236 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Optical Data of Hydromagnesite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.523 nβ = 1.527 nγ = 1.545
Measured: 30° to 90°, Calculated: 52°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.022
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of Hydromagnesite

Mg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 4H2O
Elements listed in formula:

Crystallography of Hydromagnesite

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 10.11 Å, b = 8.94 Å, c = 8.38 Å
β = 114.58°
a:b:c = 1.131 : 1 : 0.937
Unit Cell Volume:
V 688.78 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals small, occurring as tufts, rosettes, or crusts of acicular or bladed crysta;s elongated [001] and flattened {100}. Massive, chalky.
Twin plane {100} and composition face {100}. Twinning very common, polysynthetic.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

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

Occurrences of Hydromagnesite

Type Occurrence of Hydromagnesite

Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Relationship of Hydromagnesite to other Species

5.DA.AlexkhomyakoviteK6(Ca2Na)(CO3)5Cl · 6H2O
5.DA.05DypingiteMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 5H2O
5.DA.05GiorgiositeMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 5H2O
5.DA.05WidgiemoolthaliteNi5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 4-5H2O
5.DA.05UM1986-10-CO:ClHMgMnZnMg5(Zn,Mn)3(CO3)2(OH,Cl)12 · H2O
5.DA.05UM1987-01-CO:HMgSMg4(CO3)2(OH)4 · 6H2O ?
5.DA.10ArtiniteMg2CO3(OH)2 · 3H2O
5.DA.10IndigiriteMg2Al2(CO3)4(OH)2 · 15H2O
5.DA.10ChlorartiniteMg2CO3Cl(OH) · 2.5H2O
5.DA.15OtwayiteNi2CO3(OH)2 · H2O
5.DA.15ZaratiteNi3CO3(OH)4 · 4H2O
5.DA.20KambaldaiteNaNi4(CO3)3(OH)3 · 3H2O
5.DA.25CallaghaniteCu2Mg2CO3(OH)6 · 2H2O
5.DA.30Claraite(Cu,Zn)15(CO3)4(AsO4)2(SO4)(OH)14 · 7H2O
5.DA.35HydroscarbroiteAl14(CO3)3(OH)36 · nH2O
5.DA.35ScarbroiteAl5(CO3)(OH)13 · 5H2O
5.DA.40CaresiteFe42+Al2(OH)12CO3 · 3H2O
5.DA.40QuintiniteMg4Al2(OH)12CO3 · 3H2O
5.DA.40CharmariteMn4Al2(OH)12CO3 · 3H2O
5.DA.45Stichtite-2HMg6(Cr,Al)2(CO3)(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.45BrugnatelliteMg6Fe3+CO3(OH)13 · 4H2O
5.DA.45ChlormagaluminiteMg4Al2(OH)12Cl2 · 2H2O
5.DA.45Hydrotalcite-2HMg6Al2(CO3)(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.45Pyroaurite-2HMg6Fe23+(OH)16(CO3) · 4H2O
5.DA.45ZaccagnaiteZn4Al2(OH)12(CO3) · 3H2O
5.DA.50ComblainiteNi4Co23+CO3(OH)12 · 3H2O
5.DA.50DesautelsiteMg6Mn23+CO3(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.50HydrotalciteMg6Al2CO3(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.50PyroauriteMg6Fe23+CO3(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.50ReevesiteNi6Fe23+CO3(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.50StichtiteMg6Cr2CO3(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.50TakoviteNi6Al2CO3(OH)16 · 4H2O
5.DA.50UM1998-10-CO:CoHNiCo6Fe2(CO3)(OH)16 · 4H2O ?
5.DA.55CoalingiteMg10Fe23+CO3(OH)24 · 2H2O
11.3.2BarringtoniteMgCO3 · 2H2O
11.3.3NesquehoniteMgCO3 · 3H2O
11.3.4LansforditeMgCO3 · 5H2O
11.3.6ArtiniteMg2CO3(OH)2 · 3H2O
11.3.8GiorgiositeMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 5H2O
11.3.9DypingiteMg5(CO3)4(OH)2 · 5H2O

Other Names for Hydromagnesite

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.
Industrial Uses:

References for Hydromagnesite

Reference List:
Trolle-Wachmeister, Hans Gabriel (1827) Svenska Vetenskapsakademien, Stockholm, Handlingar: 18.
von Kobell, Wolfgang Xavier Franz (1835) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 4: 80.
Silliman Jr., Benjamin (1850) [Lancasterite], American Journal of Science: 9: 216 (as Lancasterite).
Weinschenk (1897) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 27: 570.
Brugnatelli, Luigi V. (1899) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 31: 54.
Kramm (1910) Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society: 49: 344.
Wells, H. (1910) American Journal of Science: 30: 189.
Zambonini, Ferruccio (1910) Mineralogia Vesuviana. 368 pp., Naples: 95.
Larsen, Esper S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 89.
Rogers (1923) American Journal of Science: 6: 37.
Hintze, Carl (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3522.
Fenoglio, M. (1927) Boll. Soc. geol. Ital.: 46: 13.
Levi and Ghiron (1932) Gazzetta chimica italiana, Rome: 62: 218.
Callaghan (1933) University of Nevada Bull. 27: 7.
Fenoglio M. (1936) Ricerche sull'idromagnesite. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma 257-284.
Meixner (1937) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 363.
Kisselev (1938) Ann. Inst. Mines Leningrad: 11: 59 [Min. Abs. (1946): 9: 267].
Meixner (1938) Zentralblatt Mineralien: 8.
Cummings (1940) Bulletin of the British Columbia Department of Mines, No. 4.
Caillère (1943) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 66: 55.
Murdoch, Joseph (1951), Unit cell of hydromagnesite: (abstract): Geological Society of America Bulletin: 62: 1465.
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: 271-274.
Murdoch, Joseph (1954), The unit cell of hydromagnesite: (abstract): American Mineralogist: 37: 296-297; American Mineralogist: 39: 24-29 (1954).
Mineralogical Record (1973): 4: 18-20.
Acta Crystallographica: B33: 1273-1275.

Internet Links for Hydromagnesite URL:
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Localities for Hydromagnesite

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