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About LarseniteHide

Esper Signius Larsen, Jr
Colorless, white
Sub-Adamantine, Vitreous, Sub-Vitreous, Silky
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named in 1928 by Charles Palache, Lawson Henry Bauer, and Harry Berman in honor of Esper Signius Larsen, Jr. [March 14, 1879 Astoria, Oregon, USA - March 8, 1961 Washington, DC, USA], petrologist and Professor of Geology at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The mineral esperite is also named after him.
A very rare lead silicate found on fracture surfaces and in cavities in massive ore. It occurs in bright colorless to cloudy white, usually free-standing groups of acicular to bladed crystals, and has a very high luster. Chlorophoenicite has been frequently confused with larsenite, but larsenite is almost universally found with other lead silicates. Palache (1935) stated: "Larsenite is far less abundant than calcium larsenite [esperite], and in most specimens the two are not associated, but in two places crystals of larsenite were found in cavities with calcium larsenite." Subsequently, larsenite has been found with a wider variety of species. At the type location, larsenite is a vein filling mineral associated with lead silicates, particularly with esperite and clinohedrite. Crystals have an adamantine to sub-adamantine luster and are visibly longitudinally striated. Larsenite DOES NOT fluoresce in shortwave, midwave, or longwave ultraviolet light. Historically, chlorophoenicite, aragonite, and other white acicular crystals have often mistaken for larsenite, although the ordinary physical appearance is usually enough to distinguish then. Unfortunately, a great many mis-labeled specimens persist in the marketplace, often with accompanying labels from famous collections, including those of museums. Larsenite has yet to be found at the Sterling Mine on Sterling hill. Larsenite is a considerable rarity.

Classification of LarseniteHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
B : Nesosilicates without additional anions; cations in [4] and greater coordination
Dana 7th ed.:

51 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
2 : Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [4] as well as >[4]

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
7 : Silicates of Ba, Sr and Zn

Physical Properties of LarseniteHide

Sub-Adamantine, Vitreous, Sub-Vitreous, Silky
Colorless, white
Good on {120}
5.90 g/cm3 (Measured)    6.12 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of LarseniteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.920 nβ = 1.950 nγ = 1.960
Measured: 80° , Calculated: 58°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.040
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
r > v easily perceptible
Optical Extinction:
X=a, Y=c, Z=b, strong absorption

Chemical Properties of LarseniteHide

IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of LarseniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mm2 - Pyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.24 Å, b = 18.96 Å, c = 5.06 Å
a:b:c = 0.435 : 1 : 0.267
Unit Cell V:
790.53 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Slender prismatic to acicular [001]?, sometimes tabular to bladed {010}. Originally found in specimens where both habits were present.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
7.50 Å(10)
6.23 Å(6)
4.88 Å(80)
4.75 Å(20)
4.19 Å(60)
4.11 Å(50)
4.03 Å(50)
2.97 Å(2)
3.93 Å(10)
3.78 Å(30)
3.56 Å(16)
3.45 Å(20)
3.19 Å(100)
3.15 Å(10)
3.11 Å(16)
3.04 Å(80)
2.955 Å(6)
2.854 Å(90)
2.793 Å(30)
2.720 Å(30)
2.651 Å(4)
2.576 Å(8)
2.525 Å(25)
2.442 Å(2)
2.395 Å(4)
2.376 Å(6)
2.341 Å(4)
2.295 Å(2)
2.294 Å(8)
2.230 Å(8)
2.150 Å(10)
2.100 Å(6)
2.080 Å(6)
2.075 Å(6)
2.068 Å(8)
2.064 Å(8)
2.057 Å(6)
2.053 Å(8)
2.044 Å(6)
2.039 Å(10)
2.014 Å(6)
1.975 Å(6)
1.961 Å(10)
1.932 Å(25)
1.917 Å(8)
1.894 Å(10)
1.872 Å(16)
1.850 Å(10)
1.828 Å(8)
1.802 Å(4)
ICDD 20-607, 20-607a (synthetic)

Type Occurrence of LarseniteHide

General Appearance of Type Material:
Colorless, acicular to long-prismatic or bladed striated crystals.
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Harvard University
Geological Setting of Type Material:
A very rare secondary mineral in vugs usually associated with esperite and clinohedrite. The assemblage is composed of lead-rich silicates whcih are the result of hydrothermal alteration cutting coarse, massive willemite-franklinite ore in a stratiform, Precambrian Zn-Mn-Fe deposit
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Synonyms of LarseniteHide

Other Language Names for LarseniteHide


Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
2 photos of Larsenite associated with ClinohedriteCaZn(SiO4) · H2O

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.AB.05TrimeriteCaMn2+2Be3(SiO4)3Mon. 2/m : P21/m
9.AB.15EsperitePbCa2Zn3(SiO4)3Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AB.20RondorfiteCa8Mg(SiO4)4Cl2Iso. m3 (2/m 3)

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 2/m : P21/m 2/m : P21/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.7.2KrauskopfiteBaSi2O5 · 3H2OMon.
14.7.4MacdonalditeBaCa4Si16O36(OH)2 · 10H2OOrth.
14.7.5EricssoniteBaMn2+2Fe3+(Si2O7)O(OH)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
14.7.11WillemiteZn2SiO4Trig. 3 : R3
14.7.12HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2OOrth. mm2 : Imm2
14.7.13ZincsiliteZn3(Si4O10)(OH)2 · 4H2OMon.
14.7.14HardystoniteCa2Zn(Si2O7)Tet. 4 2m : P4 21m
14.7.16ClinohedriteCaZn(SiO4) · H2OMon. m : Bb
14.7.17JunitoiteCaZn2Si2O7 · H2OOrth. mm2
14.7.19EsperitePbCa2Zn3(SiO4)3Mon. 2/m : P21/b
14.7.22GageiteMn21(Si4O12)2O3(OH)20Mon. 2/m
14.7.23FranklinfurnaceiteCa2Fe3+Mn2+3Mn3+(Zn2Si2O10)(OH)8Mon. 2 : B2

Fluorescence of LarseniteHide

Not fluorescent in UV.

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
Contains lead.

References for LarseniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Palache, C., Bauer, L.H., Berman, H. (1928) Larsenite and calcium-larsenite, new members of the chrysolite group, from Franklin, New Jersey. (Preliminary Notice). American Mineralogist: 13: 142-144.
Palache, C., Bauer, L.H., Berman, H. (1928) Larsenite, calcium-larsenite and associated minerals at Franklin, NJ. American Mineralogist: 13: 334-340.
Palache, C. (1935) The Minerals of Franklin and Sterling Hill, Sussex County, New Jersey. USGS PP 180: 81.
Layman, F.G. (1957) Unit cell and space group of larsenite, PbZnSiO4. American Mineralogist: 42: 910-911.
Ito, J., Frondel, C. (1967) Syntheses of lead silicates: Larsenite, barysilite and related phases. American Mineralogist: 52: 1077-1084.
Prewitt, C.T., Kirchner, E., Preisinger, A. (1967) Crystal structure of larsenite PbZnSiO4. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 124: 115-130.
Ito, J. (1968) Synthesis of some lead calcium zinc silicates. American Mineralogist: 53: 231-240.
Mineralogical Record (1982): 13: 142.
Dunn, P.J. (1985) The lead silicates from Franklin, New Jersey: occurrence and composition. Mineralogical Magazine: 49: 721-727.
Dunn, P.J. (1995) Franklin and Sterling Hill New Jersey: the world's most magnificent mineral deposits, Part 3. 381-382.
Anthony, Bideaux, Bladh, Nichols (1995) Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. II. Mineral Data Publishing.
Gaines, R.V., Skinner, H.C.W., Foord, E.E., Mason, B., Rosenzweig, A., King, V. (1997) Dana's New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, 8th. edition.

Internet Links for LarseniteHide

Localities for LarseniteHide

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.
  • South Australia
    • Flinders Ranges
      • North Flinders Ranges
        • Leigh Creek
          • Puttapa
Elliott, P. (1991): Minerals from the Beltana mine, Puttapa, South Australia. Mineralogical Record 22, 449-456. ; Muller, D. W. (1972). The geology of the Beltana willemite deposits. Economic Geology, 67(8), 1146-1167.
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
    • Arnsberg
      • Uentrop
        • Caspari Mine
Schnorrer-Köhler, G. (1989): Das Antimonerzvorkommen der Caspari-Zeche bei Arnsberg im Sauerland. Lapis 14(6), 11-32, 50.
  • Rajasthan
    • Jaipur district
      • Sikar District
        • Khetri
Ahmed, M., Shaif, M., Siddiquie, F. N., & Khan, R. (2018). Mode of Occurrence and Mineralogy of Northern Khetri Copper Deposits, Jhunjhunu District, Rajasthan. Natural Resources, 2018, 9, 389-403
  • Zacatecas
    • Ojo Caliente Municipality
      • La Blanca
Parker, R. (2010). Geology And Mineral Resources Of The Bilbao Silver-Lead-Zinc Deposit, State Of Zacatecas, Mexico. Private Company Report for Xtierra Inc.
  • Oshikoto Region
    • Tsumeb
Gebhard, G. (1999): Tsumeb II. A Unique Mineral Locality. GG Publishing, Grossenseifen, Germany
  • New Jersey
    • Sussex Co.
      • Franklin Mining District
        • Franklin
Palache, C. (1935), USGS Prof. Paper 180: 81; Dunn, P.J. (1995): Pt3: 381-382.
Palache, C. (1935), USGS Prof. Paper 180: 81; Dunn, P.J. (1995): Pt3: 381-382.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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