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Light brown to brown, may be yellowish-brown
4 - 5½
Specific Gravity:
2.7 - 4.3
Named in 1813 by Johann Friedrich Ludwig Hausmann from the greek λειμωυ for meadow alluding to its common occurrences in bogs.
Currently used for unidentified massive hydroxides and oxides of iron, with no visible crystals, and a yellow-brown streak. 'Limonite' is most commonly the mineral species goethite, but can also consist of varying proportions of lepidocrocite, hisingerite, pitticite, jarosite group species, maghemite, hematite, etc.

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Pronounciation of LimoniteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of LimoniteHide

Light brown to brown, may be yellowish-brown
Yellowish brown to red
4 - 5½ on Mohs scale
Massive may be very soft.
2.7 - 4.3 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Chemical Properties of LimoniteHide


Crystallography of LimoniteHide

While "limonite" is poorly crystallized, a number of minerals are noted for decomposing to it without losing their crystal shape - particularly pyrite and siderite crystals. Any "crystals" of "limonite" are actually pseudomorphs of other minerals which have decomposed in this fashion.

Synonyms of LimoniteHide

Other Language Names for LimoniteHide

Varieties of LimoniteHide

AdlersteinNodular concretions of iron oxides/hydroxides, mainly goethite and/or lepidocrocite, around a core of clay minerals
AlumolimoniteAl-bearing Limonite
Auriferous LimoniteA gold-bearing variety of limonite.
AvasiteProbably a siliceous limonite. Formula displayed below is very doubtful.
Bean OreA local name for a lenticular aggregated Limonite.
Chromiferous LimoniteA chromium-bearing variety of limonite.
LimniteRecently formed varieties of limonite (bog ore) containing much water
StilpnosideriteA colloidal form of Limonite

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz689 photos of Limonite associated with Quartz on
Calcite436 photos of Limonite associated with Calcite on
Pyrite230 photos of Limonite associated with Pyrite on
Baryte228 photos of Limonite associated with Baryte on
Goethite150 photos of Limonite associated with Goethite on
Malachite144 photos of Limonite associated with Malachite on
Siderite131 photos of Limonite associated with Siderite on
Chalcopyrite119 photos of Limonite associated with Chalcopyrite on
Hematite98 photos of Limonite associated with Hematite on
Sphalerite88 photos of Limonite associated with Sphalerite on

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Limonite in petrologyHide

References for LimoniteHide

Reference List:
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Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Seventh edition, Volume I: 685-686.

Internet Links for LimoniteHide

Significant localities for LimoniteHide

Showing 3 significant localities out of 12,527 recorded on

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
    • Mt Lofty Ranges
      • North Mt Lofty Ranges
        • Clare
R Bottrill collection
  • Pennsylvania
    • Chester Co.
      • Sadsbury Township
  • Utah
    • Millard Co.
      • Drum Mts
        • Detroit District (Drum District; Joy District)
U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
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