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Kathleen Lonsdale
Transparent brownish-yellow, grayish
7 - 8
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named in honor of Dame Kathleen Lonsdale (nee Yardley) (28 January 1903, Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland - 1 April 1971, London, England), crystallographer who established the structure of benzene by X-ray diffraction methods in 1929. She also worked on the synthesis of diamonds, and was a pioneer in the use of X-rays to study crystals.
Originally described as an allotrope of carbon based on a hexagonal lattice (Bundy & Kasper, 1967).

Németh et al. (2014) demonstrated "lonsdaleite" to be a faulted and twinned cubic diamond. He also showed that other reported carbon polymorphs can be explained by twinning and stacking faults.

On the other hand, both Kraus et al. (2016) and Turneaure et al. (2017) have proved lonsdaleite formation (alongside with diamond) - as a separate species - by shock compression of graphite.

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Classification of LonsdaleiteHide

First published:

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
C : Metalloids and Nonmetals
B : Carbon-silicon family
Dana 7th ed.:

3 : Semi-metals and non-metals

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)

Physical Properties of LonsdaleiteHide

Transparent brownish-yellow, grayish
7 - 8 on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
imperfections in natural Lonsdaleite reduce hardness, artificial material has tested harder than diamond (>10) , See Physical Review letters (2009)
3.2 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.51 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of LonsdaleiteHide

Uniaxial (+/-)
RI values:
nα = 2.404 nβ = 2.404
Max Birefringence:
δ = 2.404
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High

Chemical Properties of LonsdaleiteHide

Crystallography of LonsdaleiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) - Dihexagonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 2.51 Å, c = 4.12 Å
a:c = 1 : 1.641
Unit Cell V:
22.48 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Fine grained aggregates

Crystal StructureHide

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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0012989LonsdaleiteBundy F P, Kasper J S (1967) Hexagonal diamond-a new form of carbon Journal of Chemical Physics 46 3437-344619670293
0013990LonsdaleiteFayos J (1999) Possible 3D carbon structures as progressive intermediates in graphite to diamond phase transition Journal of Solid State Chemistry 148 278-28519990293
0018218LonsdaleiteYeh C, Lu Z, Froyen S, Zunger A (1992) Zinc-blende-Wurtzite polytypism in semiconductors _cod_database_code 1100004 Physical Review B46 10086-1009719920293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
In meteorites and kimberlite.

Type Occurrence of LonsdaleiteHide

Geological Setting of Type Material:
Frondel, C. & Marvin, U.B. (1967) Lonsdaleite, a new hexagonal polymorph of diamond. Nature: 214: 587-589.

Synonyms of LonsdaleiteHide

Other Language Names for LonsdaleiteHide

Simplified Chinese:六方金刚石

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

1.CB.05bChaoiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
1.CB.05aGraphiteCHex. 6mm : P63mc
1.CB.10aDiamondCIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.CB.15SiliconSiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m 6mm : P63mc 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

1.1CopperCuIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.2SilverAgIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.5GoldAuIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.8ZincZnHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.9CadmiumCdHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.12MercuryHgTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.14MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
1.19Weishanite(Au,Ag,Hg)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.21AluminiumAlIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.24DiamondCIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.25GraphiteCHex. 6mm : P63mc
1.26ChaoiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
1.28SiliconSiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.29TinSnTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
1.30LeadPbIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.31AnyuiiteAuPb2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mcm
1.31NovodnepriteAuPb3Tet. 4 2m : I4 2m
1.32LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm
1.33ArsenicAsTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.34ArsenolampriteAsOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
1.37DomeykiteCu3AsIso. 4 3m : I4 3d
1.38Algodonite(Cu1-xAsx)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.41AntimonySbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.42StibarsenAsSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.43ParadocrasiteSb3AsMon. 2 : B2
1.44HorsforditeCu, Sb
1.45CuprostibiteCu2(Sb,Tl)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/nmm
1.47AurostibiteAuSb2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
1.48DyscrasiteAg3SbOrth. mm2 : Pmm2
1.49BismuthBiTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.50MaldoniteAu2BiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.51SulphurS8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Fddd
1.52RosickýiteSMon. 2/m : P2/b
1.53SeleniumSeTrig. 3 2 : P31 2 1
1.54TelluriumTeTrig. 3 2 : P31 2 1
1.55ChromiumCrIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Im3m
1.57IronFeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Im3m
1.58ChromferideFe3Cr1-x (x=0.6)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
1.59FerchromideCr3Fe1-xIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
1.61NickelNiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.63Taenite(Fe,Ni)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.65AwaruiteNi3FeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.66Palladium(Pd,Pt)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.67PotaritePdHgTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/mmm
1.70CabriitePd2CuSnOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pmmm
1.72Atokite(Pd,Pt)3SnIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.73Rustenburgite(Pt,Pd)3SnIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.74ZvyagintsevitePd3PbIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3n
1.76Osmium(Os,Ir,Ru)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.82PlatinumPtIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m

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.

References for LonsdaleiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Frondel, C. & Marvin, U.B. (1967) Lonsdaleite, a new hexagonal polymorph of diamond. Nature: 214: 587-589.
Frondel, C. & Marvin, U.B. (1967) Lonsdaleite, a hexagonal polymorph of diamond. American Mineralogist: 52: 1579-xx.
Hanneman R.E., Strong H.M., Bundy, F.P. (1967) Hexagonal diamonds in meteorites: implications. Science: 155: 995-997.
Bundy, F.P., Kasper, J.S. (1967) Hexagonal Diamond—A New Form of Carbon. Journal of Chemical Physics: 46(9): 3437-3446.
Kaminskii, F.V., G.K. Blinova, E.M. Galimov, G.A. Gurkina, Y.A. Klyuev, L.A. Kodina, V.I. Koptil, V.F. Krivonos, L.N. Frolova, and A.Y. Khrenov (1985) Polycrystalline aggregates of diamond with lonsdaleite from Yakutian [Sakhan] placers. Mineral. Zhurnal: 7: 27-36.
He, Hongliang, Sekine, T. & Kobayashi, T. (2002) Direct transformation of cubic diamond to hexagonal diamond. Applied Physics Letters: 81(4): 610.
Pan, Zicheng; Sun, Hong; Zhang, Yi and Chen, Changfeng (2009) Harder than Diamond: Superior Indentation Strength of Wurtzite BN and Lonsdaleite. Physical Review Letters: 102: 055503. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.055503
Németh, Péter; Garvie, Laurence A.J.; Aoki, Toshihiro; Dubrovinskaia, Natalia; Dubrovinsky, Leonid and Buseck, Peter R. (2014) Lonsdaleite is faulted and twinned cubic diamond and does not exist as a discrete material. Nature Communications: 5: 5447.
Kraus, D., Ravasio, A., Gauthier, M., Gericke, D.O., Vorberger, J.,Frydrych, S., Helfrich, J., Fletcher, L.B., Schaumann, G., Nagler, B., Barbrel, B., Bachmann, B., Gamboa, E.J., Goede, S., Granados, E., Gregori, G., Lee, H.J., Neumayer, P., Schumaker, W., Doeppner, T., Falcone, R.W., Glenzer, S.H., Roth, M. (2016) Nanosecond formation of diamond and lonsdaleite by shock compression of graphite. Nature Communications: 7: 10970.
Turneaure, Stefan J., Sharma, Surinder M., Volz, T.J., Winey, J. M., Gupta, Yogendra M. (2017) Transformation of shock-compressed graphite to hexagonal diamond in nanoseconds. Science Advances: 3(10): eaao3561.

Internet Links for LonsdaleiteHide

Localities for LonsdaleiteHide

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.
  • Eastern Antarctica
    • Victoria Land
      • Allan Hills
Nature 291:396-398 (1981)
  • Western Australia
    • Dundas Shire
      • North Haig
        • Sleeper Camp
Gennady P. Vdovykin (1970). Ureilites. Space Science Reviews 10, #4, 483-510.
Vdovykin, G. P. (1970) Ureilites: Space Science Reviews 10(4): 483-510. (Feb 1970).
  • Liaoning
    • Dalian
      • Wafangdian City
        • Fuxian Kimberlite field
          • Toudaogou (incl. Pipes No. 51; 68 & 74)
I. Leung and R. Winston, Eos. Trans. AGU, 83(47), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract #####-##, 2002, MR61A-1028 0830h POSTER
  • Southwest Finland
    • Pargas
      • Nauvo
Vdovykin, G.P. 1972. Forms of carbon in the new Haverö ureilite of Finland. Meteoritics 7 (4) 547-552.
  • Assam
    • Goalpara District
Gennady P. Vdovykin (1970). Ureilites. Space Science Reviews 10, #4, 483-510.; Nakamuta, Y., & Toh, S. (2013). Transformation of graphite to lonsdaleite and diamond in the Goalpara ureilite directly observed by TEM. American Mineralogist, 98(4), 574-581.
  • Uttar Pradesh
    • Sultanpur District
Gennady P. Vdovykin (1970). Ureilites. Space Science Reviews 10, #4, 483-510.
  • Akmola Region
    • Zerendy
      • Kokchetav Massif
Dubinchuk, V. T., Simakov, S. K., & Pechnikov, V. A. (2010, January). Lonsdaleite in diamond-bearing metamorphic rocks of the Kokchetav Massif. In Doklady Earth Sciences (Vol. 430, No. 1, pp. 40-42). MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica.
      • Prirechnoye
        • Lake Kumdikol (Lake Kumdykol'; Ozero Kumdykol')
Shumilova, T. G., Mayer, E., & Isaenko, S. I. (2011, November). Natural monocrystalline lonsdaleite. In Doklady Earth Sciences (Vol. 441, No. 1, pp. 1552-1554). SP MAIK Nauka/Interperiodica.
New Zealand
  • Marlborough Region
    • Ward
Bunch, T.E., Wittke, J.H., Kennett, J.P., Kennett, D.J., Que Hee, S.S., Wolbach, W.S., Stich, A., Mercer, C., Weaver, J.C., 2008. Hexagonal Diamonds (Lonsdaleite) Discovered in the K/T Impact Layer in Spain and New Zealand, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, pp. PP13C-1476.
  • Krasnoyarsk Krai
    • Evenkiysky District
      • Nizhnyaya Tunguska River Basin (Lower Tunguska River)
Kvasnytsya, V., Wirth, R., Dobrzhinetskaya, L., Matzel, J., Jacobsen, B., Hutcheon, I., ... & Kovalyukh, M. (2013). New evidence of meteoritic origin of the Tunguska cosmic body. Planetary and Space Science, 84, 131-140.
    • Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District
P.H. Nixon, (1995) The morphology and nature of primary diamondiferous occurrences, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, Volume 53, Issues 1–3, March 1995, Pages 41-71
Ohfuji, H., Irifune, T., Litasov, K. D., Yamashita, T., Isobe, F., Afanasiev, V. P., & Pokhilenko, N. P. (2015). Natural occurrence of pure nano-polycrystalline diamond from impact crater. Scientific reports, 5, 14702.
  • Mordovia
Gennady P. Vdovykin (1970). Ureilites. Space Science Reviews 10, #4, 483-510.
  • Primorsky Krai
    • Krasnoarmeysky District
      • Roshchino
Seliverstov V.A., Gorshkov A.I., Shcheka S.A., Sivtsov A.V. (1996) Diamonds and carbonadoof Primorskii Krai: mineralogy, crystal; chemistry and genesis, - Geologiya Rudnyh Mestorozhdenii, v.38, №6, p.485-499 (in Russian).
  • Arizona
    • Coconino County
      • Meteor Crater area
Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 203, 280; Frondel, C. & U.B. Marvin (1967a), Lonsdaleite, a new hexagonal polymorph of diamond. Nature: 214: 587-589; Frondel, C. & U.B. Marvin (1967b), Lonsdaleite, a hexagonal polymorph of diamond, Am.Min.: 52: 1576.
  • New Mexico
    • Roosevelt Co.
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 40, Dec. 1976, p. 1429-1437.
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