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White, grey, yellowish
Vitreous, Greasy
5½ - 6
Specific Gravity:
2.55 - 2.66
Crystal System:
From the Greek "nephele" for "cloud" since it turns cloudy when treated with strong acid.
Dimorph of:
A rock-forming mineral, and classed as a feldspathoid. Common in nepheline syenite, an igneous rock often found in alkaline complexes.

Likely polymorphous with so-called carnegieite and 'α-carnegieite'.

Compare the related kalsilite and 'UM1967-10-SiO:AlHNa', the latter being possibly a natural analogue of "nepheline hydrate".

The presence of satellite reflections seems to be a universal property of nepheline (Vulić et al., 2011); most samples show a practically complete Si-Al-ordering, but some exhibit disorder up to 20%.

Ebay Warning: Some dealers on Ebay are selling aragonite specimens as 'nepheline'. Avoid any orange-brown hexagonal clusters listed from China as they are not nepheline at all.

Visit for gemological information about Nepheline.

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Classification of NephelineHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
F : Tektosilicates without zeolitic H2O
A : Tektosilicates without additional non-tetrahedral anions

76 : TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
2 : Al-Si Framework Feldspathoids and related species

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
4 : Aluminosilicates of Na and K

Pronounciation of NephelineHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of NephelineHide

Vitreous, Greasy
Transparent, Opaque
White, grey, yellowish
Coloured by inclusions as well.
5½ - 6 on Mohs scale
Poor on {1010}, {0001}
2.55 - 2.66 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.64 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of NephelineHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.529 - 1.546 nε = 1.526 - 1.542
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.003 - 0.004
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of NephelineHide

IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of NephelineHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
6 - Pyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.993(2) Å, c = 8.374(3) Å
a:c = 1 : 0.838
Unit Cell V:
724.19 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Stout prisms, granular, compact, massive
On {1010}, {3365}, {1122}

Crystallographic forms of NephelineHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Nepheline no.9 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

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

Type Occurrence of NephelineHide

Synonyms of NephelineHide

Other Language Names for NephelineHide

Varieties of NephelineHide

ElaeoliteMassive, with oily or greasy luster (Fatstone, Oilstone), grey to green or blue.
Name introduced by Karsten and Klaproth (1809) for a mineral from the the syenite-pegmatite-dykes at Friedrichswärn (= Stavern), Norway, which was later shown to be identic...
EleoliteMassive translucent variety of nepheline with well visible resinous or waxy lustre. Usually greenish or reddish.
Germanate-nephelineAn syntetic Nepheline with Ge in place of Si

Relationship of Nepheline to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
Cancrinite GroupA large, structurally complex group of alumosilicates.
KalsiliteKAlSiO4Hex. 6 2 2 : P63 2 2
LeuciteK(AlSi2O6)Tet. 4/m : I41/a
Sodalite GroupThe Sodalite group have sodalite stacking producing cubo-octahedral cages that contain the anions and cations which ...
TrinephelineNaAlSiO4 Hex. 6 : P61

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Aegirine54 photos of Nepheline associated with Aegirine on
Melilite37 photos of Nepheline associated with Melilite on
Eudialyte34 photos of Nepheline associated with Eudialyte on
Sodalite32 photos of Nepheline associated with Sodalite on
Fluorapatite25 photos of Nepheline associated with Fluorapatite on
Schorlomite25 photos of Nepheline associated with Schorlomite on
Biotite24 photos of Nepheline associated with Biotite on
Zircon23 photos of Nepheline associated with Zircon on
Pyroxene Group23 photos of Nepheline associated with Pyroxene Group on
Microcline19 photos of Nepheline associated with Microcline on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.FA.05KalsiliteKAlSiO4Hex. 6 2 2 : P63 2 2
9.FA.05Panunzite(K,Na)AlSiO4Hex. 6 : P63
9.FA.05Yoshiokaite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)O4]Trig. 3 : P3
9.FA.10MalinkoiteNaBSiO4Hex. 6 : P63
9.FA.15VirgiliteLiAlSi2O6Hex. 6 2 2 : P62 2 2
9.FA.25LisitsyniteKBSi2O6Orth. 2 2 2 : P2 2 2
9.FA.30Buddingtonite(NH4)(AlSi3)O8Mon. 2 : P21
9.FA.30CelsianBa(Al2Si2O8)Mon. 2/m
9.FA.30MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
9.FA.30OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.FA.30SanidineK(AlSi3O8)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.FA.30MonalbiteNaAlSi3O8Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.FA.35AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
9.FA.35AnorthiteCa(Al2Si2O8)Tric. 1 : P1
9.FA.45KumdykoliteNa(AlSi3O8)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
9.FA.65DanburiteCaB2Si2O8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.FA.65MaleeviteBaB2Si2O8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
9.FA.70Lingunite(Na,Ca)AlSi3O8Tet. 4/m : I4/m
9.FA.75KokchetaviteK(AlSi3O8)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 6 2 2 : P63 2 2,Na)AlSiO4Hex.,Na)AlSiO4Hex. 6 : P63,Na)[Al(Al,Si)O4]Trig. 3 : P3

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

16.4.2Panunzite(K,Na)AlSiO4Hex. 6 : P63
16.4.5Naujakasite(Na,K)6(Fe2+,Mn2+,Ca)(Al,Fe)4Si8O26Mon. 2/m : B2/m
16.4.6Montesommaite(K,Na)9Al9Si23O64 · 10H2OOrth.

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.

Nepheline in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for NephelineHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Klaproth, M.H. (1810): Chemische Untersuchung des Elaeoliths. Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Fünfter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 176-179
American Mineralogist (1972): 57: 1711-1719.
Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie (1984): 107: 499.
Mineralogical Record (1990): 21: 235-248.
Blancher, S.B.; D'Arco, P.; Fonteilles, M.; Pascal, M.L. (2010): Evolution of nepheline from mafic to highly differentiated members of the alkaline series: the Messum complex, Namibia. Mineralogical Magazine 74, 415-432.
Rastsvetaeva, R.K., Aksenov, S.M., Chukanov, N.V. (2010): Disordering of Al and Si in nepheline from Graulai (Germany). Doklady Chemistry, 435, 339-342.
Friese, K., Grzechnik, A., Petrícek, V., Schönleber, A., van Smaalen, S., Morgenroth, W. (2011): Modulated structure of nepheline. Acta Crystallographica, B67, 18-29.
Vulić, P., Balić-Žunić, T., Belmonte, L.J., Kahlenberg, V. (2011): Crystal chemistry of nephelines from ijolites and nepheline-rich pegmatites: influence of composition and genesis on the crystal structure investigated by X-ray diffraction. Mineralogy and Petrology, 101, 185-194.
Deshkar, A. et al.: Understanding the structural origin of crystalline phase transformations in nepheline (NaAlSiO4)-based glass-ceramics. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, in press (2017).

Internet Links for NephelineHide

Localities for NephelineHide

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 ListShow

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