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NaCa[AlF6] · H2O
Colourless, white; ...
From the Greek πάχνη, frost, and λίθος, stone, in allusion to its appearance.
Dimorph of:
This page provides mineralogical data about Pachnolite.

Classification of Pachnolite

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

C : Complex halides
B : Neso-aluminofluorides

6 : Aluminofluorides - Isolated Octahedra

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
6 : Halides of Al

Physical Properties of Pachnolite

Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, white; colourless in transmitted light.
Hardness (Mohs):
On {001}.
2.983 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.97 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Pachnolite

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.411 nβ = 1.413 nγ = 1.420
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.009
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v

Chemical Properties of Pachnolite

NaCa[AlF6] · H2O
IMA Formula:
NaCaAlF6 · H2O
Elements listed in formula:

Crystallography of Pachnolite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Cell Parameters:
a = 12.117(4) Å, b = 10.414(3) Å, c = 15.680(4) Å
β = 90.37(2)°
a:b:c = 1.164 : 1 : 1.506
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,978.56 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals prismatic [001], commonly acutely terminated. Terminated by {001} at times. {110} striated parallel to the intersection with {001}. Massive, cleavale to granular; stalactitic masses.
On {100} common, yielding crystals with an orthorhombic appearance; giving a grid pattern in thin section.
Non-standard space-group setting F2/d.

Crystallographic forms of Pachnolite

Crystal Atlas:
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Pachnolite no.10 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Pachnolite no.11 - 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

Epitaxial Relationships of Pachnolite

Epitaxial Minerals:
ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2O
Epitaxy Comments:
Oriented growths of thomsenolite on pachnolite, with thomsenolite (001) and (110) quasi-parallel to pachnolite (110) and (001). Also with thomsenolite (110) and (110) quasi-parallel to pachnolite (110) and (001).
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
3.95 (100)
3.26 (10)
3.02 (20)
2.92 (10)
2.79 (70)
2.16 (50)
1.971 (90)

Type Occurrence of Pachnolite

Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Relationship of Pachnolite to other Species

3.CB.40ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2O
3.CB.45CarlhintzeiteCa2[AlF6]F · H2O
3.CB.50YaroslaviteCa3Al2F10(OH)2 · H2O
8.6.2ChloraluminiteAlCl3 · 6H2O
8.6.3CadwaladeriteAlCl(OH)2 · 4H2O
8.6.9Hydrokenoralstonite Na0.5(Al,Mg)2(F,OH)6•H2O
8.6.11 Chlor-manasseiteMgxAl(OH)2x+2Cl · (x-0.8)H2O x about 1.75
8.6.14YaroslaviteCa3Al2F10(OH)2 · H2O
8.6.15CarlhintzeiteCa2[AlF6]F · H2O
8.6.17ThomsenoliteNaCa[AlF6] · H2O
8.6.19Zirklerite(Fe,Mg,Ca)9Al4Cl18(OH)12 · 14H2O (?)

Other Names for Pachnolite

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Other Information:
Readily soluble in H2SO4.
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 Pachnolite

Reference List:
Knop (1863) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 127: 61.

Wöhler (1875) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 180: 231 (as Pyroconite).

Koenig (1876) Proceedings of the Academy of Science, Philadelphia: 42.

Des Cloizeaux (1882) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 5: 310.

Groth (1883) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 7: 457.

Cross and Hillebrand (1885) USGS Bulletin 20: 49.

Krenner (1885) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 10: 528.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 179.

Goldschmidt, V. (1920) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 6: 113.

Larsen, E.S. and Berman, H. (1934) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, Second edition, USGS Bulletin 848: 95.

Ferguson (1946) Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Sect. 4: 40: 11

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: 114-116.
Hawthorne, F.C. and Ferguson, R.B. (1983): The crystal structure of pachnolite. Canadian Mineralogist, 21, 561–566.

Pauly, H. and O.V. Petersen (1983): Pachnolite: new optical data with a note on artificial precipitates. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte, 241–250.

Mineralogical Record (1993): 24: 34.

Internet Links for Pachnolite URL:
Please feel free to link to this page.
The following Pachnolite specimens are currently listed for sale on

Localities for Pachnolite

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.
(TL) indicates type locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) indicates first recorded locality for everything else. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
  • Córdoba
    • Punilla Department
      • Tanti
Dina, H. (1993). Hentschelita en Cerro Blanco, Tanti, Córdoba. Informacion Tecnologica, 48(3-4), 277-282.
American Mineralogist (1978): 53: 416-431.; Černý, P., Galliski, M. A., Oyarzábal, J. C., Teertstra, D. K., Chapman, R., MacBride, L., & Ferreira, K. (2003). Stranded and equilibrated assemblages of late feldspars in two granitic pegmatites in the Pampean Ranges, Argentina. The Canadian Mineralogist, 41(4), 1013-1026.; Demartin F, Gay H D, Gramaccioli C M, Pilati T (1997) Benyacarite, a new titanium-bearing phosphate mineral species from Cerro Blanco, Argentina. The Canadian Mineralogist 35, 707-712
  • Paraíba
    • Borborema mineral province
      • Pedra Lavrada
R. Wegner, H. Pöllmann, T. Witzke, & W. Schuckmann (1998): Colquiriite, carlhintzeite, ralstonite and pachnolite from Serra Branca-Pegmatite/Brazil.- Proceedings 17th General Meeting, IMA, August 1998, Toronto, A151
  • Southern Finland Region
    • Kotka
Ilkka Mikkola collection
  • Bavaria
    • Upper Palatinate
      • Pleystein
Dill, H.G., Weber, B. (2009), Pleystein-City on Pegmatite, 4th International Symposium on Granitic Pegmatites, Recife, Brazil.
      • Waidhaus
        • Hagendorf
Greenland (TL)
  • Sermersooq
    • Arsuk Fjord
      • Ivittuut (Ivigtut)
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: 112; Canadian Mineralogist, 21, 561 (1983); Lapis 11 (1985), 9.; Petersen, O.V. and Secher, K. (1993): The minerals of Greenland. Mineralogical Record 24 (2): 1-65 (p.36)
  • Oppland
    • Lunner
      • Nordmarka
Raade, G. & Haug, J. (1980): Rare Fluorides from a soda granite in the Oslo Region, Norway. Mineralogical Record, 11,83-91
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye)
      • Chitinskaya Oblast'
Starikova, Sharygin, V.V. (2015): Ba-dominant fluoroaluminates from the Katugin rare-metal deposit (Transbaikalia, Russia): chemical and Raman data. XXXII International Conference "Alkaline Magmatism of the Earth and Related Strategic Metal Deposits", August 7-14, Apatity, Kola, Russia
  • Urals Region
    • Southern Urals
      • Chelyabinsk Oblast'
        • Ilmen Mts
          • Ilmen Natural Reserve
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
  • Zhytomyr Oblast' (Zhitomir Oblast')
Yurk Yu.Yu., Gurov E.P., Gurova E.P. (1973) Pecularities of fluorin mineralogy of Ukrainian crystalline shield, - Naukova Dumka, Kiev, pp.184 (in Russian).; Bailey, J. C: Formation of cryolite and other aluminofluorides: A petrologic review. Bull. geol. Soc. Denmark, vol. 29, pp. 1-45. Copenhagen, June 10th, 1980.
  • Colorado
    • El Paso Co.
      • Cheyenne District (St. Peters Dome District)
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
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: 112, 120, 122; Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckel, E. B.
Am Min 51:299-323
Am Min 51:299-323
Minerals of Colorado (1997) Eckels, E. B.; Am Min 51:299-323; American Mineralogist (1936): 20: 319-333
    • Fremont Co.
"Minerals of Colorado, updated & revised", p. 16, by Eckel, Edwin B., 1997; Armbrustmacher, T. J. (1988) Geology and resources of thorium and associated elements in the Wet Mountains area, Fremont and Custer counties, Colorado. USGS Professional Paper: 1049-F
  • Florida
    • Hillsborough Co.
      • Tampa
AmMin 67:1258
  • Nevada
    • Mineral Co.
      • Fitting District
        • Gillis Range
Mineralogical Record: 31: 204.
  • Virginia
    • Amelia Co.
      • Winterham
[L.E. Kearns, 1995 - Mineralogical Record Vol 26 No.6 - "Alumino-Fluorides from the Morefield Pegmatite"]; Richards, R. P., Kearns, L. E., & Cook, W. R. (1998). Morphology of Chiolite twins from the Morefield mine, Amelia County, Virginia. Canadian mineralogist, 36, 1009-1016.
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