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2½ - 3
Crystal System:
Named in 1956 by Eric James William Whittaker from the Greek παρα "para" = beyond and chrysotile for its relationship to the root name mineral.
A polytype of Chrysotile

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Classification of ParachrysotileHide


8 : Silicates
H : Phyllosilicates (layered), Tetragonal or pseudotetragonal layered structures [Si4O10]4- and others
27 : Serpentine group

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
4 : Silicates of Mg

Physical Properties of ParachrysotileHide

2½ - 3 on Mohs scale

Optical Data of ParachrysotileHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.545 - 1.569 nβ = 1.546 - 1.569 nγ = 1.553 - 1.571
Measured: 20° to 60°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.008
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
relatively weak

Crystallography of ParachrysotileHide

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.3 Å, b = 9.24 Å, c = 14.71 Å
a:b:c = 0.574 : 1 : 1.592
Unit Cell V:
720.38 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)

Other Language Names for ParachrysotileHide

Relationship of Parachrysotile to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
OrthochrysotileOriginally described from Cuddapah, Chennai (Madras), Andhra Pradesh, India.Orth.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping (8th Edition)Hide

8/H.27-ClinochrysotileMon. 2/m
8/H.27-10AntigoriteMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4Mon. m : Bm
8/H.27-70Berthierine(Fe2+,Fe3+,Al)3(Si,Al)2O5(OH)4Mon. m : Bm
8/H.27-100AmesiteMg2Al(AlSiO5)(OH)4Tric. 1 : P1
8/H.27-120CronstedtiteFe2+2Fe3+((Si,Fe3+)2O5)(OH)4Trig. 3m : P3 1m
8/H.27-140Karpinskite(Ni,Mg)2Si2O5(OH)2 (?)

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.4.1ForsteriteMg2SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
14.4.2EnstatiteMgSiO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
14.4.5ClinochrysotileMon. 2/m
14.4.9TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2Tric. 1 : P1
14.4.10SpadaiteMgSiO2(OH)2 · H2O (?)
14.4.11SepioliteMg4(Si6O15)(OH)2 · 6H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnna
14.4.12LoughliniteNa2Mg3Si6O16 · 8H2OOrth.
14.4.15AntigoriteMg3(Si2O5)(OH)4Mon. m : Bm
14.4.16 Magnesio-anthophyllite☐{Mg2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2

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 ParachrysotileHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Whittaker, E.J.W. (1956) The structure of chrysotile. IV. Parachrysotile. Acta Crystallographica: 9: 865-867.
American Mineralogist (1957) 42: 585.
Wicks, F.J. and Whittaker, E.J.W. (1975) A reappraisal of the structures of the serpentine minerals. Canadian Mineralogist: 13(3): 227-243.
Burke, E.A.J. (2006) A mass discreditation of GQN minerals. The Canadian Mineralogist: 44(6): 1557-1560.

Internet Links for ParachrysotileHide

Localities for ParachrysotileHide

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.
  • Saxony
    • Chemnitz
      • Markersdorf
Wittern: "Mineralfundorte in Deutschland", 2001
South Africa
  • Mpumalanga Province
    • Ehlanzeni District
      • Barberton
        • Kaapsche Hoop (Kaapsehoop)
Minerals of South Africa
  • Hhohho District
    • Bulembu (Havelock)
Canadian Mineralogist (1979) 17:679-691
  • Nevada
    • Nye Co.
      • Paradise Range
        • Gabbs District
          • Gabbs
NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
  • Midlands
    • Zvishavane District
      • Zvishavane (Shabani; Shabanie; Shavani)
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