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About ArcaniteHide

Colourless, white
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named in 1845 by Wilhelm Carl von Haidinger from the Latin "arcanum duplicatum," for double secret, a medieval alchemical name. The original material was an exudate on the surface of discarded railroad track ties that had been used in the Santa Ana tin mine, Trabuco Canyon, Santa Ana Mountains, Orange County, California, USA.
Isostructural with:
Arcanite-Mascagnite Series.

This species was described and named based on artificial material and the type occurrence, which is anthropogenic (pine rail tie in a mine). It has since been identified in nature.

NOTE: Well-crystalline specimens on the market (eg those labelled from Poland) are grown artificially and are not natural minerals.

Classification of ArcaniteHide

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

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
A : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, without H2O
D : With only large cations

2 : A2XO4

25 : Sulphates
1 : Sulphates of the alkali metals and ammonium

Physical Properties of ArcaniteHide

Colourless, white
On {010} and {001}.
2.663 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.7 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of ArcaniteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.494 nβ = 1.495 nγ = 1.497
Measured: 67° , Calculated: 70°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.004
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v strong

Chemical Properties of ArcaniteHide

IMA Formula:

Crystallography of ArcaniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.77 Å, b = 10.07 Å, c = 7.48 Å
a:b:c = 0.573 : 1 : 0.743
Unit Cell V:
434.62 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Thin tablets comprised of sixling cyclic twins bounded by {001}, {011}, and {112} (Santa Ana Mine). Artificial crystals frequently twinned.
On {110}, cyclic at times; pseudo-hexagonal groupings.

Type Occurrence of ArcaniteHide

General Appearance of Type Material:
Thin tablets in wood.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Not applicable.

Synonyms of ArcaniteHide

Other Language Names for ArcaniteHide

Varieties of ArcaniteHide

Taylorite (of Dana)Ammonian Arcanite. Found in guano beds of the Chincha Islands, Peru

Relationship of Arcanite to other SpeciesHide

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
3 photos of Arcanite associated with HematiteFe2O3
2 photos of Arcanite associated with PiypiteK4Cu4O2(SO4)4 · (Na,Cu)Cl
1 photo of Arcanite associated with Unnamed (Lyonsite-like Cu-Fe-Vanadate)(Cu,Zn)2(Fe,Al)2[(V,Mo,S,As)O4]3
1 photo of Arcanite associated with Jarosite Group

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

7.AD.CalciolangbeiniteK2Ca2(SO4)3Iso. 2 3 : P21 3
7.AD.BubnovaiteK2Na8Ca(SO4)6Trig. 3m : P3 1c
7.AD.05Mascagnite(NH4)2SO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.AD.10MercalliteKHSO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
7.AD.25GlauberiteNa2Ca(SO4)2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
7.AD.30AnhydriteCaSO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
7.AD.35AnglesitePbSO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.AD.35BaryteBaSO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.AD.35CelestineSrSO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
7.AD.40Palmierite(K,Na)2Pb(SO4)2Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

25.1.1ThénarditeNa2SO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Fddd
25.1.2MatteucciteNaHSO4 · H2OMon.
25.1.3MirabiliteNa2SO4 · 10H2OMon. 2/m
25.1.5MercalliteKHSO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
25.1.8Mascagnite(NH4)2SO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma

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 ArcaniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Haidinger, W. (1845) Erste Klasse: Akrogenide. IV. Ordnung. Salze. XIII. Pikrochylinsalz. Arcanit. in: Handbuch der bestimmenden Mineralogie, Vienna, 487-492.
Tutton (1895) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 24: 5.
Eakle (1908) Bulletin of the Department of Geology, University of California: 5: 232.
Ogg (1928) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 5: 354.
Frondel, C. (1950) Notes on arcanite, ammonian aphthitalite and oxammite. American Mineralogist: 35: 596-598.
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. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 399-400.
McGinnety, J.A. (1972) Redetermination of the structures of potassium sulphate and potassium chromate: the effect of electrostatic crystal forces upon observed bond length. Acta Crystallographica: B28: 2845-2852.
Groat, L.A., Hawthorne, F.C. (1985) Taylorite discredited (= ammonian arcanite). The Canadian Mineralogist: 23: 259-260.
Buzgar, N., Buzatu, A., Sanislav, I.V. (2009) The Raman study on certain sulfates. Annalele Stiintifice ale Universitatii: 55: 5-23.

Internet Links for ArcaniteHide

Localities for ArcaniteHide

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.
  • Western Australia
    • Dundas Shire
      • Cocklebiddy Roadhouse
Bideaux et al. Handbook of Mineralogy.
      • Madura Roadhouse
David Garske
  • South-East District
    • Lobatse
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
  • Saskatchewan
Shang, Y. (2000). Mineralogy, lithostratigraphy and geochemistry of North Ingebright Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. PhD thesis University of Manitoba.
  • Tarapacá
    • Iquique Province
      • Iquique
        • Puerta Patillos
  • Hauts-de-France
    • Pas-de-Calais
Naze-Nancy Masalehdani, M., Mees, F., Dubois, M., Coquinot, Y., Potdevin, J.-L., Fialin, M. & Blanc-Valleron, M.-M. (2009): Condensate minerals from a burning coal-waste heap in Avion, Northern France. Can. Mineral. 47, 573-591.
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
    • Südwestpfalz
      • Hauenstein
        • Wilgartswiesen
Frenzel, Gerhard (1964): Im Buntsandstein des Pfälzerwaldes, Aufschluss 15, 175-200
  • Hormozgan Province
    • Khamir County
Talbot, C., Farhadi, R., and Aftabi, P. (2009): Ore Geology Reviews 35, 352-366.
  • Lazio
    • Metropolitan City of Rome Capital
      • Bracciano Lake
        • Cesano geothermal field
Cavarretta, G., Mottana, A., Tecce, F. (1982): Goergeyite e syngenite nei pozzi geotermici di Cesano (Lazio). Rendiconti Soc. Ital. Mineral. Petrol., 38, 902; Stoppani, F.S., Curti, E. (1982): I minerali del Lazio. Editoriale Olimpia, Firenze, 291 pp.; Cavarretta, G., Mottana, A., Tecce, F. (1983): Görgeyite and syngenite in the Cesano geothermal field (Latium, Italy). Neues Jahrb. Mineral. Abh., 147, 304–314.
  • Sicily
    • Metropolitan City of Catania
      • Etna Volcanic Complex
Toutain, J. P., Quisefit, J. P., Briole, P., Aloupogiannis, P., Blanc, P., & Robaye, G. (1995). Mineralogy and chemistry of solid aerosols emitted from Mount Etna. Geochemical Journal, 29(3), 163-173.
  • Hokkaidō Prefecture
    • Iburi Subprefecture
      • Date City
        • Usu-zan
The Mineral Species of Japan (5th ed) Matsubara
  • Jalisco
    • Colima volcanic complex
Ostrooumov, M., Arellano-Jimenez, M., Ponce, A., Taran, Y., Reyes-Gasga, J. (2008): La colimaíta, K3VS4, un nuevo mineral del volcán Colima (México). Boletín de Mineralogía, 18(1), 7-8
  • Khomas Region
    • Windhoek Rural
Martini, J.E.J. (1992) Swaknoite [Ca(NH4)2·(HPO4)2·H2O, orthorhombic]: A new mineral from Arnhem cave, Namibia. Bulletin of the South African Speleological Association: 32: 72-74.
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
  • Kunene Region
    • Khorixas
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
    • Outjo
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
  • Otjozondjupa Region
    • Grootfontein
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
    • Otavi
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
  • Ica
    • Pisco Province
Taylor (1859) Proceedings of the Academy of Science, Philadelphia: 309 (as Glascerite); 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: 400.
  • Silesian Voivodeship
    • Rybnik City Co.
Kruszewski, Ł., Fabiańska, M.J., Segit, T., Kusy, D., Motyliński, R., Ciesielczuk, J., Deput, E., (2019): Carbon-nitrogen compounds, alcohols, mercaptans, monoterpenes, acetates, aldehydes, ketones, SF6, PH3, and other fire gases in coal-mining waste heaps of Upper Silesian Coal Basin (Poland) – a re-investigation by means of in situ FTIR external database approach. Science of The Total Environment (in press)
  • Kamchatka Krai
Okrugin, V. M. (2004). Miocene to Quaternary center volcanic, hydrothermal and ore-forming activity in the Southern Kamchatka. In Metallogeny of the Pacific Northwest (Russian Far East)-Tectonics, Magmatism and Metallogeny of Active Continental Margin, Interim IAGOD Conference, Excursion Guidebook, Dalnauka, Vladivostok, 2004 (pp. 147-176).
Diederik Visser List #39, July 2006
      • Great Fissure eruption (Main Fracture)
        • Northern Breakthrough (North Breach)
Pavel M. Kartashov analytical data, Elena Yu. Bykova material
Zubkova, N. V., Pekov, I. V., Ksenofontov, D. A., Yapaskurt, V. O., Pushcharovsky, D. Y., & Sidorov, E. G. (2018, March). Arcanite from Fumarole Exhalations of the Tolbachik Volcano (Kamchatka, Russia) and Its Crystal Structure. In Doklady Earth Sciences (Vol. 479, pp. 339-341). Pleiades Publishing.
  • Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
    • Aldan
      • Inagli Massif
Naumov, VB and Kamenetsky, VS and Thomas, R and Kononkova, NN and Ryzhenko, BN (2008): Inclusions of silicate and sulfate melts in chrome diopside from the Inagli deposit, Yakutia, Russia. Geochemistry International, 46, 554-564. [http://eprints.utas.edu.au/7673/1/GeochemInt2008-Inagli.pdf]
Saudi Arabia
  • Mecca Region
Saudi Geological Survey Open-File Report SGS-OF-2004-12, 68 p.
South Africa
  • Mpumalanga
Handbook of Mineralogy (2005)
  • Northern Cape
    • Frances Baard
      • Sol Plaatje
        • Kimberley
          • KEM JV Mine (Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture mine; Kimberley Underground mine)
Giuliani, A., Soltys, A., Phillips, D., Kamenetsky, V. S., Maas, R., Goemann, K., ... & Griffin, W. L. (2017). The final stages of kimberlite petrogenesis: petrography, mineral chemistry, melt inclusions and Sr-CO isotope geochemistry of the Bultfontein kimberlite (Kimberley, South Africa). Chemical Geology, 455, 342-356.
  • Basque Country
    • Vizcaya
      • Valle de Carranza
Martínez-Arkarazo, I., Angulo, M., Zuloaga, O., Usobiaga, A., & Madariaga, J. M. (2007). Spectroscopic characterisation of moonmilk deposits in Pozalagua tourist cave (Karrantza, Basque Country, North of Spain). Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 68(4), 1058-1064.
  • Arizona
    • Maricopa Co.
Garvie, L.A.J. (2016): Mineralogy of paloverde (Parkinsonia microphylla) tree ash from the Sonoran Desert: A combined field and laboratory study. American Mineralogist: 101 : 1584-1595; http://forum.amiminerals.it/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=12875 (2016
  • California
    • Orange Co.
      • Santa Ana Mountains
        • Trabuco Canyon [town]
          • Trabuco Canyon
Eakle (1908) Bull. Dept. of Geology, Univ. of California: 5: 232. Frondel, C. (1950) Amer. Min.: 35: 596. Palache et al (1951) Dana's Sys. Min., 7th. ed.: 400.
    • Riverside Co.
      • Vivet Eye
Ingalls, Walter Renton, ed. (1908) The Mineral Industry, Its Statistics, Technology and Trade during 1907, Vol. XVI, Hill Publishing Co., New York & London: 833.
  • New Mexico
Northrop, Minerals of New Mexico, 3rd. rev. ed. (1996)
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