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Phenakite

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Formula:
Be2SiO4
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
Colourless, white, ...
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
7½ - 8
Member of:
Name:
Named in 1833 by Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (October 12, 1792, Mäntsälä – February 2, 1866, Finnish/Russian mineralogist) from the Greek for "deceiver" in allusion to its being mistaken for quartz.

Although the spelling phenacite has been used in the past, the approved spelling is phenakite.
Phenakite Group.

Nordenskiold specimen
Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld
Nordenskiold specimen
Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld
Nordenskiold specimen
Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld


Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Phenakite.


Classification of Phenakite

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.AA.05

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
A : Nesosilicates without additional anions; cations in tetrahedral [4] coordination
Dana 7th ed.:
51.1.1.1
51.1.1.1

51 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
1 : Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [4] coordination
14.3.1

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
3 : Silicates of Be

Physical Properties of Phenakite

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent
Colour:
Colourless, white, yellow, pale rose
Hardness (Mohs):
7½ - 8
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Distinct/Good
Distinct {1120} and imperfect {1011}
Fracture:
Conchoidal
Density:
2.96 - 3 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.96 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Phenakite

Type:
Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.650 - 1.656 nε = 1.667 - 1.670
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.017
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Moderate

Chemical Properties of Phenakite

Formula:
Be2SiO4
Elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
From Ural Mountains, Russia
Insoluble in acids
SiO2 (52.92)
Al2O3 (trace)
BeO (45.82)
MgO (0.13)
CaO (0.20)
Na2O (0.63)
K2O (0.26)
LOI (0.21)

Crystallography of Phenakite

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3 - Rhombohedral
Space Group:
R3
Cell Parameters:
a = 12.438Å, c = 8.231Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.662
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,102.77 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
18
Morphology:
Flattened rhombohedra, often highly modified. Dominant forms {1120}, {1010}, {1011}, {1232}, {1123}, {2113}, {0112}. Tabular to prismatic, less commonly long prismatic to acicular to 20 cm. In columnar aggregates, as spherulites, and granular.
Twinning:
Penetration twins on {_1010}, twin axis [0001]

Crystallographic forms of Phenakite

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Phenakite no.34 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Phenakite no.65 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Transparency
Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.12 (100)
3.66(80)
2.52(70)
2.36(70)
2.19(60)
2.08(50)
6.24(40)
3.60 (30)

Occurrences of Phenakite

Type Occurrence of Phenakite

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Mining Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia, 617/22.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
In schist.

Relationship of Phenakite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
EucryptiteLiAlSiO4
WillemiteZn2SiO4
14.3.2BertranditeBe4Si2O7(OH)2
14.3.3BerylliteBe3SiO4(OH)2 · H2O
14.3.4LiberiteLi2BeSiO4
14.3.5ChkaloviteNa2BeSi2O6
14.3.6EudidymiteNa2Be2Si6O15 · H2O
14.3.7EpididymiteNa2Be2Si6O15 · H2O
14.3.8GugiaiteCa2BeSi2O7
14.3.9Jeffreyite(Ca,Na)2(Be,Al)Si2(O,OH)7
14.3.10Semenovite-(Ce)(Na,Ca)9Fe2+Ce2(Si,Be)20(O,OH,F)48
14.3.11BaryliteBaBe2Si2O7
14.3.12Hingganite-(Ce)BeCe(SiO4)(OH)
14.3.13Hingganite-(Yb)BeYb(SiO4)(OH)
14.3.14Hingganite-(Y)(Y,REE,Ca)2(□,Fe2+)Be2[SiO4]2(OH)2
14.3.15Minasgeraisite-(Y)CaBe2Y2(SiO4)2O2
14.3.16SørenseniteNa4Be2Sn(Si3O9)2 · 2H2O
14.3.17TrimeriteCaBe3Mn22+(SiO4)3
14.3.18ChiavenniteCaMn2+(BeOH)2Si5O13 · 2H2O
14.3.19TvedaliteCa4Be3Si6O17(OH)4 · 3H2O
14.3.20HarstigiteCa6Be4Mn2+(SiO4)2(Si2O7)2(OH)2
14.3.21SverigeiteNaBe2Mn22+SnSi3O12(OH)
14.3.22JoesmithitePbCa2Mg3Fe23+(Si6Be2)O22(OH)2
14.3.23Gadolinite-(Y)Fe2+Be2Y2(SiO4)2O2
14.3.24Gadolinite-(Ce)Fe2+Be2Ce2(SiO4)2O2
14.3.25Calciogadolinite-(Y)(YCa)2Fe3+Be2[SiO4]2O2

Other Names for Phenakite

Name in Other Languages:
Simplified Chinese:硅铍石
似晶石
Traditional Chinese:矽鈹石
似晶石

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:
Fusibility 7
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 Phenakite

Reference List:
Nordenskjöld, N. (1834) Beskrifning på phenakit, ett nytt mineral från Ural. Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar: 1833: 160-165.

Nordenskjöld, N. (1834) Beschreibung des Phenakits, eine neuen Minerals aus dem Ural. Annalen der Physik und Chemie: 21: 57-62.

Kunz, G.F. (1888) On Phenacite from Stoneham and quartz pseudormorphs after spodumene from Paris, Me. Mineralogical Notes: American Journal of Science 3rd series: 36: 222, 472.

Schaller, W.T. (1911) Krystallographische Notizen ueber Albit, Phenakit, und Neptunit: Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 48: 550-558

USGS Bull. 490: 53-56 (1911).

Lee, D.E., Erd, R.C. (1963) Phenakite from the Mount Wheeler area, Snake Range, White Pine County, Nevada. American Mineralogist: 48: 189-193.

Zachariasen, W.H. (1971) Refined crystal structure of phenacite, Be2SiO4. Soviet Physics - Crystallography: 16: 1021-1025.

Burt, D.M. (1978) Multisystems analysis of beryllium mineral stabilities: the system BeO-Al2O3-SiO2-H2O. American Mineralogist: 63: 664-676.

Hazen, R.M., Au, A.Y. (1986) High-pressure crystal chemistry of phenakite (Be2SiO4) and bertrandite (Be4Si2O7(OH)2). Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 13: 69-78.

Barton, M.D. (1986) Phase equilibria and thermodynamic properties of minerals in the BeO-Al2O3-SiO2-H20 (BASH) system, with petrologic applications. American Mineralogist: 71: 277-300.

Downs, J.W., Gibbs, G.V. (1987) An exploratory examination of the electron density and electrostatic potential of phenakite. American Mineralogist: 72: 769-777.

Tsirel'son, V.G., Sokolova, Y.V., Urusov, V.S. (1987) An X-ray diffraction study of the electron-density distribution and electrostatic potential in phenakite Be2SiO4. Geochemistry International: 24: 101-110.

Hofmeister, A.M., Hoering, T.C., Virgo, D. (1987) Vibrational spectroscopy of beryllium aluminosilicates: heat capacity calculations from band assignments. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 14: 205-224.

Martin-Izard, A., Paniagua, A., Moreiras, D., Acevedo, R.D., Marcos-Pascual, C. (1995) Metasomatism at a granitic pegmatite - dunite contact in Galicia: the Franqueira occurrence of chrysoberyl (alexandrite), emerald, and phenakite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 33: 775-792.

Internet Links for Phenakite

mindat.org URL:
https://www.mindat.org/min-3188.html
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Specimens:
The following Phenakite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Phenakite

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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