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Phenakite

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Formula:
Be2SiO4
Colour:
Colourless, white, yellow, pale rose
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
7½ - 8
Specific Gravity:
2.96 - 3
Crystal System:
Trigonal
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
Transparency:
Transparent
Colour:
Colourless, white, yellow, pale rose
Hardness:
7½ - 8 on Mohs scale
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

Crystallography of Phenakite

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3 - Rhombohedral
Space Group:
R3
Cell Parameters:
a = 12.438 Å, c = 8.231 Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.662
Unit Cell 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:
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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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X-Ray Powder Diffraction

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

Type Occurrence of Phenakite

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

Synonyms of Phenakite

Other Language Names for Phenakite

Simplified Chinese:硅铍石
似晶石
Traditional Chinese:矽鈹石
似晶石

Relationship of Phenakite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
EucryptiteLiAlSiO4
WillemiteZn2SiO4

Common Associates

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz48 photos of Phenakite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Smoky Quartz32 photos of Phenakite associated with Smoky Quartz on mindat.org.
Microcline24 photos of Phenakite associated with Microcline on mindat.org.
Fluorite19 photos of Phenakite associated with Fluorite on mindat.org.
Schorl14 photos of Phenakite associated with Schorl on mindat.org.
Albite13 photos of Phenakite associated with Albite on mindat.org.
Muscovite9 photos of Phenakite associated with Muscovite on mindat.org.
Emerald9 photos of Phenakite associated with Emerald on mindat.org.
Phlogopite8 photos of Phenakite associated with Phlogopite on mindat.org.
Bertrandite6 photos of Phenakite associated with Bertrandite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping

9.AA.05EucryptiteLiAlSiO4
9.AA.05WillemiteZn2SiO4
9.AA.10LiberiteLi2BeSiO4

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals Grouping

14.3.2BertranditeBe4(Si2O7)(OH)2
14.3.3BerylliteBe3(SiO4)(OH)2 · H2O
14.3.4LiberiteLi2BeSiO4
14.3.5ChkaloviteNa2BeSi2O6
14.3.6EudidymiteNa2Be2Si6O15 · H2O
14.3.7EpididymiteNa2Be2Si6O15 · H2O
14.3.8GugiaiteCa2Be(Si2O7)
14.3.9Jeffreyite(Ca,Na)2(Be,Al)(Si2O7,HSi2O7)
14.3.10Semenovite-(Ce)Na8Ca2FeBe6Ce2Si14O40(OH)4F4
14.3.11BaryliteBe2Ba(Si2O7)
14.3.12Hingganite-(Ce)(Ce,REE)2(□,Fe2+)Be2[SiO4]2(OH)2
14.3.13Hingganite-(Yb)(Yb,Y,REE)2□Be2[SiO4]2(OH)2
14.3.14Hingganite-(Y)(Y,REE,Ca)2(□,Fe2+)Be2[SiO4]2(OH)2
14.3.15Minasgeraisite-(Y)CaBe2Y2Si2O10
14.3.16SørenseniteNa4SnBe2Si6O16(OH)4
14.3.17TrimeriteCaMn2+2Be3(SiO4)3
14.3.18ChiavenniteCaMnBe2Si5O13(OH)2 · 2H2O
14.3.19Tvedalite(Ca,Mn)4Be3Si6O17(OH)4 · 3H2O
14.3.20HarstigiteCa6(Mn,Mg)Be4Si6(O,OH)24
14.3.21SverigeiteNaMnMgSnBe2(SiO4)3(OH)
14.3.22Joesmithite{Pb}{Ca2}{Mg3Fe3+2}(Be2Si6O22)(OH)2
14.3.23Gadolinite-(Y)Y2Fe2+Be2Si2O10
14.3.24Gadolinite-(Ce)(Ce,La,Nd,Y)2Fe2+Be2Si2O10
14.3.25Calciogadolinite-(Y)(YCa)2Fe3+Be2[SiO4]2O2

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)

51.1.1.2WillemiteZn2SiO4
51.1.1.3EucryptiteLiAlSiO4

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:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
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
Please feel free to link to this page.
Specimens:
The following Phenakite specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Phenakite

Mineral and/or Locality  
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