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Colourless, white, grey, yellowish white, or reddish white
Specific Gravity:
2.56 - 2.62
Crystal System:
Member of:
From the Greek "sanis" for "little plate" and "idos" for "to see."
Feldspar Group.
Common in volcanic rocks.

See also the other potassium-dominant feldspars microcline and orthoclase.

Visit for gemological information about Sanidine.

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Classification of SanidineHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
F : Tektosilicates without zeolitic H2O
A : Tektosilicates without additional non-tetrahedral anions

76 : TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
1 : Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks

16 : Silicates Containing Aluminum and other Metals
3 : Aluminosilicates of K

Physical Properties of SanidineHide

Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, white, grey, yellowish white, or reddish white
{001} Perfect, {010} distinct
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
2.56 - 2.62 g/cm3 (Measured)    2.56 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of SanidineHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.518 - 1.525 nβ = 1.523 - 1.530 nγ = 1.525 - 1.531
Measured: 60° , Calculated: 48° to 64°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.007
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r < v distinct

Chemical Properties of SanidineHide

IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Age informationHide

Age range:
Phanerozoic : 98.89 ± 0.34 Ma to 10.5 ± 0.3 Ma - based on data given below.
Sample ages:
Sample IDRecorded ageGeologic TimeDating method
110.5 ± 0.3 MaMioceneK-Ar
216.9 ± 0.3 MaMioceneK-Ar
328.84 ± 0.08 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
429.08 ± 0.05 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
529.43 ± 0.05 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
630.75 ± 0.16 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
731.05 ± 0.15 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
831.55 ± 0.07 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
931.73 ± 0.22 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
1031.82 ± 0.12 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
1132.16 ± 0.31 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
1232.5 ± 0.1 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
1332.65 ± 0.05 MaOligocene40Ar/39Ar
1434.26 ± 0.1 MaEoceneK-Ar
1535.18 ± 0.05 MaEocene40Ar/39Ar
1641.09 ± 1.39 MaEocene40Ar/39Ar
1759.31 ± 0.09 MaPaleocene40Ar/39Ar
1898.89 ± 0.34 MaLate Cretaceous40Ar/39Ar
Sample references:
1Klondyke District, Esmeralda Co., Nevada, USASilberman, M. L., Bonham, H. F. Jr., Garside, L. J., Ashley, R. P. (1978) Radiometric ages of volcanic and plutonic rocks and hydrothermal alteration-mineralization in the Tonopah Mining District and vicinity, Nye and Esmerelda Counties, Nevada. United States Department of the Interior Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-841. 1-48.
2Tonopah District, San Antonio Mts, Nye Co., Nevada, USA  "  "
3Gold Star pit, Altman, Teller Co., Colorado, USAKelley K D, Romberger S B, Beaty D W, Pontius J A, Snee L W, Stein H J, Thompson T B (1998) Geochemical and geochronological constraints on the genesis of Au-Te deposits at Cripple Creek, Colorado. Economic Geology (93) 981-1012.
4  "  "  "  "
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6Cripple Creek, Cripple Creek District, Teller Co., Colorado, USA  "  "
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14Huitzuco de los Figueroa, Mun. de Huitzuco, Guerrero, MexicoMorán-Zenteno D J, Alba-Aldave L A, Solé J, Iriondo A (2004) A major resurgent caldera in southern Mexico: the source of the late Eocene Tilzapotla ignimbrite, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 136, 97-119 
15Cripple Creek, Cripple Creek District, Teller Co., Colorado, USAKelley K D, Romberger S B, Beaty D W, Pontius J A, Snee L W, Stein H J, Thompson T B (1998) Geochemical and geochronological constraints on the genesis of Au-Te deposits at Cripple Creek, Colorado. Economic Geology (93) 981-1012.
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Crystallography of SanidineHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.6 Å, b = 13.03 Å, c = 7.17 Å
β = 116.03°
a:b:c = 0.66 : 1 : 0.55
Unit Cell V:
721.96 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Tabular with square cross section
Carlsbad - common
Baveno, Manebach - rarer
High sanidine forms a series with high albite

Type Occurrence of SanidineHide

Synonyms of SanidineHide

Other Language Names for SanidineHide

Varieties of SanidineHide

AzuliciteA transparent blue iridescent variety of Sanidine.
Barium-SanidineA barian Sanidine variety with 5% BaO.
Originally described from Comb Butte, Highwood Mts, Chouteau Co., Montana, USA.
Citron FeldsparA trade name for yellow gem-quality sanidine feldspar as found in Madagascar.
High sanidineThe high-temperature form of sanidine, believed to be stable above 800°C.
Low sanidineThe low temperature form of sanidine, believed to be stable between 650°C and 800°C. Above this temperature high sanidine is formed, and below this orthoclase and microcline.

Relationship of Sanidine to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
AnorthiteCa(Al2Si2O8)Tric. 1 : P1
Buddingtonite(NH4)(AlSi3)O8Mon. 2 : P21
CelsianBa(Al2Si2O8)Mon. 2/m
DmisteinbergiteCa(Al2Si2O8)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
FilatoviteK(Al,Zn)2(As,Si)2O8Mon. 2/m
HexacelsianBaAl2Si2O8Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mcm
KokchetaviteK(AlSi3O8)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
KumdykoliteNa(AlSi3O8)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
SunstoneA variety of feldspar (microcline or oligoclase) that has schiller, commonly with an orange/brown background color, ...

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Pseudobrookite45 photos of Sanidine associated with Pseudobrookite on
Titanite27 photos of Sanidine associated with Titanite on
Rutile21 photos of Sanidine associated with Rutile on
Hematite19 photos of Sanidine associated with Hematite on
Topaz18 photos of Sanidine associated with Topaz on
Pyroxene Group16 photos of Sanidine associated with Pyroxene Group on
Haüyne14 photos of Sanidine associated with Haüyne on
Magnetite11 photos of Sanidine associated with Magnetite on
Melanite11 photos of Sanidine associated with Melanite on
Hornblende11 photos of Sanidine associated with Hornblende on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.FA.05KalsiliteKAlSiO4Hex. 6 2 2 : P63 2 2
9.FA.05Nepheline(Na,K)AlSiO4Hex. 6 : P63
9.FA.05Panunzite(K,Na)AlSiO4Hex. 6 : P63
9.FA.05Yoshiokaite(Ca,Na)[Al(Al,Si)O4]Trig. 3 : P3
9.FA.10MalinkoiteNaBSiO4Hex. 6 : P63
9.FA.15VirgiliteLiAlSi2O6Hex. 6 2 2 : P62 2 2
9.FA.25LisitsyniteKBSi2O6Orth. 2 2 2 : P2 2 2
9.FA.30Buddingtonite(NH4)(AlSi3)O8Mon. 2 : P21
9.FA.30CelsianBa(Al2Si2O8)Mon. 2/m
9.FA.30MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
9.FA.30OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.FA.30MonalbiteNaAlSi3O8Mon. 2/m : B2/m
9.FA.35AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
9.FA.35AnorthiteCa(Al2Si2O8)Tric. 1 : P1
9.FA.45KumdykoliteNa(AlSi3O8)Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnnm
9.FA.65DanburiteCaB2Si2O8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.FA.65MaleeviteBaB2Si2O8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
9.FA.70Lingunite(Na,Ca)AlSi3O8Tet. 4/m : I4/m
9.FA.75KokchetaviteK(AlSi3O8)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 2/m : B2/m,Ba)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]Mon. 2/m 1,K)AlSi3O8Tric.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

16.3.1LithositeK6Al4Si8O25 · 2H2OMon.
16.3.3KalsiliteKAlSiO4Hex. 6 2 2 : P63 2 2
16.3.4LeuciteK(AlSi2O6)Tet. 4/m : I41/a
16.3.5MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)Tric. 1
16.3.6OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
16.3.8MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/b

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.

Sanidine in petrologyHide

References for SanidineHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Klaproth, M.H. (1810): Chemische Untersuchung des glasigen Feldspaths vom Drachenfels, Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper, Fünfter Band, Rottmann Berlin, 12-18
Onorato E., Penta M., Sgarlata F. -(1963) Struttura del sanidino. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma pp. 1-34.
Scott, R.B., Bachinski, S.W., Nesbitt, R.W., and Scott, M.R. (1971) Rate of Al-Si ordering in sanidines from an ignimbrite cooling unit. American Mineralogist: 56: 1208-1221.
Bertelmann, D., Förtsch, E., and Wondratscher, H. (1985) Zum Temperverhalten von Sanidin: die Ausnahmerolle der Eifelsanidin-Megakristalle. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Abhandlungen: 152: 123-141.
Gering, E. (1985) Silizium/Aluminium-Ordnung und Kristallperfektion von Sanidinen. Dissertation, University of karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Bertelmann, D., Walther, J., and Wondratscher, H. (1987) Annealing-induced inclusions and transformation behaviour of Eifel sanidines. Terra Cognita: 7: 257-258.
Bernotat-Wulf, H., Bertelmann, D., and Wondratscher, H. (1988) The annealing behaviour of Eifel sanidine (Volkesfeld). III. The influence of the sample surface and sample size on the order-disorder transformation rate. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte 1988: 504-515.
Ferguson, R.B., Ball, N.A., and Cerny, P. (1991) Structure refinement of an adularian end-member high sanidine from the Buck Claim pegmatite, Bernic Lake, Manitoba. Canadian Mineralogist: 29: 543-552.
Kroll, H. and Knitter, R. (1991) Al, Si exchange kinetics in sanidine and anorthoclase and modeling of rock cooling paths. American Mineralogist: 76: 928-941.
Widder, W. (1991) Röntgentopographische Untersuchungen am Sanidin von Volkesfeld und Orthoklas von Madagaskar. Diplomarbeit an der Fakultät für Physik, Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany.
Widder, W., Wondratscher, H., Fehlmann, M., and Klapper, H. (1994) X-ray topographic study of Eifel sanidine (Volkesfeld). Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 209: 206-209.
Mineralogical Record (1995): 26: 222.
Kimata, M., Saito, S., Shimizu, M., Iida, I., and Tomoaki, M. (1996) Low-temperature crystal structures of orthoclase and sanidine. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Abhandlungen: 171: 199-213.
Mineralien Welt (1999): 10(6): 40-44.
Ginibre, C., Wörner, G., and Kronz, A. (2004) Structure and dynamics of the Laacher See magma chamber (Eifel, Germany) from major and trace element zoning in sanidine: a cathodoluminescence and electron microprobe study. Journal of Petrology: 45: 2197-2224.

Internet Links for SanidineHide

Localities for SanidineHide

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 ListShow

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