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Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Tan, golden-yellow, ...
Adamantine, Vitreous
4½ - 5
Member of:
Named in 1821 by Karl Caesar von Leonhard in honor of Carl Wilhelm Scheele [December 9, 1742 Stralsund, Pomerania, Sweden - May 21, 1786 Köping, Sweden], Swedish experimental chemist and commercial apothecary. His experimental work was monumental for the time period and he discovered chlorine and experimented with oxygen before Joseph Priestley recognized it as an element. He investigated many fundamentally important organic compounds. He proved the existence of tungstic oxide in the mineral now bearing his name in 1781.
Isostructural with:
Powellite-Scheelite Series.

A primary mineral commonly found as a component of contact-metamorphic tactite; in high-temperature hydrothermal veins and greisen; in granitic pegmatites and medium-temperature hydrothermal veins; in alluvial deposits.

Visit for gemological information about Scheelite.

Classification of Scheelite

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

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
G : Molybdates, Wolframates and Niobates
A : Without additional anions or H2O

1 : AXO4

27 : Sulphites, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
4 : Tungstates

Physical Properties of Scheelite

Adamantine, Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Opaque
Tan, golden-yellow, colourless, white, greenish, dark brown, etc.; colourless in transmitted light
May be compositionally colour zoned.
Hardness (Mohs):
4½ - 5
Distinct on {101}, interrupted on {112}, indistinct on {001}.
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
6.1(2) g/cm3 (Measured)    6.09 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Scheelite

Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.918 - 1.921 nε = 1.935 - 1.938
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.017
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
May exhibit weak anomalous birefringence.

Chemical Properties of Scheelite

IMA Formula:
Elements listed in formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of Scheelite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
4/m - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.2429(3) Å, c = 11.3737(6) Å
a:c = 1 : 2.169
Unit Cell Volume:
V 312.64 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals commonly pseudo-octahedral {011} or {112} predominant, with modifying forms include {001} {013}, {121} and/or several additional; tabular on {001} at times; {001} commonly rough; {112} frequently diagonally striated, usually parallel to [311], the intersection with {121}. Usually granular, massive; also columnar.
On {110} common, penetration and contact twins with a composition plane of (110)or (001).
On synthetic material.

Crystallographic forms of Scheelite

Crystal Atlas:
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Scheelite no.7 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

Epitaxial Relationships of Scheelite

Epitaxial Minerals:
Wolframite(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4
Epitaxy Comments:
Scheelite on wolframite, with Scheelite {001} [110] parallel to Wolframite {010} [001].
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:
4.76 (55)
3.10 (100)
3.072 (30)
2.622 (25)
2.296 (20)
1.928 (30)
1.592 (30)

Occurrences of Scheelite

Type Occurrence of Scheelite

Relationship of Scheelite to other Species

Forms a series with Powellite (see here)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
7.GA.05Fergusonite-(Ce)CeNbO4 · 0.3H2O
27.4.5MpororoiteAl2O(WO4)2 · 6H2O
27.4.12UranotungstiteFe(UO2)2WO4(OH)4 · 12H2O
27.4.15Wolframite(Fe2+)WO4 to (Mn2+)WO4
27.4.17PhyllotungstiteHCaFe33+(WO4)6 · 10H2O

Other Names for Scheelite

Other Information

Inherently fluorescent (SW UV & X-rays). Pure end-member material ubiquitously fluoresces bright blue-white (SW UV). Even a small amount of Mo substituting for W produces a creamy yellow fluorescence (SW UV) with a fixed color based on % of Mo. Fe can que
Thermal Behaviour:
Other Information:
Decomposed by HCl or HNO3, leaving a yellow powder of hydrous tungstic oxide, which is soluble in ammonia.

Alters to Tungstite, Hydrotungstite, or Cuprotungstite.

Replaced by Wolframite as perfect pseudomorphs. Often replaces Wolframite.
Pseudomorphs of Quartz, Kaolinite and Bismutite after Scheelite have been noted.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
Ore of tungsten

Scheelite in petrology

Common component of (items highlighted in red)

References for Scheelite

Reference List:
Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 303 (as Tennspat, Lapides stanniferi spathecei).

Cronstedt, A. F. (1751): Rön och Försök Gjorde med trenne Järnmalms arter. Kongl.Svenska VetenskapsAcademien Handlingar 1751: 226-231

Cronstedt, A. (1758): Forsök till Mineralogie eller Mineralrikets upställning. 12mo, Stockholm: 183.

Scheele (1781) Ak. Stockholm, Handl. (as Tungsten).

Werner (1789) Bergmaennisches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmännisches Journal): 386 (as Schwerstein).

Karsten, D.L.G. (1791) Tabellarische Übersicht der mineralogisch-einfachen Fossilien. Berlin (as Schwerstein).

Karsten, D.L.G. (1800) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin. First edition: 56 (as Scheelerz).

Haüy, R.J. (1801) Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol.: 4: 372 (as Scheelin calcaire).

Karsten, D.L.G. (1808) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin. Second edition: 74 (as Scheelerz).

Breithaupt, A. (1820) Kurze Charakteristik des Mineral-System’s. 8vo, Freiberg: 23 (as Scheelspath).

Leonhard, K.C. (1821) Handbuch der Oryktognosie. First edition: 594 (as Scheelit).

Breithaupt (1851) Journal für Chemie und Physik, Nuremberg: 54: 130.

Dauber (1859) Annalen der Physik, Halle, Leipzig: 107: 272.

Bauer (1874) Württemburg. Naturwiss. Jahreshefte: 154.

Carnot (1874) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 79: 637.

Iwase (1877) in: Harada (1936) Journal of the Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University: 3: [4]: 357 (as Trimontite).

Plattner-Richter (1878) Probierkunst m.d. Lothrohr: 185.

Traube (1890) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 7: 232, 238.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 985.

Traube (1895-1896) Jb. Min., Beil.-Bd.: 10: 457.

Wada, Tsunashiro (1904) Minerals of Japan. 144 pp., Tokyo: 75-76 (as Trimontite).

Colomba (1906) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Rend.: 15: 281.

Petterd, W.F. (1910) Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania. 221pp., Hobart: 200.

Rohden (1914) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 159: 318.

Zambonini (1916) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 162: 835.

Dickinson (1920) Journal of the American Chemical Society: 42: 85.

Goldschmidt, V. (1922) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 8: 12.

Lindroth and Mauzelius (1922) Geologiska Föeningens I Stockholm. Förhandlinger, Stockholm: 44: 110.

Carobbi (1924) Gazzetta chimica italiana, Rome: 54: 59.

Vegard (1926) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 1: 1151.

Honess, A.P. (1927) The Nature, Origin and Interpretation of the Etch Figures on Crystals. 171pp., New York.

Doelter, C. (1928) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 4 [2]: 814.

Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3B]: 4067, 4083, 4113.

Aanerud (1931) Norske Videnskaps-Akademi, Oslo, Skrifter, no. 13.

Lacroix (1933) Bull. serv. Geol. Indochine: 20 [Min. Abs. (1935): 6: 21].

Harada (1934) Journal of the Faculty of Science Hokkaido University: 4,[2]: 279.

Kerr (1934) University of Nevada Bulletin 28, no. 2.

Royer (1936) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 202: 1346.

Kerr (1938) Economic Geology: 33: 390.

Lacroix (1940) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 210: 273.

Servigne (1940) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 210: 440.

Wilson (1941) Arizona Bureau of Mines, Geology Series, Bull. 148.

Greenwood (1943) Economic Geology: 28: 56.

Marsh (1943) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 577.

Sillén and Nylander (1943) Arkiv för Kemi, Mineralogi och Geologi, Stockholm: 17A, no. 4.

Johnston and Vasconcellos (1945) Economic Geology: 40: 34.

Ramdohr (1949) Heidelberger Beitr. Zur Min.: 1: 105.

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, 1124 pp.: 1074-1079.

National Bureau of Standards Circular 539 (1956), 6, 23.

Journal of Chemical Physics (1964): 40: 504-506.

Hazen, R.M., L.W. Finger, and J.W.E. Mariathasan (1985) High-pressure crystal chemistry of scheelite-type tungstates and molybdates. Journal of Physical Chemistry Solids, 46, 253–263.

Kempe, U. & Wolf, D. (1989): Entmischungen von Seyrigit in Molybdoscheelit. Chemie der Erde 49, 5-6.

A. Senyshyn, M. Hoelzel, T. Hansen, L. Vasylechko, V. Mikhailik, H. Kraus and H. Ehrenberg (2011): Thermal structural properties of calcium tungstate. J. Appl. Crystallogr. 44, 319-326.

Internet Links for Scheelite URL:
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Localities for Scheelite

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