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About BirchiteHide

William "Bill" D. Birch
Cd2Cu2(PO4)2(SO4) · 5H2O
pale blue
3½ - 4
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
For William David "Bill" Birch, AM (1949-). Bill obtained his PhD in the Department of Geology at the University of Melbourne in 1976 and commenced work at the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria), as Curator with responsibilities for developing the mineral, rock and meteorite collections, a position he still holds (in 2009). He has co-described thirty new mineral species and has over 150 publications to his credit. These range from popular articles and booklets accessible to members of the general public with an interest in the geosciences, to major papers involving international mineralogical collaboration.

He has had active involvment in a number of societies such as: the Mineralogical Society of Victoria (founding President), the Gemmological Association of Australia (as present patron), the Geological Society of Australia, the Royal Society of Victoria (he is a member of Council), and the International Mineralogical Association, Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (Australian representative 1984-1996 and Secretary 1996-2008).

In June 2006 he was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for "service to geological science, particularly through the study and documentation of the geology of Victoria, and to a range of professional organisations."

One of several rare Cd minerals occurring at Broken Hill, NSW, Australia.

Classification of BirchiteHide

Approval Year:
First Published:

D : Phosphates, etc. with additional anions, with H2O
B : With only medium-sized cations, (OH, etc.):RO4< 1:1

3 : Hydrated Normal Compound Phosphates, etc·

Physical Properties of BirchiteHide

Transparent, Translucent
pale blue
3½ - 4 on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
None Observed
3.61(4) g/cm3 (Measured)    3.647 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of BirchiteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.624(4) nβ = 1.636(5) nγ = 1.669(4)
Calculated: 63°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.045
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of BirchiteHide

Cd2Cu2(PO4)2(SO4) · 5H2O

Crystallography of BirchiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 10.489(6) Å, b = 20.901(7) Å, c = 6.155(5) Å
a:b:c = 0.502 : 1 : 0.294
Unit Cell V:
1349.6 ų

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
10.451 (100)
4.223 (40)
3.484 (40)
2.902 (70)
2.719 (30)
2.652 (30)
1.919 (80)

Type Occurrence of BirchiteHide

General Appearance of Type Material:
sprays and aggregates to crystals to 0.75mm. Individual crystals are bladed to prismatic and acicular, with a max. length of 0.3mm and width of 0.05mm.
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Department of Mineralogy of the South Australian Museum, Adelaide, South Australia, australia (registration number G30968)
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:
Elliott, P., Brugger, J., Pring, A., Cole, M.L., Willis A.C. and Kolitsch, U. (2008) Birchite, a new mineral from Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia: description and structure refinement. American Mineralogist: 93: 910-917.

Synonyms of BirchiteHide

Other Language Names for BirchiteHide


Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

8.DB.05DiadochiteFe3+2(PO4)(SO4)(OH) · 5H2OAmor.
8.DB.05Pitticite(Fe, SO4, AsO4, H2O) ?Amor.
8.DB.05DestineziteFe3+2(PO4)(SO4)(OH) · 6H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.DB.10VashegyiteAl11(PO4)9(OH)6 · 38H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
8.DB.15SchooneriteZnMn2+Fe2+2Fe3+(PO4)3(OH)2 · 9H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbam
8.DB.20SinkankasiteMn2+Al(PO3OH)2(OH) · 6H2OTric.
8.DB.25MitryaevaiteAl6(PO4)((P,S)O3(OH,O))2F2(OH)2 · 14.5H2OTric.
8.DB.30SanjuaniteAl2(PO4)(SO4)(OH) · 9H2O
8.DB.35SarmientiteFe3+2(AsO4)(SO4)(OH) · 5H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
8.DB.40BukovskýiteFe3+2(AsO4)(SO4)(OH) · 9H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.DB.45ZýkaiteFe3+4(AsO4)3(SO4)(OH) · 15H2OOrth. 2 2 2 : P2 2 2
8.DB.50GiniiteFe2+Fe3+4(PO4)3(OH)5 · 2H2OMon. 2/m : P2/b
8.DB.55Sasaite(Al,Fe3+)14(PO4)11(SO4)(OH)7 · 83H2OOrth.
8.DB.60McauslaniteFe3Al2(PO4)3(PO3OH)F · 18H2OTric.
8.DB.65GoldquarryiteCuCd2Al3(PO4)4F2(H2O,F)2 · 10H2OTric. 1 : P1
8.DB.75BraithwaiteiteNaCu5(Ti4+Sb5+)(AsO4)4(HAsO4)2O2 · 8H2OTric. 1 : P1

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

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 BirchiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Elliott, P., Brugger, J., Pring, A., Cole, M.L., Willis A.C. and Kolitsch, U. (2008) Birchite, a new mineral from Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia: description and structure refinement. American Mineralogist: 93: 910-917.

Internet Links for BirchiteHide

Localities for BirchiteHide

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.
Australia (TL)
  • New South Wales
    • Yancowinna Co.
      • Broken Hill district
P. Elliott, J. Brugger, A. Pring, M. L. Cole, A. C. Willis and U. Kolitsch (2008): Birchite, a new mineral from Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia: description and structure refinement. Am. Mineral. 93, 910-917.
John Haupt
Mineral and/or Locality  
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