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About SharpiteHide

Ca(UO2)3(CO3)4 · 3H2O
According to the single-crystal X-ray study (Plášil 2018), an idealized formula of sharpite is Ca(H2O)3[(UO2)3(CO3)3.6O0.2],where the content of (CO3) lies most probably within 4 > xCO3 > 3.5 apfu range.
Greenish-yellow, olive-green
2½ - 3
Specific Gravity:
4.412 (Calculated)
Crystal System:
Named after Major Robert Rich Sharp (25 September 1881 Gateshead, Durham County, England - 25 August 1960 Bulawayo, Zimbabwe), discoverer of the uranium deposit at Shinkolobwe, Zaire in 1915.
Sharpite represents a unique sheet-based structure derived from the rutherfordine topology, where one of the hexagons within that topology accomodates Ca2+.

Classification of SharpiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
First published:

E : Uranyl Carbonates
A : UO2:CO3 > 1:1

7 : Miscellaneous

11 : Carbonates
11 : Carbonates of Cr and U

Physical Properties of SharpiteHide

Greenish-yellow, olive-green
2½ - 3 on Mohs scale
4.412 g/cm3 (Calculated)
measured > 4.55

Optical Data of SharpiteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.632 - 1.638 nγ = 1.720 - 1.722
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.088
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
weak to distinct
X = Brownish
Y (perp. laths) =
Z (elong.) = greenish yellow
pale yellow in transmitted light

Chemical Properties of SharpiteHide

Ca(UO2)3(CO3)4 · 3H2O

According to the single-crystal X-ray study (Plášil 2018), an idealized formula of sharpite is Ca(H2O)3[(UO2)3(CO3)3.6O0.2],where the content of (CO3) lies most probably within 4 > xCO3 > 3.5 apfu range.
IMA Formula:
Ca(UO2)6(CO3)5(OH)4 · 6H2O

Crystallography of SharpiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.9032(4) Å, b = 15.6489(11) Å, c = 22.0414(18) Å
a:b:c = 0.313 : 1 : 1.408
Unit Cell V:
1691.2 ų
Occurs as crusts of thin, radiating fibers.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
4.497 Å(100)
3.910 Å(48)
7.82 Å(40)
5.34 Å(35)
2.996 Å(33)
11.02 Å(30)
6.37 Å(28)

Type Occurrence of SharpiteHide

General Appearance of Type Material:
radially fibrous crust
Place of Conservation of Type Material:
University of Liege, Liege, Belgium, 6280, 16905.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
secondary mineral in oxide zone of hydrothermal uranium deposit.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:
Mélon, M.J. (1938) La sharpite, nouveau carbonate d'uranyle du Congo belge. Bulletin des Séances de l'Institut Royal Colonial Belge: 9: 333-336.

Other Language Names for SharpiteHide


Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
1 photo of Sharpite associated with UraniniteUO2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.EA.05UM1997-24-CO:CaCuHUCa2Cu(UO2)2(CO3)2O3 · 3H2O
5.EA.10UrancalcariteCa(UO2)3(CO3)(OH)6 · 3H2OOrth.
5.EA.15WyartiteCaU5+(UO2)2(CO3)O4(OH) · 7H2OOrth.
5.EA.20Oswaldpeetersite(UO2)2(CO3)(OH)2 · 4H2OMon. 2/m : P21/b
5.EA.25RoubaultiteCu2(UO2)3(CO3)2O2(OH)2 · 4H2OTric. 1 : P1
5.EA.30Kamotoite-(Y)Y2(UO2)4(CO3)3O4 · 14H2OMon. 2/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.11.1StichtiteMg6Cr3+2(OH)16[CO3] · 4H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
11.11.2Rutherfordine(UO2)CO3Orth. mm2 : Imm2
11.11.3Joliotite(UO2)CO3 · nH2OOrth.
11.11.4GrimseliteK3Na(UO2)(CO3)3 · H2OHex.
11.11.5BayleyiteMg2(UO2)(CO3)3 · 18H2OMon.
11.11.6MetazelleriteCa(UO2)(CO3)2 · 3H2OOrth.
11.11.7ZelleriteCa(UO2)(CO3)2 · 5H2OOrth.
11.11.8WyartiteCaU5+(UO2)2(CO3)O4(OH) · 7H2OOrth.
11.11.9UrancalcariteCa(UO2)3(CO3)(OH)6 · 3H2OOrth.
11.11.11VogliteCa2Cu(UO2)(CO3)4 · 6H2OMon.
11.11.12AndersoniteNa2Ca(UO2)(CO3)3 · 6H2OTrig. 3 : R3
11.11.13SwartziteMgCa(UO2)(CO3)3 · 12H2OMon. 2/m : P21/m
11.11.14RabbittiteCa3Mg3(UO2)2(CO3)6(OH)4 · 18H2OMon.
11.11.15Kamotoite-(Y)Y2(UO2)4(CO3)3O4 · 14H2OMon. 2/m
11.11.16Shabaite-(Nd)Ca(Nd,Sm,Y)2(UO2)(CO3)4(OH)2 · 6H2OTric. 1 : P1
11.11.17Astrocyanite-(Ce)Cu2(Ce,Nd,La)2(UO2)(CO3)5(OH)2 · 1.5H2OHex.
11.11.18Bijvoetite-(Y)Y8(UO2)16(CO3)16O8(OH)8 · 39H2OMon.
11.11.20ZnucaliteZn12Ca(UO2)(CO3)3(OH)22 · 4H2OOrth.

Other InformationHide

Soluble in dilute acids with effervescence.
Health Risks:

References for SharpiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Mélon, M.J. (1938) La sharpite, nouveau carbonate d'uranyle du Congo belge. Bulletin des Séances de l'Institut Royal Colonial Belge: 9: 333-336.
Foshag, W.F. (1939) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 24: 658.
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: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 275.
Čejka, J., Mrázek, Z., and Urbanec, Z. (1984) New data on sharpite, a calcium uranyl carbonate. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie - Monatshefte: 109-117.
Dunn, P.J., Chao, G.Y., Fleischer, M., Ferraiolo, J.A., Langley, R.H., Pabst, A., Zilczer, J.A. (1985) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 70: 220.
Plášil, J. (2018) A unique structure of uranyl-carbonate mineral sharpite: a derivative of the rutherfordine topology. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie - Crystalline Materials: 233(8): 579–586: DOI: 10.1515/zkri-2018-2056.

Internet Links for SharpiteHide

Localities for SharpiteHide

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.
DR Congo (TL)
  • Haut-Katanga
    • Kambove District
      • Shinkolobwe
Melon, M.J., Buttgenbach, H. (1938) La sharpite, nouveau carbonate d'uranyle du Congo belge. Bulletin de l'Institut Royal Colonial Belge, 9, 333-336.; Lapis (1992) 17(3), 13-40.; Deliens, M. (1996) Overzicht van de mineralogie van de koper-, kobalt- en uraniumvoorkomens in Zuid-Shaba (Zaïre). Pages 35-49 in: Schatten der Aarde. Van mineraal tot juweel. Tentoonstelling in de abdij Saint-Gérard de Brogne van 27 april tot 27 oktober 1996. Catalogus opgemaakt onder de leiding van R. Warin, AGAB en P. Van hee, MKA (in Dutch).
  • Grand Est
    • Haut-Rhin
      • Thann-Guebwiller
        • Kruth
Handbook of Mineralogy; Jiltl Cejka - Zdenek Urbanec (1974) Alteration of Minerals in Museum Collections I.SBORNII( NARODNIHO MUZEA V PRAZE ACTA MUSEI NATIONALIS PRAGAE Volumen XXX B (1974), No. 1-2
  • Nouvelle-Aquitaine
    • Haute-Vienne
      • Bellac
        • Bessines-sur-Gartempe
Le Règne Minéral, Hors Série IV, 1998
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
    • Birkenfeld District
      • Birkenfeld
        • Ellweiler
Aufschluss 69/(7+8), Lapis 79/(7+8)
  • Lower Silesian Voivodeship
    • Kłodzko County
      • Gmina Stronie Śląskie
Eligiusz Szełęg collection (SEM/EDS identification)
Mineral and/or Locality  
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