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About TerlinguaiteHide

Yellow-, yellow-green, brown (darkens to olive-green on exposure to light); pale olive-green in transmitted light
2 - 3
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named after its discovery locality, Terlingua, Brewster County, Texas, USA.
The mineral is remarkable for containing Hg3 rings with coordination number 6 as structural unit as well as isolated Hg atoms with coordination number 4 (planar; Aurivillius and Folkmarson, 1968, Brodersen et al., 1989).

According to Borisov et al. (2003), the [Hg3]4+ polycation may possibly also be present in kuznetsovite.

Classification of TerlinguaiteHide

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

D : Oxyhalides, hydroxyhalides and related double halides
D : With Hg

4 : A2(O,OH)Xq

8 : Halides - Fluorides, Chlorides, Bromides and Iodides; also Fluoborates and Fluosilicates
5 : Halides of Zn and Hg

Physical Properties of TerlinguaiteHide

Transparent, Translucent
Yellow-, yellow-green, brown (darkens to olive-green on exposure to light); pale olive-green in transmitted light
Lemon yellow
2 - 3 on Mohs scale
On {_101}
8.725 g/cm3 (Measured)    8.73 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of TerlinguaiteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 2.350 nβ = 2.640 nγ = 2.660
Measured: 20° , Calculated: 26°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.310
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
relatively strong
Slightly pleochroic in green and yellow.

Chemical Properties of TerlinguaiteHide

IMA Formula:

Crystallography of TerlinguaiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 19.51 Å, b = 5.91 Å, c = 9.47 Å
β = 143.81°
a:b:c = 3.301 : 1 : 1.602
Unit Cell V:
644.75 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals prismatic [010] and often somewhat flattened on {001}; rarely prismatic in a pyramidal direction; also equidimensional, or thick tabular {001}. Pulverulent; massive aggregates of imperfect crystals (Dana, 7th. ed.: 53).

Crystallographic forms of TerlinguaiteHide

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

Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

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

Type Occurrence of TerlinguaiteHide

Other Language Names for TerlinguaiteHide

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
4 photos of Terlinguaite associated with MontroyditeHgO
3 photos of Terlinguaite associated with EdoyleriteHg2+3(CrO4)S2
3 photos of Terlinguaite associated with CinnabarHgS
2 photos of Terlinguaite associated with Kleinite(Hg2N)(Cl,SO4) · nH2O
2 photos of Terlinguaite associated with Calomel(Hg2)2+Cl2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

3.DD.05Eglestonite(Hg2+2)3OCl3(OH)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
3.DD.10Poyarkovite(Hg2+2)3Cl2O2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
3.DD.15Hanawaltite(Hg2+2)3Hg2+(Cl,OH)2O3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
3.DD.30Gianellaite[(NHg2)2](SO4)(H2O)xIso. 4 3m : F4 3m
3.DD.30Mosesite(Hg2N)(Cl,SO4,MoO4) · H2OIso.
3.DD.35Kleinite(Hg2N)(Cl,SO4) · nH2OHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
3.DD.45Vasilyevite(Hg+2)10I3Br2Cl(CO3)O6Tric. 1 : P1
3.DD.50Aurivilliusite(Hg+2)0.5Hg2+(I,Br,Cl)OMon. 2/m : B2/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

8.5.1SimonkolleiteZn5Cl2(OH)8 · H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3m1
8.5.2Calomel(Hg2)2+Cl2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm
8.5.4Poyarkovite(Hg2+2)3Cl2O2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
8.5.6Eglestonite(Hg2+2)3OCl3(OH)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
8.5.10Moschelite(Hg2+2)I2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm

Other InformationHide

Turns black immediately when treated with hydrogen sulfide. Ammonia causes a slower change to black. Decomposed with separation of calomel by acetic, hydrochloric, and nitric acids.
Health Risks:
Contains mercury - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest.

References for TerlinguaiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Turner, W.H. (1900) Terlinguaite. in The Terlingua Mining District, Brewster Co., Texas, Mining and Scientific Press (San Francisco): 21 July 1900.
Turner, H.W. (1900) The Terlinqua Quicksilver deposits. Economic Geology: 1: 265-281.
Moses, A.J. (1903) Eglestonite, terlinguaite, and montroydite, new mercury minerals from Terlingua, Texas. American Journal of Science: 16: 253-263.
Moses, A.J. (1904) Eglestonit, terlinguaït und montroydit, neue quecksilbermineralien von Terlingua in Texas. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 39: 3-13.
Hillebrand, W.F., Schaller, W.T. (1909) The mercury minerals from Terlingua, Texas. United States Geological Survey Bulletin 405: 174p.
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: 52-56.
Šćavničar, S. (1956) The crystal structure of oxy-mercuric-mercurous chloride, 2HgO.Hg2Cl2. Acta Crystallographica: 9: 956-959.
Aurivillius, K., Folkmarson, L. (1968) The crystal structure of terlinguaite Hg4O2Cl2. Acta Chemica Scandinavica: 22: 2529-2540.
Brodersen, K., Göbel, G., Liehr, G. (1989) Terlinguait Hg4Cl2O2 – ein Mineral mit ungewöhnlichen Hg3-Baueinheiten. Journal of Inorganic and General Chemistry: 575(1): 145-153.
Borisov, S.V., Magarill, S.A., Pervukhina, N.V., [Hg3]4+ Cation in Inorganic Crystal Structures. Journal of Structural Chemistry: 44(3): 441-447.

Internet Links for TerlinguaiteHide

Localities for TerlinguaiteHide

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.
  • Tyrol
    • Kufstein District
      • Brixlegg
        • Geyer - Silberberg District
          • Silberberg
Schnorrer, G. and Poeverlein, R. (2002) Schwaz-Brixlegg-Fundstellen: 2. Die Minerale des Stockerstollens bei Brixlegg in Tirol. Aufschluss, 53, 209-228.
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
    • Donnersbergkreis
      • Alsenz-Obermoschel
        • Obermoschel
Lapis 2001(6), 13-40
Stephan Wolfsried collection
Dreyer, G. (1975): Neue Mineralien in der Rheinpfalz II, Mitteilungen der Pollichia, 63, 5-9.
  • Batken Region
[Lapis 11:11-24]; Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; Vasil'yev, V. I., Lavrent'yev, Y. G., & Pal'chik, N. A. (1982). Poyarkovite, Hg3CIO, a new natural mercury oxychloride. International Geology Review, 24(3), 363-366.
  • Osh Region
[Lapis 1993:11 p11-24]
  • Guerrero
    • Taxco de Alarcón
Gallagher, D., & Siliceo, R. P. (1948). Geology of the Huahuaxtla Mercury District, State of Guerrero, Mexico (USGS Bulletin 960). US Government Printing Office.
Panczner (1987): 135-372.
  • San Luis Potosí
    • Moctezuma Municipality
      • Moctezuma
        • Hacienda de Santa Antonio de Rul
Panczner(1987):135,164,185 & 372.; Percy Babb (1909) Dulces Nombres Quicksilver Deposit, Mexico. Engineering & Mining Journal 684-686.
  • Tuva
    • Pi-Khem District
      • Uyuk Range
Canadian Mineralogist Feb. 1999; Pervukhina, N. V., Vasil’ev, V. I., Borisov, S. V., Magarill, S. A., & Naumov, D. Y. (2003). The crystal structure of a polymorph of Hg2+ 3S2Br1. 0Cl0. 5I0. 5. The Canadian Mineralogist, 41(6), 1445-1453.
        • Oorash-Khem River Valley
Pervukhina, N. V., Vasil’ev, V. I., Borisov, S. V., Magarill, S. A., & Naumov, D. Y. (2003). The crystal structure of a polymorph of Hg2+ 3S2Br1. 0Cl0. 5I0. 5. The Canadian Mineralogist, 41(6), 1445-1453.
  • Arkansas
    • Pike Co.
Roberts, A.C. et al (2003), The Canadian Mineralogist: 41(3): 721-725.
  • California
    • Kings Co.
      • Parkfield Mining District
        • Table Mountain
Bailey, Edgar H. (1942), Quicksilver deposits of the Parkfield district, California: USGS Bulletin 936-F: 159; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 115, 197.
    • San Benito Co.
      • New Idria Mining District
        • Goat Mountain
Mineralogical Record: 36(4): 337-363.
    • San Mateo Co.
      • Redwood City
Dunning, Gail, The Challenge Mercury Deposit, Redwood City, San Mateo County, California., BAM Journal, Vol. 9 No. 1.
Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 150, 260, 262, 362.
  • Nevada
    • Humboldt Co.
      • Opalite Mining District
Rocks & Minerals, Nov. 1999
      • Poverty Peak Mining District
NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
NBMG Spec. Pub. 31 Minerals of Nevada
  • Oregon
    • Malheur Co.
McCormack, J.K. (2000): Mineralium Deposita 35(8), 796-798.
  • Texas
    • Brewster Co.
Rocks & Minerals: 66(3): 196-224.
Rocks & Minerals: 66(1): 202.
Kelly Nash Collection
Mining & Scientific Press, San Francisco, 21. July 1900; 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: 55; Mineralogical Record: 21: 233.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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