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Often contains U replacing Th.
Yellow, yellow-brown, red-brown, green, orange to black
Resinous, Greasy, Dull
Crystal System:
Member of:
Named in 1829 by Jöns Jakob Berzelius as it was the mineral in which he found the new element thorium.
Dimorph of:
Zircon Group. The thorium analogue of Zircon and Hafnon.

This is a rare mineral that is commonly hydrated, and is radioactive.

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Classification of ThoriteHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
D : Nesosilicates without additional anions; cations in [6] and/or greater coordination

51 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
5 : Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in >[6] coordination

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
11 : Silicates of Th and Hg

Physical Properties of ThoriteHide

Resinous, Greasy, Dull
Yellow, yellow-brown, red-brown, green, orange to black
4½ on Mohs scale

Optical Data of ThoriteHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.790 - 1.840 nε = 1.780 - 1.820
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.010 - 0.020
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High

Chemical Properties of ThoriteHide


Often contains U replacing Th.
IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Age informationHide

Age range:
Paleozoic : 500 Ma to 450 Ma - based on data given below.
Sample ages:
Sample IDRecorded ageGeologic TimeDating method
1500 to 450 MaPaleozoicPb
2500 to 450 MaPaleozoicPb
Sample references:

Crystallography of ThoriteHide

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.13 Å, c = 6.32 Å
a:c = 1 : 0.886
Unit Cell V:
321.29 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)

Type Occurrence of ThoriteHide

Synonyms of ThoriteHide

Other Language Names for ThoriteHide

Simplified Chinese:钍石

Varieties of ThoriteHide

CalciothoriteA calcian thorite that was first described by Brögger (1887) from the islands of Låven and Arøy in the Langesundsfjord, Vestfold, Norway.
FerrithoriteAn iron(III)-rich variety of Thorite.
Originally reported from Aktyuz REE deposit, Kyrgyzstan.
Gel-ThoriteA hydrous Thorite
HydroauerliteA hydrous phosphatian Thorite
MozambikiteAn (OH)-rich Thorite.
OrangiteAn orange variety of Thorite which Bergeman & Krantz (the famous mineral dealer) described as a new mineral form 'Brevig' (= syenite pegmatites from Langesundsfjorden, Larvik, Vestfold, Norway) in 1851 (see also Clark, 1993 - "Hey's Mineral Index").
PhosphothoriteA variety of thorite which contains P and other foreign elements (mainly REE, Ca, ...).
Uranoan thorite
UranohydrothoritePossibly a hydrous uranian Thorite
UranothoriteA uranian variety of Thorite
YanshainshyniteA P-, Ca-bearing and Fe(OH)-rich variety.

Relationship of Thorite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
HafnonHfSiO4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
Stetindite-(Ce)Ce(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
ZirconZr(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Zircon31 photos of Thorite associated with Zircon on
Diopside10 photos of Thorite associated with Diopside on
Brockite9 photos of Thorite associated with Brockite on
Uranothorite9 photos of Thorite associated with Uranothorite on
Microcline9 photos of Thorite associated with Microcline on
Thorogummite8 photos of Thorite associated with Thorogummite on
Allanite-(Ce)7 photos of Thorite associated with Allanite-(Ce) on
Quartz7 photos of Thorite associated with Quartz on
Eudialyte7 photos of Thorite associated with Eudialyte on
Aegirine7 photos of Thorite associated with Aegirine on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.AD.10Calcio-olivineCa2SiO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
9.AD.15MerwiniteCa3Mg(SiO4)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AD.25AndraditeCa3Fe3+2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25AlmandineFe2+3Al2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25HenritermieriteCa3(Mn3+,Al)2(SiO4)2(OH)4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AD.25HibschiteCa3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4xIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25SpessartineMn2+3Al2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25UvaroviteCa3Cr2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25Wadalite(Ca,Mg)6(Al,Fe3+)4((Si,Al)O4)3O4Cl3Iso. 4 3m : I4 3d
9.AD.25HoltstamiteCa3(Al,Mn3+)2(SiO4)2(OH)4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AD.25KerimasiteCa3Zr2(SiO4)(Fe3+O4)2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25ToturiteCa3Sn2(SiO4)(Fe3+O4)2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25Momoiite(Mn2+,Ca)3V3+2(SiO4)3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.25EltyubyuiteCa12Fe3+10Si4O32Cl6Iso. 4 3m : I4 3d
9.AD.25HutcheoniteCa3Ti2(SiAl2)O12Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Ia3d
9.AD.30HafnonHfSiO4Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
9.AD.30ZirconZr(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
9.AD.30Stetindite-(Ce)Ce(SiO4)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
9.AD.40EulytineBi4(SiO4)3Iso. 4 3m : I4 3d
9.AD.45ReiditeZrSiO4Tet. 4/m : I41/a

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd,Th)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTet.,U)(SiO4)1-x(OH)4xTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.11.4Thornasite(Na,K)12Th3[Si8O19]4 · 18H2OTrig. 3m : R3m

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
Contains thorium and uranium - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest. Avoid prolonged exposure in proximity of the body. Store away from inhabited areas.

References for ThoriteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Berzelius, J.J. (1829): Über den Thorit ein neues Mineral und eine darin enthaltene neue Erde, die Thorerde. Annalen der Physik und Chemie, 91: 633-634
Kongliga Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar (1829), 1-30.
Esmark, [H.] M.T.. (1836): Thoriten, opdagen og beskreven af M.Thr. Esmark. Magazin for Naturvidenskaberne, 12, 77-78.
Acta Crystallographica: B34: 1074-1079.
Canadian Mineralogist (1989): 27: 643.

Internet Links for ThoriteHide

Localities for ThoriteHide

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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