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Torbern Olof Bergman
Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Emerald-green, grass-green. leek green, siskin green, apple green
Sub-Adamantine, Vitreous, Waxy, Pearly
2 - 2½
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Member of:
Named in 1793 by Abraham Gottlob Werner in honor of Torbern Olof Bergmann [March 20, 1735, Katharinberg, Sweden – July 8, 1784, Medevi, Sweden], Professor of Chemistry and Physics, University of Uppsala (Sweden). Bergmann succeeded Johan Gottschalk Wallerius at Uppsala. Bergmann was one of the most important chemists and mineralogists of the eighteenth century. He published on mineralogical classification, Sciagraphia Regni Mineralis, and studied nickel and bismuth. He researched and published on quantitative chemical analysis and the chemical affinity of the elements, the latter which led to more sophisticated theories. Bergmann was honored as a Knight of the Royal Order of Vasa and the Lunar crater Bergmann was named for him. His students included Karl Wilhelm Scheele, Juan José de Elhuyar (co-discoverer of tungsten), and Johan Gadolin.
Autunite Group.

A secondary mineral found in the oxidized zones of some uraniferous copper deposits.
Often dehydrated to metatorbernite (note that also transparent crystals can already be metatorbernite).

Classification of Torbernite

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

E : Uranyl phosphates and arsenates
B : UO2:RO4 = 1:1

2a : AB2(XO4)2·xH2O, containing (UO2)2+

19 : Phosphates
11 : Phosphates of U

Physical Properties of Torbernite

Sub-Adamantine, Vitreous, Waxy, Pearly
Transparent, Translucent
Pearly on cleavages, dull when dehydrated.
Emerald-green, grass-green. leek green, siskin green, apple green
Pale green
2 - 2½ on Mohs scale
Perfect on {001} micaceous, indistinct on {100}
3.22 g/cm3 (Measured)    

Optical Data of Torbernite

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.590 - 1.592 nε = 1.581 - 1.582
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.009 - 0.010
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Optical Extinction:
O = Dark green to sky blue
E = Green

Chemical Properties of Torbernite

Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O
Common Impurities:

Age information

Age range:
Cenozoic : 8.40 Ma to 0.20 Ma - based on data given below.
Sample ages:
Sample IDRecorded ageGeologic TimeDating method
10.20 MaPleistoceneU/Pb
24.55 MaPlioceneU/Pb
38.40 MaMioceneU/Pb
Sample references:

Crystallography of Torbernite

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) - Ditetragonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.0267(4) Å, c = 20.807(2) Å
a:c = 1 : 2.961
Unit Cell V:
1027.3 ų
Crystals thin to thick tabular, square or octagonal, with prominent {001}, {011}, {110}; rarely pyramidal {111}. Commonly forms subparallel aggregates, foliated, micaceous, scaly.
Rare on {110}.
Data for synthetic crystal. Other cell data reported: 7.025, 20.63 A.

Crystallographic forms of Torbernite

Crystal Atlas:
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Torbernite no.25 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Torbernite no.36 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Torbernite no.38 - 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 Torbernite

Epitaxial Minerals:
ZeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
UranospiniteCa(UO2)(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
BassetiteFe2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
Epitaxy Comments:
Parallel growths with autunite are common. Parallel growths with uranospinite, zeunerite and bassetite are documented.

X-Ray Powder Diffraction

Powder Diffraction Data:
10.30 (100)
6.61 (40)
4.94 (90)
4.476 (40)
3.674 (40)
3.578 (90)
3.512 (80)
Synthetic material

Type Occurrence of Torbernite

Synonyms of Torbernite

Other Language Names for Torbernite

Relationship of Torbernite to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
BassetiteFe2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
HeinrichiteBa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
KahleriteFe(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
MetarauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
Nováčekite-IMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
Nováčekite-IIMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
RauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
SabugaliteHAl(UO2)4(PO4)4 · 16H2O
SaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
UranocirciteBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
UranospiniteCa(UO2)(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
ZeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
Forms a series with:

Common Associates

AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
ZeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Kasolite66 photos of Torbernite associated with Kasolite on
Autunite58 photos of Torbernite associated with Autunite on
Quartz43 photos of Torbernite associated with Quartz on
Smoky Quartz33 photos of Torbernite associated with Smoky Quartz on
Parsonsite28 photos of Torbernite associated with Parsonsite on
Cuprosklodowskite27 photos of Torbernite associated with Cuprosklodowskite on
Malachite25 photos of Torbernite associated with Malachite on
Metatorbernite22 photos of Torbernite associated with Metatorbernite on
19 photos of Torbernite associated with on
Wulfenite17 photos of Torbernite associated with Wulfenite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping

8.EB.05AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
8.EB.05HeinrichiteBa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05KahleriteFe(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05Nováčekite-IMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05SaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05UranocirciteBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05UranospiniteCa(UO2)(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.05Xiangjiangite(Fe3+,Al)(UO2)4(PO4)2(SO4)2(OH) · 22H2O
8.EB.05ZeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 12H2O
8.EB.05MetarauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.05RauchiteNi(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.10BassetiteFe2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.10LehneriteMn2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10Meta-autuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6-8H2O
8.EB.10MetasaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10Metauranocircite-IBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 7H2O
8.EB.10MetauranospiniteCa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetaheinrichiteBa(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetakahleriteFe2+(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetakirchheimeriteCo(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetanováčekiteMg(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10MetazeuneriteCu(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 8H2O
8.EB.10PrzhevalskitePb2(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 3H2O
8.EB.10Meta-lodèviteZn(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 10H2O
8.EB.15AbernathyiteK(UO2)(AsO4) · 3H2O
8.EB.15Chernikovite(H3O)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.15Meta-ankoleiteK2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.15Natrouranospinite(Na2,Ca)(UO2)2(AsO4)2 · 5H2O
8.EB.15Trögerite(H3O)(UO2)(AsO4) · 3H2O
8.EB.15Uramphite(NH4)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.15Uramarsite(NH4,H3O)2(UO2)2(AsO4,PO4)2 · 6H2O
8.EB.20ThreadgolditeAl(UO2)2(PO4)2(OH) · 8H2O
8.EB.20ChistyakovaiteAl(UO2)2(AsO4)2(F,OH) · 6.5H2O
8.EB.25Uranospathite(Al,☐)(UO2)2(PO4)2F · 20(H2O,F)
8.EB.30Vochtenite(Fe2+,Mg)Fe3+(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH) · 12-13H2O
8.EB.35CoconinoiteFe3+2Al2(UO2)2(PO4)4(SO4)(OH)2 · 20H2O
8.EB.40RanunculiteHAl(UO2)(PO4)(OH)3 · 4H2O
8.EB.45TrianguliteAl3(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH)5 · 5H2O
8.EB.50FurongiteAl13(UO2)7(PO4)13(OH)14 · 58H2O
8.EB.55SabugaliteHAl(UO2)4(PO4)4 · 16H2O

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals Grouping

19.11.1LermontoviteU(PO4)(OH) · H2O
19.11.2MetavanmeersscheiteU6+(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)6 · 2H2O
19.11.3VanmeersscheiteU6+(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)6 · 4H2O
19.11.4Chernikovite(H3O)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
19.11.5VyacheslaviteU(PO4)(OH) · nH2O
19.11.7YingjiangiteK2Ca(UO2)7(PO4)4(OH)6 · 6H2O
19.11.8Meta-ankoleiteK2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
19.11.9Uramphite(NH4)2(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6H2O
19.11.11MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
19.11.12SaléeiteMg(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
19.11.13NingyoiteCaU(PO4)2 · 1-2H2O
19.11.14Meta-autuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 6-8H2O
19.11.15AutuniteCa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 11H2O
19.11.16Pseudo-autunite(H3O)4Ca2(UO2)2(PO4)4 · 5H2O
19.11.17PhurcaliteCa2(UO2)3(PO4)2O2 · 7H2O
19.11.18Phosphuranylite(H3O)3KCa(UO2)7(PO4)4O4 · 8H2O
19.11.19UlrichiteCaCu(UO2)(PO4)2 · 4H2O
19.11.20BergeniteCa2Ba4(UO2)9(PO4)6O6 · 16H2O
19.11.21Metauranocircite-IBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 7H2O
19.11.22UranocirciteBa(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
19.11.23RanunculiteHAl(UO2)(PO4)(OH)3 · 4H2O
19.11.24TrianguliteAl3(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH)5 · 5H2O
19.11.25MunditeAl(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)3 · 5.5H2O
19.11.26UpaliteAl(UO2)3(PO4)2O(OH) · 7H2O
19.11.27FurongiteAl13(UO2)7(PO4)13(OH)14 · 58H2O
19.11.28ThreadgolditeAl(UO2)2(PO4)2(OH) · 8H2O
19.11.29PhuralumiteAl2(UO2)3(PO4)3(OH)2 · 13H2O
19.11.30MoreauiteAl3(UO2)(PO4)3(OH)2 · 13H2O
19.11.31SabugaliteHAl(UO2)4(PO4)4 · 16H2O
19.11.32Uranospathite(Al,☐)(UO2)2(PO4)2F · 20(H2O,F)
19.11.33AlthupiteAlTh(UO2)7(PO4)4(OH)5O2 · 15H2O
19.11.34Françoisite-(Nd)(Nd,Ce,Sm)(UO2)3(PO4)2O(OH) · 6H2O
19.11.35Kivuite(Th,Ca,Pb)(UO2)4(HPO4)2(OH)8 · 7H2O
19.11.37DewindtiteH2Pb3(UO2)2(PO4)4O4 · 12H2O
19.11.38DumontitePb2(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 3H2O
19.11.39PrzhevalskitePb2(UO2)3(PO4)2(OH)4 · 3H2O
19.11.40LehneriteMn2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O
19.11.41BassetiteFe2+(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 10H2O
19.11.42Vochtenite(Fe2+,Mg)Fe3+(UO2)4(PO4)4(OH) · 12-13H2O

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)

40.2a.13.2MetatorberniteCu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 8H2O

Fluorescence of Torbernite

Not fluorescent. (Epitaxial intergrowths with other uranyl mica may fluoresce, however.)

Other Information

Radioactive. H2O content varies with relative humidity. Soluble in acids.
Health Risks:
Contains uranium - always wash hands after handling. Avoid inhaling dust when handling or breaking. Never lick or ingest. Avoid prolonged exposure in the proximity of the body. Store away from inhabited areas.

References for Torbernite

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Born, Ignatz Edler von (1772) Index Fossilium, quae collegit, et in Classes ac Ordines disposuit Ignatius Eques a Born (Lithophylacium Bornianum).- Prag, Wolfgang Gerle, p. 42 (as viridis cryst.).
Werner, A.G. (1780) Axel von Cronstedts Versuch einer Mineralogie. Aufs neue aus dem Schwedischen übersetzt und nächst verschiedenen Anmerkungen vorzüglich mit äussern Beschreibungen der Fossilien vermehrt.- Leipzig, bei Siegfried Leberecht Crusius, p. 217-218 (as Grüner Glimmer).
Klaproth (1789) Schrift. Ges. Nat. Berlin: 9: 273 (as Urankalk durch Kupfer gefärbt).
Werner (1789) Bergmaennisches Journal, Freiberg (Neues Bergmännisches Journal): 376 (as Chalkolith).
Karsten, D.L.G. (1793) Über Herrn Werners Verbesserungen in der Mineralogie auf veranlassung der freimüthigen Gedanken, etc., des Herrn Abbé Estner. 80pp., Berlin: 43 (as Torberit).
Klaproth, M.H. (1797) Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntniss der Mineralkörper. vol. 2: 217 (as Uranites spathosus).
Werner (1800) (as Uranglimmer).
Haüy, R.J. (1801) Traité de minéralogie. First edition: in 4 volumes with atlas in fol.: 4: 319 (as Urane oxydé).
Ludwig, C.F. (1803) Handbuch der Mineralogie nach A.G. Werner. 2 volumes, Leipzig: 1: 55 (as Uranglimmer), 308 (as Torbernit).
Aikin, A. (1814) Manual of Mineralogy, 8 volumes, London, first edition (as Uranite).
Breithaupt, A. (1820) Kurze Charakteristik des Mineral-System’s. 8vo, Freiberg (as Uranphyllit).
Jameson, R. (1820) A System of Mineralogy, third edition, 3 volumes (as Uran-Mica).
Berzelius (1823) Jahresber. (as Phosphate of Uranium and Copper).
Phillips, R. (1823) Annals of Philosophy, London: 5: 57 (as Phosphate of Uranium containing Phosphate of Copper).
Brooke, H.J. and Miller, W.H. (1852) Introduction to Mineralogy by Wm. Phillips, London, 1823. New edition by Brooke and Miller. 8vo, London: 517 (as Torberite).
Breithaupt (1865) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 24: 302 (as Cuprouranit).
Schrauf (1872) Mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen, Vienna: 181.
Winkler (1873) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 7: 10.
Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 856.
Walker (1898) American Journal of Science: 6: 41.
Rinne (1901) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 618.
Buchholz (1903) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 362.
Millosevich (1912) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Rend.: 21: 594.
Hallimond (1916) Mineralogical Magazine: 17: 326.
Forjaz (1917) Comptes rendu de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 164: 102.
Heinrich (1917) Journal für praktische Chemie, Leipzig: 96: 73.
Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text: vol. 5: 101.
Hallimond (1920) Mineralogical Magazine: 19: 43.
Larsen, E.S. (1921) The Microscopic Determination of the Nonopaque Minerals, First edition, USGS Bulletin 679: 195.
Steinkuhler (1923) Bull. soc. chim. Belgique: 253, 270.
Hintze, Carl (1931) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [4B]: 993.
Goldsztaub (1932) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 55: 7.
Meixner (1940) Chemie der Erde, Jena: 12: 433.
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.: 981-984.
US Geological Survey Bulletin (1956) 1036-G, 138.
American Mineralogist (1957) 42: 905-908.
Frondel, C. (1958) Systematic mineralogy of uranium and thorium. US Geological Survey Bulletin (1958): 1064: 170-177.
American Mineralogist (1964) 49: 1578-1602.
American Mineralogist (1965) 50: 1-12.
Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., and Nichols, M.C. (2000) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume IV. Arsenates, Phosphates, Vanadates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 680pp.: 594.
Locock, A. J. & Burns, P. C. (2003d): Crystal structures and synthesis of the copper-dominant members of the autunite and meta-autunite groups: torbernite, zeunerite, metatorbernite and metazeunerite. Canadian Mineralogist: 41: 489-502.
Burns, P.C. (2005) U 6+ minerals and inorganic compounds: insights into an expanded structural hierarchy of crystal structures. Canadian Mineralogist: 43: 1839-1894.

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