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Ferdinand Zirkel
Adamantine, Vitreous, Greasy, Sub-Metallic, Dull
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named after Ferdinand Zirkel (May 20, 1838 Bonn, Germany - June 12,1912), Professor of Mineralogy, University of Lemberg, later at University of Leipzig (Germany).
A pioneer in the microscopic investigation of rocks.
(Some sources erroneously list March as the birth month.)
Black grains or masses, rarely as simple to complex isometric crystals.

Compare the chemically related zirconolite.

Hide all sections | Show all sections

Classification of ZirkeliteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
Approval Year:

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar
L : With large (+- medium-sized) cations; fluorite-type structures

2 : A2B2O6(O,OH,F)

7 : Oxides and Hydroxides
10 : Oxides of Zr and Th

Physical Properties of ZirkeliteHide

Adamantine, Vitreous, Greasy, Sub-Metallic, Dull
May be brown when altered
Brownish black
5½ on Mohs scale
None Observed
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal
4.741 g/cm3 (Measured)    
May be lower due to alteration

Optical Data of ZirkeliteHide

RI values:
nα = 2.500
Isotropic minerals have no birefringence
Surface Relief:
Internal Reflections:
Reddish brown
Reddish brown in thin section

Chemical Properties of ZirkeliteHide

IMA Formula:

Crystallography of ZirkeliteHide

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 5.02 Å
Unit Cell V:
126.51 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals as flattened octahedra.
On {111} very common, both polysynthetic and as complicated fourlings.
Redefined in 1989 as the isometric structure of a set of related chemically minerals. Earlier definitions gave monoclinic symmetry but that material is now called zirconolite.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
2.90 (100)
2.52 (40)
1.78 (70)
1.52 (60)
1.46 (20)
1.26 (20)
1.16 (30)
1.13 (20)
ICDD-PDF 38-0450

Type Occurrence of ZirkeliteHide

General Appearance of Type Material:
Black submetallic to vitreous grains and crystals

Other Language Names for ZirkeliteHide

Simplified Chinese:钛锆钍矿

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Brucite1 photo of Zirkelite associated with Brucite on
Biotite1 photo of Zirkelite associated with Biotite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

4.DL.05Cerianite-(Ce)(Ce4+,Th)O2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
4.DL.05ThorianiteThO2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
4.DL.05UraniniteUO2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
4.DL.05Aeschynite GroupAD2O6
4.DL.10Hiärneite(Ca,Mn,Na)2(Zr,Mn3+)5(Sb,Ti,Fe)2O16Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

7.10.1BaddeleyiteZrO2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
7.10.4SrilankiteZrTi2O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
7.10.9UhligiteCa3(Ti,Al,Zr)9O20 ?Iso.
7.10.10ThorianiteThO2Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)

Fluorescence of ZirkeliteHide


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.

Zirkelite in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for ZirkeliteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Hussak (1894), Min. Mitt.: 14: 408.
Hussak and Prior (1895) Mineralogical Magazine (1895): 11: 80-88.
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 740.
Mazzi, F. and Munno, R. (1983) Calciobetafite (new mineral of the pyrochlore group) and related minerals from Campi Flegrei, Italy; crystal structures of polymignite, and zirkelite: comparison with pyrochlore and zirconolite. American Mineralogist: 68: 262-276.
Bayliss, P., Mazzi, F., Munno, R., and White, T., Mineralogical Magazine (1989): 53: 565.
Mineralogical Magazine: 62: 837-846.
Bulakh, Andrei G.; Nesterov, Alexander R.; Anastasenko, Galina F.; Anisimov, Ilija S. (1999) Crystal morphology and intergrowths of calzirtite Ca2Zr5TiO16, zirkelite (Ti,Ca,Zr)O2-x, zirconolite CaZrTi2O7 in phoscorites and carbonatites of the Kola Peninsula (Russia). Neues Jahrb. Mineral., Monatsh. 1999, 11-20.

Internet Links for ZirkeliteHide

Localities for ZirkeliteHide

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.
  • Minas Gerais
    • Araxá
Berger, V.I., Singer, D.A., and Orris, G.J., 2009, Carbonatites of the world, explored deposits of Nb and REE; database and grade and tonnage models: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1139, 17 p. and database.
  • São Paulo
    • Cajati
[MinRec 15:269]
  • British Columbia
    • Omenica Mining Division
      • Williston Lake
Berger, V.I., Singer, D.A., and Orris, G.J. (2009): USGS Open-File Report 09-1139; Jennifer Pell (1994) Carbonatites, Nepheline Syenites, Kimberlites and Related Rocks in British Columbia. Brithish Columbia Ministry of Energy Bulletin 88.
  • Ontario
    • Cochrane District
      • South of Ridge Lake Area
SAGE, R.P. (1981) Geology of the Martison carbonatite complex. Ontario Geological Survey Open File Report 5420, 99p.
    • Sudbury District
      • Chapleau Township
Berger, V.I., Singer, D.A., and Orris, G.J. (2009): USGS Open-File Report 09-1139
  • Québec
    • Nord-du-Québec
Nadeau, O., Stevenson, R., & Jébrak, M. (2016) Evolution ofMontviel alkaline-carbonatite complex by coupled fractional crystallization, fluid mixing and metasomatism — Part II: Trace element and Sm–Nd isotope geochemistry ofmetasomatic rocks: implications for REE-Nb mineralization. Ore Geology Reviews, 72, 1163-1162.
Czech Republic
  • Moravia (Mähren; Maehren)
    • Vysočina Region
      • Žďár nad Sázavou District
        • Nové Město na Moravě
Novák, M., Šrein, V.: Ryzí antimon v rutilu z dolomitického mramoru od Studnice u Nového Města na Moravě. Minerál, 1997, roč. 5, č. 4, s. 265-266.
  • Lapland Region
    • Savukoski
      • Tulppio
Vartiainen, H. 1980 The petrography, mineralogy and petrochemistry of the Sokli carbonative massif, northern Finland. Geological Survey of Finland, Bulletin, 313
  • Heves Co.
    • Bükk Mts
      • Szarvaskő
Koch: Minerals of Hungary, 1985
  • Campania
    • Phlegrean Volcanic Complex
      • Naples Province
        • Phlegrean Fields
Francesco Civero collection
  • Latium
    • Latina Province
      • Ponza Island
H.E. Belkin, B. De Vivo, A. Lima : "Magmatic (silicte/saline/sulfur-rich/CO2) immiscibility and zirconium and rare-earth element enrichment from alkaline magam chamber margins : evidence from Ponza Island, Pontine Archipelago, Italy", Eur. J. Mineral. , 1996, 8, 1401-1420.
  • Karagandy Province (Qaragandy Oblysy; Karaganda Oblast')
  • Vestfold
    • Larvik
      • Hedrum
Neumann, H. (1985): Norges Mineraler. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse Skrifter 68, 278 pp.(p. 70).
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia)
[World of Stones 12:49]
  • Northern Region
    • Murmanskaya Oblast'
      • Northern Karelia
Bulakh, A. G., Nesterov, A. R., Anisimov, I. S., & Williams, C. T. (1998). Zirkelite from the Sebl'yavr carbonatite complex, Kola Peninsula, Russia; an X-ray and electron microprobe study of a partially metamict mineral. Mineralogical Magazine, 62(6), 837-846.
Saudi Arabia
  • Mintaqah Ha'il
Economic Geology (1996) 91:1414-1434
South Africa
  • Limpopo Province
    • Phalaborwa
      • Loolekop
Gliddon, J. (1996) Minerals of the Palabora open pit. British Micromount Society 43:2-7
Sri Lanka
  • Sabaragamuwa Province
    • Ratnapura District
      • Bambarabotuwa
[Blake, G.S., Smith, H. (1913): On varieties of Zirkelite from Ceylon, Mineralogical Magazine, July 1913, Vol. 16, pp 309-316] [De Hoog, J., van Bergen, M.J. (1997): Notes on the Chemical composition of Zirconolite with Thorutite inclusions from Walaweduwa, Sri Lanka, Mineralogical Magazine, October 1997, Vol. 61, pp 721-725]
  • Scotland
    • North West Highlands
      • Isle of Rum
Williams, C.T. (1978) Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 66, 29, 33.; Livingstone, A. and Macpherson, H.G. (1983) Fifth supplementary list of British minerals (Scottish). Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 47, n° 342, p. 99-105.
    • Outer Hebrides
Harding R.R., Merriman R.J. and Nancarrow P.H.A. 1982. Mineralogical Magazine vol 46
  • Colorado
    • Teller Co.
      • Cripple Creek District
Min Rec 36:2 pp143-185
  • New Mexico
    • Socorro Co.
Minerals of New Mexico 3rd ed.
  • Texas
    • Culberson Co.
      • Apache Peak area
Rocks & Minerals: 66(3): 196-224.
      • Sierra Diablo
A. Audétat (2010) Source and Evolution of Molybdenum in the Porphyry Mo(^Nb) Deposit at Cave Peak,Texas. Journal of Petrology 51:1739-60.
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