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About BenitoiteHide

Seal of San Benito County
Sapphire blue, white to colorless, pink
6 - 6½
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Member of:
After the type locality, "as it occurs near the head waters of the San Benito River in San Benito County", California, USA.
Benitoite Group. The titanium analogue of Pabstite.

Related to Rogermitchellite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Benitoite.

Classification of BenitoiteHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
A : [Si3O9]6- 3-membered single rings (dreier-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions

59 : CYCLOSILICATES Three-Membered Rings
1 : Three-Membered Rings, anhydrous, no other anions

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
9 : Silicates of Ti

Physical Properties of BenitoiteHide

Transparent, Translucent
Sapphire blue, white to colorless, pink
6 - 6½ on Mohs scale
Poor on {1011}
3.65 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.68 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of BenitoiteHide

Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.756 - 1.757 nε = 1.802 - 1.804
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.046
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
O= colorless
E= purple, indigo, greenish blue

Chemical Properties of BenitoiteHide

IMA Formula:
Common Impurities:

Crystallography of BenitoiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
6 m2 - Ditrigonal Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 6.641 Å, c = 9.7597(10) Å
a:c = 1 : 1.47
Unit Cell V:
372.76 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Flat pyramidal crystals
By rotation around [0001]

Crystallographic forms of BenitoiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Benitoite no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Benitoite no.9 - 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

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Type Occurrence of BenitoiteHide

Louderback, G.D. and W.C. Blasdale (1907) Benitoite, a new California gem mineral, with chemical analysis by Walter C. Blasdale, University of California, Department of Geological Science Bull.: 5: 149-153.

Synonyms of BenitoiteHide

Other Language Names for BenitoiteHide

Simplified Chinese:蓝锥矿
Traditional Chinese:藍錐礦

Relationship of Benitoite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Neptunite327 photos of Benitoite associated with Neptunite on mindat.org.
Natrolite256 photos of Benitoite associated with Natrolite on mindat.org.
Joaquinite-(Ce)120 photos of Benitoite associated with Joaquinite-(Ce) on mindat.org.
Crossite46 photos of Benitoite associated with Crossite on mindat.org.
Joaquinite Group13 photos of Benitoite associated with Joaquinite Group on mindat.org.
Albite11 photos of Benitoite associated with Albite on mindat.org.
Djurleite9 photos of Benitoite associated with Djurleite on mindat.org.
Glaucophane5 photos of Benitoite associated with Glaucophane on mindat.org.
Serandite3 photos of Benitoite associated with Serandite on mindat.org.
Bario-orthojoaquinite2 photos of Benitoite associated with Bario-orthojoaquinite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.CA.15CalciocatapleiiteCaZr(Si3O9) · 2H2O
9.CA.15CatapleiiteNa2Zr(Si3O9) · 2H2OMon.
9.CA.20PseudowollastoniteCaSiO3Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.CA.25MargarosanitePb(Ca,Mn2+)2(Si3O9)Tric. 1 : P1
9.CA.30Bobtraillite(Na,Ca)13Sr11(Zr,Y,Nb)14(Si3O9)10(H2BSi2O9)6 · 12H2OTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : P3 1c

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide,Ti)(Si3O9)Hex.

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.9.2LorenzeniteNa2Ti2(Si2O6)O3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
14.9.3LintisiteLiNa3Ti2(Si2O6)2O2 · 2H2OMon.
14.9.6TitaniteCaTi(SiO4)OMon. 2/m : P21/b
14.9.7OhmiliteSr3(Ti,Fe3+)(Si4O12)(O,OH) · 2-3H2OMon.
14.9.11FresnoiteBa2Ti(Si2O7)OTet. 4mm : P4bm
14.9.12Joaquinite-(Ce)NaBa2Ce2FeTi2[Si4O12]2O2(OH,F) · H2OMon. 2 : B2
14.9.13Orthojoaquinite-(Ce)NaBa2Ce2FeTi2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH) · H2O
14.9.14StrontiojoaquiniteSr2Ba2(Na,Fe)2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH)2 · H2OMon.
14.9.15Bario-orthojoaquinite(Ba,Sr)4Fe2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2 · H2OOrth.
14.9.16Strontio-orthojoaquinite(Na,Fe)2Sr2Ba2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH)2 · H2OOrth.
14.9.18HejtmaniteBa2(Mn2+,Fe2+)4Ti2(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2F2Tric. 1
14.9.19Delindeite(Na,K)2(Ba,Ca)2(Ti,Fe,Al)3(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2 · 2H2OMon.
14.9.22Perrierite-(Ce)Ce4MgFe3+2Ti2(Si2O7)2O8Mon. 2/m : P21/b
14.9.25TisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2OTrig.
14.9.26NeptuniteNa2KLiFe2+2Ti2Si8O24Mon. m : Bb
14.9.29AstrophylliteK2NaFe2+7Ti2Si8O28(OH)4FTric. 1 : P1
14.9.31LobanoviteK2Na(Fe2+4Mg2Na)Ti2(Si4O12)2O2(OH)4Mon. 2/m : B2/m
14.9.32BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
14.9.34AenigmatiteNa4[Fe2+10Ti2]O4[Si12O36]Tric. 1 : P1
14.9.37Janhaugite(Na,Ca)3(Mn2+,Fe2+)3(Ti,Zr,Nb)2(Si2O7)2O2(OH,F)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
14.9.38KoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2OOrth.

Fluorescence of BenitoiteHide

Invariably fluorescent blue in SW UV.

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.

References for BenitoiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Louderback, G.D. and W.C. Blasdale (1907) Benitoite, a new California gem mineral, with chemical analysis by Walter C. Blasdale, University of California, Department of Geological Science Bull.: 5: 149-153.
Kraus, E.H. (1908) Interpretation of the chemical composition of the mineral benitoite. Science, new series: 7: 710-711.
Louderback, G.D. & W.C. Blasdale (1908) Benitoite, its mineralogy, paragenesis, and geological occurrence (abstract). Science, new series: 27: 411.
Blasdale, W.C. (1908) Chemical formula of the mineral benitoite: Science, new series: 28: 233-234.
Hlawatsch, C. (1909) Bemerkungen, von über die Krystallklasse des Benitoit: Tschermak's Mitt., Band 28, pp. 178-181, 1909…(abstract): Zeitschr. Kristallographic, Band 50, p. 617, 1912.
Hlawatsch, C. (1909) Die Kristalform des Benitoit: Centralbl. Mineralogie, 1909, pp. 293-302, 410.
Hlawatsch, C. (1909) Bemerkungen über den Benitoit: Zeitschr. Kristallographic, Band 46, p. 602, 1909.
Louderback, G.D. & W.C. Blasdale (1909) Benitoite, its paragenesis and mode of occurrence, University of California, Department of Geologic Science Bulletin: 5: 331-380.
Palache, Charles (1909) Note on a crystal form of benitoite. American Journal of Science, 4th. series: 27: 398; …(abstract): Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 46: 379.
Louderback, G. D. (1910) Benitoite, its Paragenesis and Mode of Occurrence. University of California Pub. 5, 331.
Valeton, J.J.P. (1927) Über die Struktur des Benitoits: Fortschr. Mineralogie, Band 12: 91-92.
Zachariasen, W.H. (1930) The crystal structure of benitoite, BaTiSi3O9: Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 74: 139-146
Fischer, K. (1969) Verfeinerung der Kristallstructur von Benitoite: Zeits. Krist.: 129: 222-243.
Laird, J. & A.L. Albee (1972), Chemical composition and physical, optical, and structural properties of benitoite, neptunite and joaquinite: American Mineralogist: 57: 85-102.
Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1987): 16-30.
Gaft, M., Nagli, L., Waychunas, G., and Weiss, D. (2004) The nature of blue luminescence from natural benitoite BaTiSi3O9. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 31: 365-373.

Internet Links for BenitoiteHide

Localities for BenitoiteHide

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.
  • New South Wales
    • Yancowinna Co.
      • Broken Hill district
Handbook of Mineralogy
Czech Republic
  • Vysočina Region
    • Třebíč District
      • Moravské Budějovice
Krmíček, L., Cempírek J., Havlín A., Přichystal A., Houzar S, Krmíčková M, Gadas P. (2011): Mineralogy and petrogenesis of a Ba–Ti–Zr-rich peralkaline dyke from Šebkovice (Czech Republic): Recognition of the most lamproitic Variscan intrusion. In: Lithos, 121 (2011), 75-86; Elsevier.; KRMÍČEK L. 2010: Pre-Mesozoic lamprophyres and lamproites of the Bohemian Massif (Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria). Mineralogia - Special Papers, vol. 37, pp. 38-46
  • Niigata
Miyajima H (2014) Jadeitite from Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, central Japan. 21 st meeting of the International Mineralogical Association. p 200
      • Ōmi
        • Hashidate
specimens in numerous japanese collections; Yamada, S. (2004) Nihonsan-koubutsu Gojuon-hairetsu Sanchi-ichiranhyou (111 pp.)
Hiroaki Tano specimen
  • Oita Prefecture
    • Saiki City
Nishio-Hamane, D., Ogoshi, Y., & Minakawa, T. (2012). Miyahisaite, (Sr, Ca) 2Ba3 (PO4) 3F, a new mineral of the hedyphane group in the apatite supergroup from the Shimoharai mine, Oita Prefecture, Japan. Journal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences, 107(3), 121-126; Ohe Rikosha specimen.
  • Tokyo
    • Nishi-Tama-gun
      • Okutama-cho
Ohe Rikosha specimens, and collector labels.; http://www.issp.u-tokyo.ac.jp/labs/mdcl/lab/denken/wordpress/?page_id=1969#a02; photo in: Koubutsu Doshikai (2017) Kanto-to Shuhen-no Koubutsu (279pp).
  • Bistrița-Năsăud
    • Rodna Mtn (Rodnei Mtn)
Onac, B. P., & Forti, P. (2011). State of the art and challenges in cave minerals studies. Studia UBB Geologia, 56(1), 33-42.
  • Arkansas
    • Hot Spring Co.
      • Magnet Cove
Barwood, H (1995), Benitoite and Joaquinite in Arkansas, Min.News: 11(5):2, 5.
EDS id Chris Stefano
  • California
    • Fresno Co.
      • Big Creek-Rush Creek District
        • Rush Creek deposit
          • Big Creek
[MinRec 33:161]; Canadian Mineralogist (2001): 39:1053-1058.
          • Rush Creek
Alfors, J.T., M.C. Stinson, R.A. Matthews & A. Pabst (1965), Seven new barium minerals from eastern Fresno County, California: American Mineralogist: 50: 319; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 466.
    • Kern Co.
      • Lost Hills (Lost Hill)
Reed, Ralph Daniel & J.P. Bailey (1927), Subsurface correlation by means of heavy minerals: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin: 11: 363; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 288; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California: 466, 484.
Reed, Ralph Daniel & J.P. Bailey (1927), Subsurface correlation by means of heavy minerals: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin: 11: 363; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 102.
    • Mariposa Co.
      • East Belt
        • Clearing House District
          • Clearing House
            • Trumbull Peak
[MinRec 30:414]
    • San Benito Co.
      • Diablo Range
        • New Idria District
          • Picacho Peak
William S. Wise (1982) Strontiojoaquinite and bario-orthojoaquinite: two new members of the joaquinite group . American Mineralogist 67:809-816.
Pabst, Adolf (1978) Zur morphologie des taramellits. Tschermaks Mineralogische und Petrographische Mitteilungen: 25: 245-256; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 465-466, 467; American Mineralogist (1984): 69: 358-373; Joseph F. Cooper Jr., Gail E. Dunning, Ted A.Hadley (2003) Minerology of the Victor Claim, Clear Creek Area, New Idria District, San Benito County, California.
          • Santa Rita Peak
Louderback, George Davis & Walter C. Blasdale (1909), Benitoite, its mineralogy, paragenesis and mode of occurrence: University of California, Department of Geological Sciences Bulletin: 5: 331; Louderback, George Davis & Walter C. Blasdale (1907), Benitoite, a new California gem mineral, with chemical analysis by Walter C. Blasdale: University of California, Department of Geological Sciences Bulletin: 5: 149-153; Murdoch, Joseph & Robert W. Webb (1966), Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966): California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 102; Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 372, 466; Wise, W.S & Gill, R.H. (1977): Minerals of the Benitoite Gem mine. Mineralogical Record 8, 442-452.
Pemberton, H. Earl (1983), Minerals of California; Van Nostrand Reinholt Press: 467.
    • Tulare Co.
      • Dumtah
Mineralogical Record: 34(2): 159-166
  • Montana
    • Meagher Co.
Chakhmouradian A.R., Mitchell R.H. (2002): The mineralogy of Ba- and Zr-rich alkaline pegmatites from Gordon Butte, Crazy Mountains (Montana, USA): comparisons between potassic and sodic agpaitic pegmatites. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., 143, 93-114.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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