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Ba may be replaced by minor Sr, and Ca by minor Mn.
White to Ivory, very pale yellow, pale yellowish brown
3 - 4
Specific Gravity:
Crystal System:
Named after Orlando J. Benston (1901-1966), an ore dressing metallurgist with the University of Illinois.
This page provides mineralogical data about Benstonite.

Hide all sections | Show all sections

Classification of BenstoniteHide


A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates

2 : AB(XO3)2

11 : Carbonates
5 : Carbonates of Sr and Ba

Physical Properties of BenstoniteHide

White to Ivory, very pale yellow, pale yellowish brown
3 - 4 on Mohs scale
Good on (31_42)
3.956 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.695 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of BenstoniteHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 1.690 nε = 1.527
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.163
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:

Chemical Properties of BenstoniteHide


Ba may be replaced by minor Sr, and Ca by minor Mn.

Crystallography of BenstoniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
3 - Rhombohedral
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 18.280 Å, c = 8.652 Å
a:c = 1 : 0.473
Unit Cell V:
2,503.80 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Rhombohedral crystals to 1cm.

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 BenstoniteHide

Other Language Names for BenstoniteHide

Simplified Chinese:菱碱土矿

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Fluorite20 photos of Benstonite associated with Fluorite on
Calcite14 photos of Benstonite associated with Calcite on
Alstonite6 photos of Benstonite associated with Alstonite on
Baryte4 photos of Benstonite associated with Baryte on
Sphalerite3 photos of Benstonite associated with Sphalerite on

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m)
5.AB.05RhodochrositeMnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCaMn2+(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2Orth. mm2
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.5.1StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
11.5.2WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
11.5.3NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
11.5.6BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m

Fluorescence of BenstoniteHide

Red or yellow in SW and LW and X-rays.
Red phosphorescence

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 BenstoniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Lippmann, F. (1962): Benstonite, Ca7Ba6(CO3)13, a new mineral from the barite deposit in Hot Spring County, Arkansas. American Mineralogist 47, 585-598.
Effenberger, H. (1979): Kristallstruktur und chemische Formel des Benstonits, Ba6Ca6Mg(CO3)13. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Abhandlungen, 136, 326-337.
Konev A A, Kartashev P M, Koneva A A, Ushchapovskaya Z F, Nartova N V (2004): Mg-deficient strontium benstonite from the ore occurrence Biraya (Siberia). Zapiski Vserossijskogo Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva, 133 (6), 65-73.

Internet Links for BenstoniteHide

Localities for BenstoniteHide

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.
  • Saskatchewan
Shang, Y. (2000). Mineralogy, lithostratigraphy and geochemistry of North Ingebright Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. PhD thesis University of Manitoba.
  • Yukon
    • Watson Lake Mining District
      • Macmillan Pass
Econ Geol (1985) 80:1257-1276
Econ Geol (1989)84:841-856
  • Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region
    • Baotou League (Baotou Prefecture)
      • Bayan Obo Mining District
        • Bayan Obo
          • Bayan Obo deposit (Bayun-Obo deposit; Baiyunebo deposit)
Youbin Liang, Zhonglong Xu, and Zhiyin Hu (1981): Geology and Prospecting 17(9), 29-33
  • Thraki Department (Thrace; Thracia)
    • Évros Prefecture
Skarpelis, N., & Triantafyllidis, S. (2004). Environmental impact from supergene alteration and exploitation of a high sulphidation epithermal type mineralisation (Kirki, NE Greece). Applied Earth Science, 113(1), 110-116.
  • Karnataka
    • Jogipatti
Pavel M. Kartashov data
  • Tuscany
    • Lucca Province
      • Apuan Alps
        • Stazzema
          • Sant'Anna di Stazzema
Biagioni, C. & Orlandi, P. (2010). Cymrite and benstonite from the Monte Arsiccio mine (Apuan Alps, Tuscany, Italy): first Italian occurrence. Plinius, 36, 365.
  • Karas Region
    • Lüderitz District
      • Rosh Pinah
Econ Geol (1985) 80:1257-1276; Von Bezing, L., Bode, R., and Jahn, S., (2008) Namibia Minerals and Localities. Edition Schloss Freudenstein, Bode Verlag GmbH, Haltern, pg 472 (in English).
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Prebaikalia (Pribaikal'e)
      • Irkutskaya Oblast'
        • Vitim Plateau
          • Biraya and Bya Rivers confluence area (Chara Basin)
Konev A A, Kartashev P M, Koneva A A, Ushchapovskaya Z F, Nartova N V (2004): Mg-deficient strontium benstonite from the ore occurrence Biraya (Siberia). Zapiski Vserossijskogo Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva, 133 (6), 65-73. Koneva A.A., Konev A.A., Vladykin N.V. (2010) Vein complex of the Biraya carbonatite deposit. in Abstracts of XXVII International conference School «Geochemistry of Alkaline rocks». – Moscow-Koktebel’. pp. 240 pp.
Konev A. A. ; Kartashev P. M. ; Koneva A. A. ; Ushchapovskaya Z. F. ; Nartova N. V. (2004) Mg-deficient strontium benstonite from the ore occurrence biraya (Siberia). Zapiski Vserossijskogo mineralogičeskogo obŝestva 133:65-73
    • Sakha Republic (Saha Republic; Yakutia)
      • Aldan Shield
        • Chara and Tokko Rivers Confluence
Handbook of Mineralogy
  • Värmland
    • Filipstad
Nysten, P., Holtstam, D. and Jonsson, E. (1999) The Långban minerals. In Långban - The mines,their minerals, geology and explorers (D. Holtstam and J. Langhof, eds.), Swedish Museum of Natural History and Raster Förlag, Stockholm & Chr. Weise Verlag, Munich, pp. 89-183.
  • Arkansas
    • Hot Spring Co.
      • Magnet Cove
        • Chamberlain Creek Valley
Rocks & Min.:63:108; Scull(1959).
American Mineralogist: 47: 585-598.
Smith, A.E., Jr., 1996: Collecting Arkansas Minerals: A Reference and Guide
  • Illinois
    • Hardin Co.
      • Cave-in-Rock Sub-District
Mineralogical Record, v. 28, no. 1, 1997
          • Ozark-Mahoning group
Rocks & Minerals: 63: 217.; Mineralogical Record (1997) 28:3-49
  • Texas
    • Houston Co.
R&M 66:3 pp 196-224
R&M 66:3 pp 196-224
R&M 66:3 pp 196-224
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