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About TitaniteHide

Often contains minor Al, Fe3+ and F.
Colourless, brown, green, yellow, rose-red or black.
Adamantine, Resinous
5 - 5½
Specific Gravity:
3.48 - 3.6
Crystal System:
Member of:
First recognized as "nouveau substance minérale" in 1787 by Marc August Pictet, but only described and named in 1795 by Martin Klaproth for its titanium content. A common synonym, sphene (from the Greek sphenos (σφηνώ), meaning wedge, for its common wedge-shaped crystals), was introduced in 1801 by Rene Just Haüy.
Isostructural with:
Titanite Group. The titanium analogue of Malayaite and Vanadomalayaite.

Forms a series with Malayaite.
Titanite close to end-member composition has space-group symmetry P21/a, whereas titanite with significant additional constituents has A2/a symmetry.
A triclinic, Ta- and Al-bearing titanite has been described by Lussier et al. (2009). A synthetic titanite analogue with the formula CaAlSiO4F was reported by Krüger et al. (2015).

Also known as sphene, this calcium titanium silicate forms flattened wedge-shaped crystals, commonly twinned with prominent re-entry angles; massive, compact and lamellar forms are also found. It occurs as an accessory mineral in igneous rocks; in schists, gneisses and other metamorphic rocks, and is also found as a detrital mineral in some sedimentary deposits.

An As- and Na-rich mineral related to titanite was just approved under the name arsenatrotitanite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Titanite.

Classification of TitaniteHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
G : Nesosilicates with additional anions; cations in > [6] +- [6] coordination

52 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O
4 : Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [6] and/or >[6] coordination

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
9 : Silicates of Ti

Physical Properties of TitaniteHide

Adamantine, Resinous
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, brown, green, yellow, rose-red or black.
5 - 5½ on Mohs scale
Good on {110}
Due to twinning on {221}
3.48 - 3.6 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.53 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of TitaniteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.843 - 1.950 nβ = 1.870 - 2.034 nγ = 1.943 - 2.110
Measured: 17° to 40°, Calculated: 68° to 82°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.100 - 0.160
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
r > v extreme
X= nearly colorless
Y= yellow to green
Z= red to yellow orange

Chemical Properties of TitaniteHide


Often contains minor Al, Fe3+ and F.
Common Impurities:

Age distributionHide

Recorded ages:
Mesoarchean to Paleogene : 3110 Ma to 36.2 ± 2 Ma - based on 76 recorded ages.

Crystallography of TitaniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.057 Å, b = 8.707 Å, c = 6.555 Å
β = 113.81°
a:b:c = 0.81 : 1 : 0.753
Unit Cell V:
368.49 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals are wedge-shaped, compact, massive.
On {100}, contact and penetration, less commonly lamellar on {221}
May be metamict. Titanite close to end-member composition has space-group symmetry P21/a, whereas titanite with significant additional constituents has A2/a symmetry. Smaller unit cells indicate an Al- and F-rich composition.

Crystallographic forms of TitaniteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Click on an icon to view
Titanite no.31 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Titanite no.203 - 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 TitaniteHide

Synonyms of TitaniteHide

Other Language Names for TitaniteHide

Varieties of TitaniteHide

Chromian TitaniteChromium-bearing variety of Titanite with usually green colour.
Eucolite-TitaniteA cerian titanite, first described by Scheerer (1853) from Barkevik, Langesundsfjord, Vestfold, Norway.
GreenoviteRed, Mn2+-bearing variety of titanite.

Originally reported from Prabornaz Mine (Praborna Mine), Saint-Marcel, Aosta Valley, Italy.
GrothiteTitanite containing admixtures of Al (up to 6 mass%) and Fe3+ with low amounts of Y and REE. First described in granites of Plauen, Germany.

Not to be confused with grothine (a synonym of norbergite).
KeilhauiteAn yttrium-bearing titanite with up to 10% Y2O3.
Originally described from Buø, Tromøysund, Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway by Erdmann (1844).
Lederite (of Shepard)Lederite is a variety of titanite, generally red brown to dark brown, that also has a distinct parting, originally mistaken as a cleavage. Because this "cleavage" was not present in ordinary titanite, it was described as a separate species. This mineral i...
Stanniferous TitaniteA Tin-bearing Titanite with 10% Sn
Triclinic TitaniteA variety of titanite with a triclinic symmetry.
Isostructural with Żabińskiite.
A triclinic, Ta- and Al-bearing titanite is described from Heftetjern pegmatite, Tørdal, Telemark, Norway by Lussier et al. (2009)
Yttrian TitaniteAn yttrium-bearing variety of titanite. See also keilhauite.
First named and described by Scheerer (1844) from a feldspar quarry at Buøy Island, Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway. It was independently and simultanously described as keilhauite by Erdmann (1844...

Relationship of Titanite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
Natrotitanite(Na0.5Y0.5)Ti(SiO4)OMon. 2/m : B2/b
ŻabińskiiteCa[Al0.5(Ta,Nb)0.5)](SiO4)OTric. 1

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Chlorite Group214 photos of Titanite associated with Chlorite Group on mindat.org.
Quartz181 photos of Titanite associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Adularia173 photos of Titanite associated with Adularia on mindat.org.
Albite169 photos of Titanite associated with Albite on mindat.org.
Epidote156 photos of Titanite associated with Epidote on mindat.org.
Clinochlore116 photos of Titanite associated with Clinochlore on mindat.org.
Calcite115 photos of Titanite associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Diopside81 photos of Titanite associated with Diopside on mindat.org.
Microcline51 photos of Titanite associated with Microcline on mindat.org.
Zircon47 photos of Titanite associated with Zircon on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.AG.EdgrewiteCa9(SiO4)4F2 Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AG.05AbswurmbachiteCuMn3+6(SiO4)O8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.05BrauniteMn2+Mn3+6(SiO4)O8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.05NeltneriteCaMn3+6(SiO4)O8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.05Braunite-IICaMn3+14(SiO4)O20Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.10LångbaniteMn2+4Mn3+9Sb5+O16(SiO4)2Trig. 3m : P3m1
9.AG.15Natrotitanite(Na0.5Y0.5)Ti(SiO4)OMon. 2/m : B2/b
9.AG.15ŻabińskiiteCa[Al0.5(Ta,Nb)0.5)](SiO4)OTric. 1
9.AG.20Cerite-(Ce)(Ce,Ca)9(Mg,Fe)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)4(OH)3Trig. 3m : R3c
9.AG.20Cerite-(La)(La,Ce,Ca)9(Fe,Ca,Mg)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)4(OH)3Trig. 3m : R3c
9.AG.20Aluminocerite-(Ce)(Ce,La,Ca)9(Al,Fe3+)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)4(OH)3Trig. 3m : R3c
9.AG.25Mieite-(Y)Y4Ti(SiO4)2O[F,(OH)]6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Cmcm
9.AG.30SitinakiteKNa2Ti4(SiO4)2O5(OH) · 4H2OTet.
9.AG.35KittatinnyiteCa2Mn2Mn(SiO4)2(OH)4 · 9H2OHex.
9.AG.55ChantaliteCaAl2(SiO4)(OH)4Tet. 4/m : I41/a
9.AG.60MozartiteCaMn3+(SiO4)(OH)Orth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
9.AG.70JasmunditeCa11(SiO4)4O2STet. 4 2m : I4m2
9.AG.75AfwilliteCa3(HSiO4)2 · 2H2OMon. m : Bb
9.AG.80BultfonteiniteCa2(HSiO4)F · H2OTric.
9.AG.85ZoltaiiteBaV4+2V3+12(SiO4)2O19Trig. 3 : P3

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

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.
14.9.7OhmiliteSr3(Ti,Fe3+)(Si4O12)(O,OH) · 2-3H2OMon.
14.9.9BenitoiteBaTi(Si3O9)Hex. 6 m2 : P62c
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.

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.

Titanite in petrologyHide

References for TitaniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Klaproth M.H. (1795) Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntnis der Mineralkörper, Teil 1, XV. Untersuchung eines neuen Fossils (Titanit) aus dem Passauischen, 245-252, Rottmann Berlin.
Jaffe, H.W. (1947) Re-examination of sphene, American Mineralogist: 32: 637-642.
Speer, J.A. & Gibbs, G.V. (1976) The crystal structure of the synthetic titanite CaOTiOSiO4, and the domain textures of natural titanites. Am. Mineral., 61, 238-247.
Birch, W.D. (1983) Babingtonite, fluorapophyllite and sphene from Harcourt, Victoria, Australia. Mineralogical Magazine, Sept. 1983, 47, 377-380.
Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1984) 251-256.
Janeczek, J. and Sachanbinski, M. (1992) Babingtonite, Y-Al-rich titanite, and zoned epidote from the Strzegom pegmatites, Poland. European Journal of Mineralogist: 4: 307-319.
Urusov, V.S., Eremin, N.N., Yakubovich, O.V. (1995) Electron-density distribution in Ca{TiO[SiO4]} titanite. Crystallogr. Reports, 40, 442-448.
Hammer, V.M.F., Beran, A., Endisch, D., and Rauch, F. (1996) OH concentrations in natural titanites determined by FTIR spectroscopy and nuclear reaction analysis. European Journal of Mineralogy: 8: 281-288.
Della Ventura, G., Bellatreccia, F., and Williams, C.T. (1999) Zr- and LREE-rich titanite from Tre Croci, Vico Volcanic complex (Latium, Italy). Mineralogical Magazine: 63: 123-130.
Jonckheere, R. and Wagner, G. (2000) On the occurrence of anomalous fission tracks in apatite and titanite. American Mineralogist: 85: 1744-1753.
F. Colombo and E. V. Pannunzio Miner (2009) Synthesis and crystal structure refinement by the Rietveld method of antimony-bearing titanite Ca(Ti0.6Al0.2Sb0.2)OSiO4. Powder Diffraction 24, 221-227.
Lussier, A.J., Cooper, M.A., Hawthorne, F.C., Kristiansen, R. (2009) Triclinic titanite from the Heftetjern granitic pegmatite, Tordal, southern Norway. Mineralogical Magazine, 73, 709-722.
Hannes Krüger, Daniel M. Többens, Peter Tropper, Udo Haefeker, Volker Kahlenberg, Martin R. Fuchs, Vincent Olieric, Ulrike Troitzsch (2015) Single-crystal structure and Raman spectroscopy of synthetic titanite analog CaAlSiO4F. Mineralogy and Petrology 109, 631-641.
Lenz, C., Nasdala, L., Talla, D., Hauzenberger, H., Seitz, R., Kolitsch, U. (2015) Laser-induced REE3+ photoluminescence of selected accessory minerals: An “advantageous artefact” in Raman spectroscopy. Chemical Geology 415, 1-16.

Internet Links for TitaniteHide

Localities for TitaniteHide

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.

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