Eucryptite

Eucryptite

[yoo-krip-tahyt]
Eucryptite is a lithium bearing aluminium silicate mineral with formula LiAlSiO4. It crystallizes in the trigonal - rhombohedral crystal system. It typically occurs as granular to massive in form and may pseudomorphically replace spodumene. It has a brittle to conchoidal fracture and indistinct cleavage. It is transparent to translucent and varies from colorless to white to brown. It has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 and a specific gravity of 2.67. Optically it is uniaxial positive with refractive index values of nω = 1.570 - 1.573 and nε = 1.583 - 1.587.

Its typical occurrence is in lithium-rich pegmatites in association with albite, spodumene, petalite, amblygonite, lepidolite and quartz.

It occurs as a secondary alteration product of spodumene. It was first described in 1880 for an occurrence at Branchville, Connecticut Its name was from the Greek for well concealed, for its typical occurrence embedded in albite.

References

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