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Fuchsite, also known as chrome mica, is a chromium (Cr) rich variety of the mineral muscovite, belonging to the mica group of phyllosilicate minerals, with the following formula: K(Al,Cr)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2.[1]

Category Silicate mineral
Crystal system Monoclinic
Color Light to medium green
Crystal habit Curved aggregates
Cleavage Perfect basal
Fracture Uneven
Mohs scale hardness 2.5
Luster Vitreous to pearly
Streak White
Diaphaneity Transparent to opaque
Specific gravity 2.8–2.9
References [2]

Trivalent chromium replaces one of the aluminium (Al) atoms in the general muscovite formula producing the apple green hue distinctive of fuchsite. It is often found in minute micaceous aggregates (with individual plates barely visible), as a major component of chromium rich phyllitic or schistose metamorphic rocks of the greenschist facies.

Verdite is an impure often multicolored variety of fuchsite used for ornamental carvings.

Fuchsite is named after the German chemist and mineralogist Johann Nepomuk von Fuchs


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Dumortierite is a fibrous variably colored aluminium borosilicate mineral, Al7BO3(SiO4)3O3. Dumortierite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system typically forming fibrous aggregates of slender prismatic crystals. The crystals are vitreous and vary in color from brownblue, and green to more rare violet and pink. Substitution of iron and other tri-valent elements for aluminium result in the color variations. It has a Mohs hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 3.3 to 3.4. Crystals show pleochroism from red to blue to violet. Dumortierite quartz is blue colored quartz containing abundant dumortierite inclusions.

Dumortierite was first described in 1881 for an occurrence in Chaponost, in the RhôneAlps of France and named for the French paleontologist Eugène Dumortier (1803–1873).[4] It typically occurs in high temperature aluminium rich regional metamorphic rocks, those resulting from contact metamorphism and also in boron rich pegmatites. The most extensive investigation on dumortierite was done on samples from the high grade metamorphic Gfohl unit in Austria by Fuchs et al. (2005).

It is used in the manufacture of high grade porcelain. It is sometimes mistaken for sodalite and has been used as imitation lapis lazuli.

Sources of Dumortierite include AustriaBrazilCanadaFranceItalyMadagascarNamibiaNevadaNorwayPeruPolandRussia and Sri Lanka.


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Dioptase is an intense emerald-green to bluish-green copper cyclosilicate mineral. It is transparent to translucent. Its luster is vitreous to sub-adamantine. Its formula is CuSiO3·H2O (also reported as CuSiO2(OH)2). It has a hardness of 5, the same as tooth enamel. Its specific gravity is 3.28–3.35, and it has two perfect and one very good cleavage directions. Additionally, dioptase is very fragile and specimens must be handled with great care. It is a trigonal mineral, forming 6-sided crystals that are terminated by rhombohedra.


Dioptase was used to highlight the edges of the eyes on the three Pre-Pottery Neolithic B lime plaster statues discovered at ‘Ain Ghazal known as Micah, Heifa and Noah. These sculptures date back to about 7200 BC.

Late in the 18th century, copper miners at the Altyn-Tyube (Altyn-Tube) mine, Karagandy ProvinceKazakhstan thought they found the emerald deposit of their dreams. They found fantastic cavities in quartz veins in a limestone, filled with thousands of lustrous emerald-green transparent crystals. The crystals were dispatched to MoscowRussia for analysis. However the mineral’s inferior hardness of 5 compared with emerald’s greater hardness of 8 easily distinguished it. Later Fr. René Just Haüy (the famed French mineralogist) in 1797 determined that the enigmatic Altyn-Tyube mineral was new to science and named it dioptase (Greekdia, “through” and optos, “visible”), alluding to the mineral’s two cleavage directions that are visible inside unbroken crystals


Dioptase is an uncommon mineral found mostly in desert regions where it forms as a secondary mineral in the oxidized zone of copper sulfide mineral deposits. However, the process of its formation is not simple, the oxidationof copper sulfides should be insufficient to crystallize dioptase as silica is normally minutely soluble in water except at highly alkaline pH. The oxidation of sulfides will generate highly acidic fluids rich in sulfuric acid that should suppress silica solubility. However, in dry climates and with enough time, especially in areas of a mineral deposit where acids are buffered by carbonate, minute quantities of silica may react with dissolved copper forming dioptase and chrysocolla.

The Altyn Tube mine in Kazakhstan still provides handsome specimens; a brownish quartzite host distinguishes its specimens from other localities. The finest specimens of all were found at the Tsumeb Mine in TsumebNamibia. Tsumeb dioptase is mineral and often highly sought after by collectors. Dioptase is also found in the deserts of the southwestern US. A notable occurrence is the old Mammoth-Saint Anthony Mine nearMammoth, Arizona where small crystals that make fine micromount specimens are found. In addition, many small, mineral colored crystals of dioptase have come from the Christmas Mine near Hayden, Arizona. Another classic locality for fine specimens is Renéville, Congo-Brazzaville. Finally, an interesting occurrence is the Malpaso Quarry in and near Agua de Oro Argentina. Here tiny bluish-green dioptase is found on and in quartz. It appears at this occurrence, dioptase is primary and has crystallized with quartz, native copper, and malachite.


Dioptase is popular with mineral collectors and it is occasionally cut into small emerald-like gems. Dioptase and chrysocolla are the only relatively common copper silicate minerals. A dioptase gemstone should never be exposed to ultrasonic cleaning or the fragile gem will shatter. As a ground pigment, dioptase can be used in painting.

The most famous (and expensive) dioptase mineral locality is at Tsumeb, Namibia.


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Beryl (/ˈbɛrəl/ BERR-əl) is a mineral composed of beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate with the chemical formula Be3Al2(SiO3)6. Well-known varieties of beryl include emerald and aquamarine. Naturally occurring, hexagonalcrystals of beryl can be up to several meters in size, but terminated crystals are relatively rare. Pure beryl is colorless, but it is frequently tinted by impurities; possible colors are green, blue, yellow, red (the rarest), and white. Beryl is also an ore source of beryllium.


The name “beryl” is derived (via LatinberyllusOld Frenchberyl, and Middle Englishberil) from Greek βήρυλλος beryllos which referred to a “precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone”; akin to Prakrit veruliaveluriya(“beryl”). The term was later adopted for the mineral beryl more exclusively.

When the first eyeglasses were constructed in 13th century Italy, the lenses were made of beryl (or of rock crystal) as glass could not be made clear enough. Consequently, glasses were named Brillen in German (bril in Dutch and Briller in Danish).


Beryl of various colors is found most commonly in granitic pegmatites, but also occurs in mica schists in the Ural Mountains, and limestone in Colombia. Beryl is often associated with tin and tungsten ore bodies. Beryl is found in Europe in NorwayAustriaGermanySweden (especially morganite), Ireland and Russia, as well as Brazil, Colombia, MadagascarMozambiquePakistanAfghanistanSouth Africa, the United States, and Zambia. US beryl locations are in CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutGeorgiaIdahoMaineNew HampshireNorth CarolinaSouth Dakota and Utah.

New England‘s pegmatites have produced some of the largest beryls found, including one massive crystal from the Bumpus Quarry in Albany, Maine with dimensions 5.5 by 1.2 m (18.0 by 3.9 ft) with a mass of around 18 metric tons; it is New Hampshire’s state mineral. As of 1999, the world’s largest known naturally occurring crystal of any mineral is a crystal of beryl from Malakialina, Madagascar, 18 m (59 ft) long and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter, and weighing 380,000 kg (840,000 lb).

Crystal habit and structure

Beryl belongs to the hexagonal crystal system. Normally Beryl forms hexagonal columns but can also occur in massive habits. As a cyclosilicate beryl incorporates rings of silicate tetrahedra of {\displaystyle {\ce {Si6O18}}}{\displaystyle {\ce {Si6O18}}} that are arranged in columns along the C axis and as parallel layers perpendicular to the C axis, forming channels along the C axis. These channels permit a variety of ions, neutral atoms, and molecules to be incorporated into the crystal thus disrupting the overall charge of the crystal permitting further substitutions in AluminiumSilicon, and Beryllium sites in the crystal structure. These impurities give rise to the variety of colors beryl that can be found. Increasing alkali content within the silicate ring channels causes increases to the refractive indices and birefringence.



Crocoite Crystal

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Crocoite is a mineral consisting of lead chromatePbCrO4, and crystallizing in the monoclinic crystal system. It is identical in composition with the artificial product chrome yellow used as a paint pigment.


Crocoite is commonly found as large, well-developed prismatic adamatine crystals, although in many cases are poorly terminated. Crystals are of a bright hyacinth-red color, translucent, and have an adamantine to vitreouslustre. On exposure to UV light some of the translucency and brilliancy is lost. The streak is orange-yellow; Mohs hardness is 2.5–3; and the specific gravity is 6.0.

Crocoite crystal structure

It was discovered at the Berezovskoe Au Deposit (Berezovsk Mines) near Ekaterinburg in the Urals in 1766; and named crocoise by F. S. Beudant in 1832, from the Greek κρόκος (krokos), saffron, in allusion to its color, a name first altered to crocoisite and afterwards to crocoite. In the type locality the crystals are found in gold-bearing quartz-veins traversing granite or gneiss and associated with crocoite are quartz, embreyite, phoenicochroite and vauquelinite. Phoenicochroite is a basic lead chromate, Pb2CrO5 with dark red crystals, and vauquelinite a lead and copper phosphate-chromate, Pb2CuCrO4PO4OH, with brown or green monoclinic crystals. Vauquelinite was named after L. N. Vauquelin, who in 1797 discovered (simultaneously with and independently of M. H. Klaproth) the element chromium in crocoite.

Abundant masses with exceptional examples of crocoite crystals have been found in the Extended Mine at Mount Dundas as well as the Adelaide, Red Lead, West Comet, Platt and a few other Mines at Dundas, Tasmania; they are usually found in long slender prisms, usually about 10–20 mm but rarely up to 100 mm (4 inches) in length, with a brilliant lustre and color. Crocoite is also the official Tasmanian mineral emblem. Other localities which have yielded good crystallized specimens are Congonhas do Campo near Ouro Preto in BrazilLuzon in the PhilippinesMutare in Mashonaland, near Menzies in Western Australia, plus Brazil, Germany and South Africa.

The relative rarity of crocoite is connected with the specific conditions required for its formation: an oxidation zone of lead ore bed and presence of ultramafic rocks serving as the source of chromium (in chromite). Oxidation of Cr3+ into CrO42− (from chromite) and decomposition of galena (or other primary lead minerals) are required for crocoite formation. These conditions crocoare relatively unusual.

As crocoite is composed of lead(II) chromate, it is toxic, containing both lead and hexavalent chromium.



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Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a brownish-red mineral commonly used as a semi-precious gemstone. Similar to carnelian is sard, which is generally harder and darker (the difference is not rigidly defined, and the two names are often used interchangeably). Both carnelian and sard are varieties of the silica mineral chalcedony colored by impurities of iron oxide. The color can vary greatly, ranging from pale orange to an intense almost-black coloration. It is most common in Brazil, India, Siberia and Germany.


The red variety of chalcedony is known as beads since the Early Neolithic in Bulgaria. The first faceted (with constant 16+16=32 facets on each side of the bead) carnelian beads are described from the Varna Chalolithic necropolis (middle of the 5th mill. BC) (Kostov, Pelevina, 2008). The bow drill was used to drill holes into carnelian in Mehrgarh between 4th-5th millennium BC. Carnelian was recovered from Bronze Age Minoan layers at Knossos on Crete in a form that demonstrated its use in decorative arts; this use dates to approximately 1800 BC. Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make engraved gems for signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax on correspondence or other important documents. Hot wax does not stick to carnelian. Sard was used for Assyrian cylinder sealsEgyptian and Phoenician scarabs, and early Greek and Etruscan gems. The Hebrew odem (also translated sardius), the first stone in the High Priest’s breastplate, was a red stone, probably sard but perhaps red jasper. In Revelation 4:3, the One seated on the heavenly throne seen in the vision of John the apostle is said to “look like jasper and ‘σαρδίῳ’ (sardius transliterated)”. And likewise it is in Revelation 21:20 as one of the precious stones in the foundations of the wall of the heavenly city.


Although now the more common term, “carnelian” is a 16th-century corruption of the 14th-century word “cornelian” (and its associated orthographies corneline and cornalyn). Cornelian, cognate with similar words in several Romance languages, comes from the Mediaeval Latin corneolus, itself derived from the Latin word cornum, the cornel cherrywhose translucent red fruits resemble the stone. The Oxford English Dictionary calls “carnelian” a perversion of “cornelian”, by subsequent analogy with the Latin word caro, carnis, flesh. According to Pliny the Elder, sard derived its name from the city of Sardis in Lydia from which it came, and according to others, may ultimately be related to the Persian word سرد sered, meaning yellowish red.




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Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the three most common naturally occurring crystal forms of calcium carbonateCaCO3 (the other forms being the minerals calcite and vaterite). It is formed by biological and physical processes, including precipitation from marine and freshwater environments.

The crystal lattice of aragonite differs from that of calcite, resulting in a different crystal shape, an orthorhombic crystal system with acicular crystal. Repeated twinning results in pseudo-hexagonal forms. Aragonite may be columnar or fibrous, occasionally in branching stalactitic forms called flos-ferri (“flowers of iron”) from their association with the ores at the Carinthian iron mines.


The type location for aragonite is Molina de Aragón in the Province of Guadalajara in Castilla-La ManchaSpain, for which it was named in 1797. The mineral is not (as often assumed) named for the region of Aragon: Molina de Aragón is located in the historic region of Castile, albeit only 25 kilometers away from the border with Aragon. An aragonite cave, the Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, is situated in Slovakia. In the US, aragonite in the form of stalactites and “cave flowers” (anthodite) is known from Carlsbad Caverns and other caves. Massive deposits of oolitic aragonite sand are found on the seabed in the Bahamas.

Aragonite is the high pressure polymorph of calcium carbonate. As such, it occurs in high pressure metamorphic rocks such as those formed at subduction zones.

Aragonite forms naturally in almost all mollusk shells, and as the calcareous endoskeleton of warm- and cold-water corals (Scleractinia). Several serpulids have aragonitic tubes. Because the mineral deposition in mollusk shells is strongly biologically controlled, some crystal forms are distinctively different from those of inorganic aragonite. In some mollusks, the entire shell is aragonite; in others, aragonite forms only discrete parts of a bimineralic shell (aragonite plus calcite). The nacreous layer of the aragonite fossil shells of some extinct ammonites forms an iridescent material called ammolite.

Aragonite also forms in the ocean and in caves as inorganic precipitates called marine cements and speleothems, respectively. Aragonite is not uncommon in serpentinites where high Mg in pore solutions apparently inhibits calcite growth and promotes aragonite precipitation.

Aragonite is metastable at the low pressures near the Earth’s surface and is thus commonly replaced by calcite in fossils. Aragonite older than the Carboniferous is essentially unknown.  It can also be synthesized by adding a calcium chloride solution to a sodium carbonate solution at temperatures above 60 °C (140 °F) or in water-ethanol mixtures at ambient temperatures.

Physical properties

Aragonite is thermodynamically unstable at standard temperature and pressure, and tends to alter to calcite on scales of 107 to 108 years. The mineral vaterite, also known as μ-CaCO3, is another phase of calcium carbonate that is metastable at ambient conditions typical of Earth’s surface, and decomposes even more readily than aragonite


In aquaria, aragonite is considered essential for the replication of reef conditions. Aragonite provides the materials necessary for much sea life and also keeps the pH of the water close to its natural level, to prevent the dissolution of biogenic calcium carbonate.

Aragonite has been successfully tested for the removal of pollutants like zinccobalt and lead from contaminated wastewaters



Salmon /ˈsæmən/ is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish in the family Salmonidae. Other fish in the same family include troutchargrayling and whitefish. Salmon are native to tributaries of the North Atlantic (genus Salmo) and Pacific Ocean (genus Oncorhynchus). Many species of salmon have been introduced into non-native environments such as the Great Lakes of North America and Patagonia in South America. Salmon are intensively farmed in many parts of the world.

Typically, salmon are anadromous: they hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. However, populations of several species are restricted to fresh water through their lives. Folklore has it that the fish return to the exact spot where they hatched to spawn. Tracking studies have shown this to be mostly true. A portion of a returning salmon run may stray and spawn in different freshwater systems; the percent of straying depends on the species of salmon.[2] Homing behavior has been shown to depend on olfactory memory.[3][4] Salmon date back to the Neogene


The term “salmon” comes from the Latin salmo, which in turn might have originated from salire, meaning “to leap”.[5] The nine commercially important species of salmon occur in two genera. The genus Salmo contains the Atlantic salmon, found in the north Atlantic, as well as many species commonly named trout. The genus Oncorhynchus contains eight species which occur naturally only in the North Pacific. As a group, these are known as Pacific salmonChinook salmon have been introduced in New Zealand and Patagonia. Coho, freshwater sockeye, and Atlantic salmon have been established in Patagonia, as well

The salmon has long been at the heart of the culture and livelihood of coastal dwellers, which can be traced as far back as 5,000 years when archeologists discovered Nisqually tribes remnants.[102] The original distribution of the Genus Oncorhynchus covered the Pacific Rim coastline.[103] History shows salmon used tributaries, rivers and estuaries without regard to jurisdiction for 18–22 million years. Baseline data is near impossible to recreate based off the inconsistent historical data, but confirmed there have been massive depletion since 1900s. The Pacific Northwest was once sprawled with native inhabitants who practiced eco management, to ensure little degradation was caused by their actions to salmon habitats.  As animists, the indigenous people relied not only for salmon for food, but spiritual guidance. The role of the salmon spirit guided the people to respect ecological systems such as the rivers and tributaries the salmon used for spawning. Natives often used the entire fish and left no waste by creating items such turning the bladder into glue, bones for toys, and skin for clothing and shoes. The first salmon ceremony was introduced by indigenous tribes on the pacific coast, which consists of three major parts. First is the welcoming of the first catch, then comes the cooking and lastly, the return of the bones to the Sea to induce hospitality so that other salmon would give their lives to the people of that village.[104] Many tribes such as the Yurok had a taboo against harvesting the first fish that swam upriver in summer, but once they confirmed that the salmon had returned in abundance they would begin to catch them in plentiful.[105] The indigenous practices were guided by deep ecological wisdom, which was eradicated when Euro-American settlements began to be developed.[106] Salmon have a much grander history than what is presently shown today. The Salmon that once dominated the Pacific Ocean are now just a fraction in population and size. The Pacific salmon population is now less than 1–3% of what it was when Lewis and Clark arrived at the region.[107] In his 1908 State of the Union address, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt observed that the fisheries were in significant decline:[108][109]

The salmon fisheries of the Columbia River are now but a fraction of what they were twenty-five years ago, and what they would be now if the United States Government had taken complete charge of them by intervening between Oregon and Washington. During these twenty-five years the fishermen of each State have naturally tried to take all they could get, and the two legislatures have never been able to agree on joint action of any kind adequate in degree for the protection of the fisheries. At the moment the fishing on the Oregon side is practically closed, while there is no limit on the Washington side of any kind, and no one can tell what the courts will decide as to the very statutes under which this action and non-action result. Meanwhile very few salmon reach the spawning grounds, and probably four years hence the fisheries will amount to nothing; and this comes from a struggle between the associated, or gill-net, fishermen on the one hand, and the owners of the fishing wheels up the river.

On the Columbia River the Chief Joseph Dam completed in 1955 completely blocks salmon migration to the upper Columbia River system.

The Fraser River salmon population was affected by the 1914 slide caused by the Canadian Pacific Railway at Hells Gate. The 1917 catch was one quarter of the 1913 catch.


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Amazonite (sometimes called “Amazon stone”) is a green variety of microcline feldspar.

The name is taken from that of the Amazon River, from which certain green stones were formerly obtained, but it is doubtful whether green feldspar occurs in the Amazon area.

Amazonite is a mineral of limited occurrence. Formerly it was obtained almost exclusively from the area of Miass in the Ilmensky Mountains, 50 miles southwest of ChelyabinskRussia, where it occurs in granitic rocks. More recently, high-quality crystals have been obtained from Pike’s PeakColorado, where it is found associated with smoky quartzorthoclase, and albite in a coarse granite or pegmatite. Crystals of amazonite can also be found in Crystal Park, El Paso County, Colorado. Other locations in the United States which yield amazonite include the Morefield Mine in Amelia Courthouse, Virginia. It is also found in pegmatite in MadagascarCanada and in Brazil.

Because of its bright green color when polished, amazonite is sometimes cut and used as a cheap gemstone, although it is easily fractured, and loses its gloss due to its softness.

For many years, the source of amazonite’s color was a mystery. Naturally, many people assumed the color was due to copper because copper compounds often have blue and green colors.More recent studies suggest that the blue-green color results from small quantities of lead and water in the feldspar.Hardness on Mohs Scale is 6-6.5




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Vanadinite is a mineral belonging to the apatite group of phosphates, with the chemical formula Pb5(VO4)3Cl. It is one of the main industrial ores of the metal vanadium and a minor source of lead. A dense, brittle mineral, it is usually found in the form of red hexagonal crystals. It is an uncommon mineral, formed by the oxidation of lead ore deposits such as galena. First discovered in 1801 in Mexico, vanadinite deposits have since been unearthed in South America, Europe, Africa, and North America.


Vanadinite is an uncommon mineral, only occurring as the result of chemical alterations to a pre-existing material. It is therefore known as a secondary mineral. It is found in arid climates and forms by oxidation of primary lead minerals. Vanadinite is especially found in association with the lead sulfide, galena. Other associated minerals include wulfenitelimonite, and barite.

It was originally discovered in Mexico by the Spanish mineralogist Andrés Manuel del Río in 1801. He called the mineral “brown lead” and asserted that it contained a new element, which he first named pancromium and later, erythronium. However, he was later led to believe that this was not a new element but merely an impure form of chromium. In 1830, Nils Gabriel Sefström discovered a new element, which he named vanadium. It was later revealed that this was identical to the metal discovered earlier by Andrés Manuel del Río. Del Río’s “brown lead” was also rediscovered, in 1838 in Zimapan, HidalgoMexico, and was named vanadinite because of its high vanadium content. Other names that have since been given to vanadinite are johnstonite and lead vanadate.


Vanadinite occurs as a secondary mineral in the oxidized zone of lead-bearing deposits, the vanadium is leached from wall-rock silicates. Associated minerals include mimetitepyromorphitedescloizitemottramitewulfenitecerussiteanglesitecalcitebarite, and various iron oxide minerals.

Deposits of vanadinite are found worldwide including AustriaSpainScotland, the Ural MountainsSouth AfricaNamibiaMoroccoArgentinaMexico, and 4 states of the United StatesArizonaColoradoNew Mexico, and South Dakota.

Vanadinite deposits are found in over 400 mines across the world. Notable vanadinite mines include those at Mibladen and Touisset in MoroccoTsumebNamibiaCordobaArgentina; and Sierra CountyNew Mexico, and Gila County, Arizona, in the United States.


Vanadinite is a lead chlorovanadate with the chemical formula Pb5(VO4)3Cl. It is composed (by weight) of 73.15% lead, 10.79% vanadium, 13.56% oxygen, and 2.50% chlorine. Each structural unit of vanadinite contains a chlorine ion surrounded by six divalent lead ions at the corners of a regular octahedron, with one of the lead ions provided by an adjoining vanadinite molecule. The distance between each lead and chlorine ion is 317 picometres. The shortest distance between each lead ion is 4.48 Å. The octahedron shares two of its opposite faces with that of neighbouring vanadinite units, forming a continuous chain of octahedrons. Each vanadium atom is surrounded by four oxygen atoms at the corners of an irregular tetrahedron. The distance between each oxygen and vanadium atom is either 1.72 or 1.76 Å. Three oxygen tetrahedrons adjoin each of the lead octahedrons along the chain.

Crystals of vanadinite conform to a hexagonal system of symmetry. This internal structure is often reflected in the hexagonal external shape of the crystals. The crystals are usually in the form of short hexagonal prisms, but can also be found as hexagonal pyramids, rounded masses or crusts. A unit cell of vanadinite, the smallest divisible unit that possesses the same symmetry and properties, is in the form of a hexagonal prism. The unit cell of vanadinite is composed of two of its molecules and has the dimensions a = 10.331 Å and c = 7.343 Å), where a is the length of each side of the hexagon and c is the height of the prism. The volume of each unit cell of vanadinite, given by the formula V = a2c sin(60°), is 678.72 Å3.


Vanadinite is in the apatite group of phosphates, and forms a chemical series with the minerals pyromorphite (Pb5(PO4)3Cl) and mimetite (Pb5(AsO4)3Cl), with both of which it may form solid solutions. Whereas most chemical series involve the substitution of metallic ions, this series substitutes its anion groups; phosphate (PO4), arsenate (AsO4) and vanadate (VO4). Common impurities of vanadinite include phosphorusarsenic and calcium, where these may act as an isomorphic substitute for vanadium. Vanadinite when containing a high amount of the arsenic impurity is known as endlichite.

Vanadinite is usually bright-red or orange-red in colour, although sometimes brown, red-brown, grey, yellow, or colourless. Its distinctive colour makes it popular among mineral collectors. Its streak can be either pale yellow or brownish-yellow. Vanadinite may be transparent, translucent or opaque, and its lustre can range from resinous to adamantine. Vanadinite is anisotropic, meaning that some of its properties differ when measured along different axes. When measured perpendicular and parallel to its axis of anisotropy, its refractive indices are 2.350 and 2.416 respectively. This gives it a birefringence of 0.066.

Vanadinite is very brittle, producing small, conchoidal fragments when fractured. Its hardness is 3–4 on the Mohs scale, about the same as a copper coin. Vanadinite is particularly heavy for a translucent mineral. It has a molar mass of 1416.27 g/mole and its specific gravity can range between 6.6 and 7.2 because of impurities.


Along with carnotite and roscoelite, vanadinite is one of the main industrial ores of the element vanadium, which can be extracted by roasting and smelting. Vanadinite is also occasionally used as a source of lead. A common process for extracting the vanadium begins with the heating of vanadinite with salt (NaCl) or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) at about 850 °C to produce sodium vanadate (NaVO3). This is dissolved in water and then treated with ammonium chloride to give an orange-coloured precipitate of ammonium metavanadate. This is then melted to form a crude form of vanadium pentoxide (V2O5). Reduction of vanadium pentoxide with calcium gives pure vanadium.