Pollucite

Very rare mineral of the Zeolite Group.

Pollucit pollucite

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Origin of name: named Pollux by the German mineralogist (Johann Friedrich) August Breithaupt because of it´s association with the mineral castorite (now: petalite). Later the name was changed to pollucite

Synonyms and trade names: none

Can be confused with: most other colourless gems

Localities: commercially most important is Bernic Lake in Manitoba, Canade where pollucite is mined for the production of caesium
Typelocality is San Piero in Campo, on the Italian island of Elba, where it was first discovered by August Breithaupt in 1846.
Other localities are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Australia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Brazil and the USA.

Handling: pollucite is very brittle. We don´t know wheter it is suceptible to heat or acids

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Gemmological Properties of Pollucite

Formula:
(Cs,Na)2Al2Si4O12 • H2O
Crystal system:
cubic (isometric)
Mohs hardness:
6.5 to 7
Specific gravity:
2.86 to 2.94
Refractive index:
1.517 to 1.525
Dispersion:
0.014
Pleochroism:
none
Luminiscence:
sometimes orange to pink
Lustre:
vitreous
Fracture:
subconchoidal
Colour:
almost always colourless, very rarely light grey, light pink, light blue or pale violet