Cymrite: Properties and Occurrences

Cymrite is a silicate mineral with the chemical formula BaAl2Si2(O, OH)8·H2O. It is a rare mineral consisting of a basic aluminosilicate of barium and belonging to the zeolite family. The mineral is named for Cymru, which is the Welsh word for Wales. It was discovered in Wales but is found in other areas throughout the United States, Africa, Greece, and other parts of Europe.

General Information

  • Category: Phyllosilicate
  • Formula: BaAl2Si2(O, OH)8H2O
  • Crystal system: Monoclinic
  • Crystal class: Domatic (m) (same H-M symbol)

Properties

Cymrite, with perfect cleavage and a monoclinic crystalline system, falls in the silicate group. Silicates are formed of Silicon and Oxygen bonding together to form tetrahedra. The symmetry of Cymrite is classified as having a mirror plane. It has a moderate relief, meaning the contrast between the mineral and the epoxy of a thin section makes cymrite easily visible.

  • Formula mass: 393.47 g/mol
  • Color: Brown, greenish, colorless
  • Crystal habit: Micacious, sheet-like, pseudohexagonal, also fibrous
  • Fracture: Uneven
  • Tenacity: Brittle
  • Mohs scale hardness: 2-3
  • Luster: Silky, Vitreous
  • Streak: White
  • Diaphaneity: Transparent to translucent
  • Specific gravity: 3.49

Occurrence

It occurs in generally high temperature-pressure areas such as the hydrothermal manganese silicate ore that makes up the Benalt Mine in Wales and in manganese rock that has undergone high-pressure metamorphism found in Greece. It is important to geologists because of its limited occurrence, when cymrite is present on a rock it indicates that the rock, at some point, must have experienced high pressure and temperature.

Association: Ganophyllite (Benallt mine, Wales); calcite, albite, lawsonite (San Benito Co., California, USA); hyalotekite, banalsite, hyalophane, hedyphane, manganoan biotite (Lºangban, Sweden).

 

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