Carlsbergite: Properties and Occurrences

Carlsbergite is a nitride mineral that has the chemical formula CrN, or chromium nitride. It is named after the Carlsberg Foundation which backed the recovery of the Agpalilik fragment of the Cape York meteorite in which the mineral was first described.

It occurs in meteorites along the grain boundaries of kamacite or troilite in the form of tiny plates. It occurs associated with kamacite, taenite, daubreelite, troilite, and sphalerite.

General Information

  • Category: Mineral
  • Formula: CrN
  • Crystal system: Cubic
  • Crystal class: Hexoctahedral (m3m)


Carlsbergite can be identified in the field by its gray color. Its opaque form has a metallic luster. The density of carlsbergite is 5.9 g/cm3 with a hardness of 7 – approximate to quartz.

  • Color: Light gray in reflected light with rose tint
  • Crystal habit: Oriented microscopic platelets, irregular to feathery grains
  • Mohs scale hardness: 7
  • Luster: Metallic
  • Diaphaneity: Opaque
  • Specific gravity: 5.9


Carlsbergite occurs as minute platelets and grain boundary precipitates in kamacite and troilite, and as similar grains ringing daubreelite in iron meteorites. It is often associated with minerals such as kamacite, taenite, sphalerite, daubreelite, and troilite.

In addition to the Cape York meteorite, carlsbergite has been reported from:

  • the North Chile meteorite in the Antofagasta Province, Chile
  • the Nentmannsdorf meteorite of Bahretal, Erzgebirge, Saxony
  • the Okinawa Trough, Senkaku Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
  • the Uwet meteorite of Cross River State, Nigeria
  • the Sikhote-Alin meteorite, Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Russia
  • the Hex River Mountains meteorite from the Cape Winelands District, Western Cape Province, South Africa
  • the Canyon Diablo meteorite of Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona
  • the Smithonia meteorite of Oglethorpe County, Georgia
  • the Kenton County meteorite of Kenton County, Kentucky
  • the Lombard meteorite of Broadwater County, Montana
  • the Murphy meteorite of Cherokee County and the Lick Creek meteorite of Davidson County, North Carolina
  • the New Baltimore meteorite of Somerset County, Pennsylvania.


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