Letovicite: Properties and Occurrences

Letovicite is an ammonium sulfate mineral with composition (NH4)3H(SO4)2. It is a mineral consisting of an acid ammonium sulfate. Also consists of triclinic mineral containing hydrogen, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur.

It is a rare colorless or white monoclinic secondary mineral formed during the burning of waste coal heaps and as a deposit in hot springs. It was first described from the Letovice region of Moravia in 1932.

General Information:

  • Formula: (NH4)3H(SO4)2
  • Colour: Colourless, white; colorless in transmitted light
  • Hardness: 1 – 2
  • Specific Gravity: 1.83
  • Crystal System: Triclinic
  • Name: After the type locality, Letovice (Lettowitz), Moravia, Czech Republic.

Fig: Letovicite

Physical Properties

  • Transparency: Transparent
  • Hardness: 1 – 2 on the Mohs scale
  • Cleavage: Distinct/Good On {001}
  • Fracture: Irregular/Uneven
  • Density: 1.83 g/cm3 (Measured)
  • Fracture: Uneven – Flat surfaces (not cleavage) fractured in an uneven pattern
  • Luster: Vitreous (Glassy)
  • Streak: White.

Occurrence: A rare secondary mineral, formed from burning coal (Czech Republic); deposited from hot springs (The Geysers, California, USA).

Association: Sulfur (Letovice, Czech Republic); mascagnite, boussingaultite (The Geysers, California, USA).

 

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