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Title: Prehnite  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of minerals P–Q (complete), Metamorphic facies, WikiProject Rocks and minerals/Worklist, Thaumasite, Prehnite-pumpellyite facies
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Prehnite, Epidote
Category Silicate mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 09.DP.20 (Inosilicate transitional to phyllosilicate)
Dana classification (Phyllosilicate)
Color Colorless to gray to yellow, yellow-green or white
Crystal habit Globular, reniform to stalactitic
Crystal system Orthorhombic - Pyramidal (mm2)
Twinning Fine lamellar
Cleavage Distinct on [001]
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 6 - 6.5
Luster Vitreous - pearly
Diaphaneity Semi-transparent to translucent
Specific gravity 2.8 - 2.95
Optical properties Biaxial (+)
Refractive index nα = 1.611 - 1.632 nβ = 1.615 - 1.642 nγ = 1.632 - 1.665
Birefringence δ = 0.021 - 0.033
Dispersion weak r > v
Ultraviolet fluorescence Fluorescent, Short UV=blue white mild peach, Long UV=yellow.
References [1][2][3][4]

Prehnite is a inosilicate of calcium and aluminium with the formula: Ca2Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)2. Limited Fe3+ substitutes for aluminium in the structure. Prehnite crystallizes in the orthorhombic crystal system, and most oftens forms as stalactitic or botryoidal aggregates, with only just the crests of small crystals showing any faces, which are almost always curved or composite. Very rarely will it form distinct, well individualized crystals showing a square-like cross-section, like those found at the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, Quebec, Canada. It is brittle with an uneven fracture and a vitreous to pearly lustre. Its hardness is 6-6.5, its specific gravity is 2.80-2.90 and its color varies from light green to yellow, but also colorless, blue or white. In April 2000, a rare orange Prehnite was discovered at the famous Kalahari Manganese Fields in South Africa. It is mostly translucent, and rarely transparent.

Though not a zeolite, it is found associated with minerals such as datolite, calcite, apophyllite, stilbite, laumontite, heulandite etc. in veins and cavities of basaltic rocks, sometimes in granites, syenites, or gneisses. It is an indicator mineral of the prehnite-pumpellyite metamorphic facies.

It was first described in 1788 for an occurrence in the Karoo dolerites of Cradock, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.[2] It was named for Colonel Hendrik Von Prehn (1733–1785), commander of the military forces of the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope from 1768 to 1780.[2]

Extensive deposits of gem quality prehnite occur in the basalt tableland surrounding Wave Hill Station in the central Northern Territory, of Australia.


See also


  1. ^ Webmineral data
  2. ^ a b c Mindat
  3. ^ Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis, 1985, Manual of Mineralogy, 20th ed., ISBN 0-471-80580-7
  4. ^ Handbook of Mineralogy
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