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Gemstones 250x250

The Mineral melanophlogite

Melanophlogite with Sulfur

Melanophlogite is a rare form of silica, and is in a unique class in that it contains organic compounds in its chemical structure. This technically excludes it from being classified as a mineral, since one of the definitions of a mineral is that it is an inorganic substance. Despite this, the acclaimed Dana's System of Mineralogy categorizes Melanophlogite and a few other rare organic 'minerals' together with the true minerals, being that it is naturally formed and irrelevant of biological interference.

In a few deposits, such as the Case Montanini Quarry in Italy, the Melanophlogite has been pseudomorphed into Quartz or Opal.

Chemical Formula

46(SiO)2 · 6(N2,CO2) · 2(CH4,N2)

Color

Colorless, white, yellow, brown

Crystal System

Tetragonal

Properties

Streak
White
Hardness
6.5 - 7
Transparency
Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity
2.0
Luster
Vitreous
Cleavage
None
Fracture
Conchoidal
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

Occurs in pseudo-isometric crystals, possibly from the transformation of Beta Cristobalite. Crystals occur as small cubes, often rounded in shape, appearing as small balls or blobs. Also in botryoidal, reniform, encrusting, or in coxcomb balls. Crystals and aggregates are always small.

3D Crystal Atlas

Additional Information

Composition
Silicon dioxide with organic compounds
In Group
Silicates; Tectosilicates; Silica Group
Striking Features
Occurrence, crystal shape, association with Sulfur
Environment
In low-temperature Sulfur deposits and altered Serpentine deposits.
Rock Type
Sedimentary, Metamorphic

Uses

Melanophlogite is only used as a rare collectors mineral.

Noteworthy Localities

Melanophlogite is a rare mineral. The most important localities are in Italy, where it occurs in Fortullino, Livorno Province, as clear rounded blobs and balls; and in the Case Montanini Quarry in Pedasano, Parma Province, as cubic-shaped crystals. Melnophlogite also comes from Italian island of Sicily in the Giona Mine, Milena (Caltanissetta Province); and in Racalmuto, Agrigento (Girgenti). It is found in the U.S. on Mount Hamilton in the Diablo Range, Santa Clara County, California.

Common Mineral Associations

Sulfur, Calcite, Celestine, Barite, Opal

Distingushing Similar Minerals

The localities and mode of occurrence are enough to distinguish this rare mineral from all other minerals.

melanophlogite Photos



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