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The Mineral pezzottaite

Hexagonal Pezzottaite Crystal

Pezzottaite is a mineral that is very similar to Beryl, but it contains lithium as well as the rare element cesium replacing some beryllium in its chemical structure. It is therefore scientifically classified as a separate mineral species from Beryl. When first found, it was though to be a variety of Beryl, but it wasn't until 2003 that the IMA regarded Pezzottaite as a unique mineral species. It is named after Italian geologist Dr. Federico Pezzotta of Milan.

Chemical Formula

Cs(Be2Li)Al2Si6O18

Color

Pink to raspberry-red

Crystal System

Hexagonal

Properties

Streak
Colorless
Hardness
8
Transparency
Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity
2.9 - 3.0
Luster
Vitreous
Cleavage
3,1 - basal
Fracture
Uneven to conchoidal
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

In flattened, hexagonally-shaped crystals and in short tabular crystals. Crystals usually have a partially pyramidal termination that is flattened on top, and crystals are commonly doubly terminated.

Additional Information

Composition
Cesium beryllium lithium aluminum silicate
In Group
Silicates; Cyclosilicates
Striking Features
Color, crystal habits, and occurrence
Environment
Occurs in a granite pegmatite environment.
Rock Type
Igneous

Uses

Pezzottaite is used a rare gemstone and collectors mineral. When used as a gemstone, it is sometimes called by the name "Rapberry Beryl".

Noteworthy Localities

Pezzottaite is a relatively recent mineral in terms of its discovery. The most significant locality for Pezzottaite, where this mineral was first described, is the Sakavalana Mine, Ambatovita, Fianarantsoa Province, Madagascar. Additional localities are reported to have yielded Pezzottaite since 2006, including the Deva Mine in Konar, and the Parun Pegmatite Field, both in Nuristan, Afghanistan. Another discovery of Pezzottaite from Burma made its way to the market in 2006, with specimens coming from the Paleini Mine, Khetchel Village, Momeik, in the Mogok area.

Common Mineral Associations

Albite, Quartz, Schorl, Lepidolite

Distingushing Similar Minerals

Red Beryl - Distinguished by the unique locality.
Pink Apatite - Much softer (5), distinguished by the unique locality.

pezzottaite Photos



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