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Gemstones 250x250

The triphylite Mineral Series

Thick Triphylite Crystal on Matrix

Triphylite describes both a mineral series, as well as an individual mineral within the series. Triphylite is the iron-rich end member of the Triphylite series, and Lithiophilite is the manganese-rich end member. Minerals of the Triphylite series commonly alter to secondary phosphates such as Vivianite, as well as to manganese and iron oxides. 

Triphylite is named from the Greek words "tria", for threefold, and "phylon", family, alluding to it as being a mineral group with three cations (Fe, Li, and Mn).

Chemical Formula

Li(Fe2+)PO4 

Color

Gray, grayish blue, light blue, grayish green

Crystal System

Orthorhombic

Properties

Streak
Colorless to pale gray
Hardness
4 - 5
Transparency
Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity
3.3 - 3.6
Luster
Vitreous
Cleavage
1,1;3,2
Fracture
Uneven
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

Mostly in massive or compact form. Distinct crystals are uncommon, and they are usually tabular or prismatic with blocky form and many crystals faces. Cleavage fragments also exist, with distinct crystal faces within massive forms or rough crystals in matrix.

Additional Information

Composition
Lithium iron phosphate, with a varying range of manganese
In Group
Phosphates; True Phosphates
Striking Features
Cleavage habits and mode of occurrence
Environment
Lithium-rich granite pegmatites
Rock Type
Igneous

Uses

Triphylite has been mined as an ore of lithium.

Noteworthy Localities

Massive greenish-gray Triphylite was mined as an ore of lithium at Hagendorf Pegmatite, Waidhaus, Bavaria, Germany. Triphylite, often in altered form replaced by oxides, has come from the Assunção Mine, Ferreira de Aves, Sátão, Viseu District, Portugal.

In the U.S., the pegmatites of New England are the best producers of Triphylite, including those at New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Maine.The Chandlers Mill Quarry, Newport, Sullivan Co., New Hampshire, has produced large and visible crystals in the best examples of this mineral. Also in New Hampshire is the Palermo No. 1 Mine, Groton, Grafton Co., where Triphylite has been found in mostly massive forms, but also in occasional crystals. Massive Triphylite has also come from Keystone, Pennington Co., South Dakota.

Common Mineral Associations

Quartz, Albite, Amblygonite, Lepidolite, Spodumene, Beryl, Vivianite, Muscovite

triphylite Photos



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