Mesolite

Mesolite Kannad , Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India Size: 8.2x6x5.3 cm Weight: 178 g © SpiriferMinerals

Chemical Formula: Na2Ca2Si9Al6O30·8H2O
Locality: Cyclopean Islands northeast of Catania, Sicily.
Name Origin: From the Greek mesos – “middle.”
Mesolite is a tectosilicate mineral with formula Na2Ca2Si9Al6O30·8H2O. It is a member of the zeolite group and is closely related to natrolite which it also resembles in appearance.

Mesolite crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and typically forms fibrous, acicular prismatic crystals or masses. Radiating sprays of needlelike crystals are not uncommon. It is vitreous in luster and clear to white in color. It has a Mohs hardness of 5 to 5.5 and a low specific gravity of 2.2 to 2.4. The refractive indices are nα=1.505 nβ=1.505 nγ=1.506.

Occurrence

It was first described in 1816 for an occurrence in the Cyclopean Islands near Catania, Sicily.From the Greek mesos, “middle”, as its composition lies between natrolite and scolecite.Like other zeolites, mesolite occurs as void fillings in amygdaloidal basalt also in andesites and hydrothermal veins.

History

Discovery date: 1816
Town of Origin : LNS
Country of Origin : ISLANDE; ILES FAROE

Optical properties

Optical and misc. Properties: Transparent to translucent
Refractive Index : 1,50
Axial angle 2V : ~80°

Physical Properties

Cleavage: {101} Perfect, {001} Perfect
Color:     White, Gray, Pale yellow.
Density: 2.2 – 2.4, Average = 2.29
Diaphaneity: Transparent to translucent
Fracture: Uneven – Flat surfaces (not cleavage) fractured in an uneven pattern.
Hardness: 5 – Apatite
Luminescence: Non-fluorescent.
Luster: Vitreous – Silky
Streak: white

Photos :

Mesolite Ritter Hot Springs, Grant Co., Oregon, USA Size: 5.5 x 4.0 x 3.0 cm (small cabinet) © danweinrich
Mesolite and chabazite Rupe di Aci Castello – Aci Castello – Etna Volcanic Complex – Catania prov. – Sicily – Italy Specimen weight:145 gr. Crystal size:mm. 7 Overall size: 97mm x 45 mm x 37 mm © minservice
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