Mineral description : Elbaite

Bi colored elbaite crystal from Varuträsk.
Blue elbaite, indigolite from Varuträsk.
Green elbaite, verdelite from Varuträsk.
Red elbaite, rubellite from Haapaluoma, Finland.
Blue elbaite, indigolite as a rim around phosphate, from Varuträsk.
Green elbaite, verdelite in topas and quartz from Viitaniemi, Finland.

Mineral class Silicates : Cyclosilicates : Beryl - Tourmaline group.
Chemical formula (Na,Ca)(Fe,Mg,Al,Mn,Li)3Al6(BO3(OH,F)4(Si6O18)
Crystal system Trigonal / Hexagonal.
Habitus As rounded triangular striated crystals. Often as hexagonal crystals. Commonly as radiating aggregates. Also in compact and massive habitus.
Cleavage Very indistinct, basally partening, fracture uneven to conchoidal.
Hardness 7-7.5
Density 3-3.2
Color red, green, blue, colorless and all nuances inbetween. Many elbaites have more than one color in a single crystal.
Streak Colorless.
Luster Vitreous, transparent to translucent.
Description Elbaite is the lithium rich member of the tourmaline family. Transparent tourmalines are used in jewellery.
Occurance Lithium pegmatites.
Associates Beryl, Topaz, Quartz, Feldspar, mica minerals, lithium minerals as spodumen, lepidolite, amblygonite.
Notes Insoluble in acids.
Easier to fuse than schorl.
Locations A mineral with a few good localities in Sweden.
  • Utö, Stockholm archipelago. In pegmatite near the iron mine.
  • Åkerberga, Skellefteå, Västerbotten. In a pegmatite similar to Varuträsk.
  • In various small pegmatites in the Skellefteå mining field down to the coast.
  • Ågskaret, Norge. Up to 15 cm crystals.
  • Varuträsk, Västerbotten. As red or green translucent crystals. Blue elbaite occurs rarely as big crystals, but occurs commonly as blue borders of manganeese phosphates. Some individes is found with red core and a green layer on the outside.
  • Haapaluoma, Finland. As big crystals up to a couple of cm in diameter with lepidolite, spodumen and cleavelandite. The red variety is the most common.
  • Viitaniemi, Finland. As nice crystals up to a cm in diameter with lepidolite, spodumen and cleavelandite. The green variety is the most common as dark green triangular crystals.

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Last changed : 1998-05-04