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Mineralpedia Details for Leucophosphite

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Leucophosphite

Leucophosphite

Named for the Greek for leuco, meaning “white,” in reference to its color and for the phosphate in the composition. Leucophosphite can occur by the reaction of bat or bird guano with iron bearing minerals, by the hydrothermal alteration of iron-bearing phosphates in granite pegmatites, crosscutting fluorapatite nodules in shale, replacing fossil wood, and in phosphate rocks. It is an uncommon mineral the is found in Australia, Liberia, Namibia, Madagascar, Brazil, the United States including here in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the Tip Top and Bull Moose mines, England, Portugal, and on Rockall Island in the north Atlantic among other localities.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/leucophosphite.pdf

Formula
KFe3+2(PO4)2(OH)·2H2
Crystal System
Monoclinic 
Cleavage
Indistinct, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous - Dull 
Color
brown, brownish yellow, colorless, greenish, white 
Streak
white 
Class
Monoclinic - Prismatic 
Fracture
Brittle 
Hardness
3.5 
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Leucophosphite from Tip Top mine, Custer Co., South Dakota, United States

Leucophosphite
            from Tip Top mine, Custer Co., South Dakota, United States

Purple Leucophosphite crystals to 2mm. Also glassy purple and light green Leucophosphite crystals to 2mm with golded brown micro Jahnsite crystals to 0.75mm and black Acicular prisms in divergent groups.

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Leucophosphite from M-pit, Tyrone mine, Grant Co., New Mexico, United States

Leucophosphite
            from M-pit, Tyrone mine, Grant Co., New Mexico, United States

Well-formed sheaf-like bundles of sharp tan Leucophosphite crystals to 1mm associated with golden Cacoxenite and sugary green Chalcosiderite.

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Leucophosphite from Gunheath China Clay Pit, St. Austell, Cornwall, England

Leucophosphite
            from Gunheath China Clay Pit, St. Austell, Cornwall, England

There is more on this specimen than meets the eye at first glance. The Leucophosphite crystals are translucent, light tan and platy, which form nice rosettes. Amongst these are green Chalcosiderite crystals and tiny yellow Cyrilovite crystals.

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