Cancrinite

Big Photo

Canada
1.40 carats
© Rarestone.com

Cancrinite is named after Count Georg Cancrin, Russian Minister of Finance.

Cancrinite usually occurs in a massive form or as crystals of the hexagonal system. Light greyish purple, yellow, violet and orange Cancrinite has come from Canadian sources and a blue variety from Greenland.

A semi-opaque yellow-coloured fibrous variety of Cancrinite has been cut into cabochons and beads.

Cancrinite Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
General Information
Chemical Formula
Na
 
2
Ca
 
2
Al
 
6
Si
 
6
O
 
24
(CO
 
3
)
 
2
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Cancrinite Treatments
Colorless material that has been reported to acquire blue veins on being irradiated with X-rays (Pough and Rogers, 1947). One assumes that this is the fibrous variety described by Webster . One would expect this change to be reversed by heat, and fading in light is also a possibility – Nassau (1984)
Physical Properties of Cancrinite
Mohs Hardness5 to 6
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Specific Gravity2.42 to 2.52
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Cleavage QualityPerfect
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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FractureConchoidal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Cancrinite
Refractive Index1.491 to 1.524
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Optical CharacterUniaxial/-
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Birefringence0.022 to 0.026
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Colour
Colour (General)Yellow, orange, colourless, white, bluish, pink.
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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TransparencyTransparent,Translucent
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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LustreVitreous,Pearly
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Inert
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Fluorescence (X-RAY)Orange-yellow response
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Crystallography of Cancrinite
Crystal SystemHexagonal
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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HabitFibrous aggregate
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Cancrinite is found in pegmatites in nepheline syenites
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Further Information
Mineral information:Cancrinite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Canada
 
  • Ontario
    • Hastings Co.
      • Dungannon Township
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 394
    • Sudbury District
      • Bigwood Township
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 394
Myanmar
 
  • Mandalay Region
    • Pyin-Oo-Lwin District
      • Mogok Township
        • Mogok Valley
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
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