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About AlstoniteHide

Alston, England
Colourless to snow white, yellow-gray; pale gray, pale cream, pink to pale rose-red
4 - 4½
Specific Gravity:
3.67 - 3.711
Crystal System:
After the original locality near Alston, England.
A low-temperature hydrothermal mineral.

Classification of AlstoniteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

A : Carbonates without additional anions, without H2O
B : Alkali-earth (and other M2+) carbonates

2 : AB(XO3)2

11 : Carbonates
5 : Carbonates of Sr and Ba

Pronounciation of AlstoniteHide

PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of AlstoniteHide

Transparent, Translucent
Colourless to snow white, yellow-gray; pale gray, pale cream, pink to pale rose-red
may fade on exposure to light; colorless in transmitted light, showing six or twelve domains
4 - 4½ on Mohs scale
On pseudo-orthorhombic {110}, imperfect
3.67 - 3.711 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.67 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of AlstoniteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.526 nβ = 1.671 nγ = 1.672
Measured: 6° , Calculated: 8°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.146
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
r > v weak

Chemical Properties of AlstoniteHide


Crystallography of AlstoniteHide

Crystal System:
Cell Parameters:
a = 17.38 Å, b = 14.4 Å, c = 6.12 Å
α = 90.35°, β = 90.12°, γ = 120.08°
a:b:c = 1.207 : 1 : 0.425
Unit Cell V:
1,325.34 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals are pseudo-dihexagonal dipyramids formed by repeated twinning of individuals bounded by {111} and {021}; also as acute dipyramids bounded by {221}. The evident dipyramidal faces are strongly striated horizontally (perpendicular to pseudohexagonal [0001]) and are divided vertically by a medial, slightly reentrant twinning line parallel to the pseudohexagonal [0001].

Common on pseudo-orthorhombic {110} and {301}, forming the pseudohexagonal groups.

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Powder Diffraction Data:
3.55 Å(100)
2.835 Å(10)
2.507 Å(35)
2.050 Å(23)
1.941 Å(19)
1.846 Å(15)
1.589 Å(8)
Powder pattern essentially identical to that of paralstonite.

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
Typically in low-temperature hydrothermal Pb–Zn deposits; rare in carbonatites.

Type Occurrence of AlstoniteHide

Place of Conservation of Type Material:
Mining Academy, Freiberg, Germany, 15818.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Low-temperature hydrothermal deposit.
Associated Minerals at Type Locality:

Synonyms of AlstoniteHide

Other Language Names for AlstoniteHide

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
40 photos of Alstonite associated with WitheriteBaCO3
17 photos of Alstonite associated with CalciteCaCO3
14 photos of Alstonite associated with BaryteBaSO4
7 photos of Alstonite associated with PyriteFeS2
6 photos of Alstonite associated with BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13
4 photos of Alstonite associated with FluoriteCaF2
3 photos of Alstonite associated with SphaleriteZnS
3 photos of Alstonite associated with BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2
2 photos of Alstonite associated with QuartzSiO2
1 photo of Alstonite associated with GalenaPbS

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.AB.05CalciteCaCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05MagnesiteMgCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05OtaviteCdCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m)
5.AB.05RhodochrositeMnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SideriteFeCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SmithsoniteZnCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.05SpherocobaltiteCoCO3Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3c
5.AB.10AnkeriteCa(Fe2+,Mg)(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10KutnohoriteCaMn2+(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.10MinrecorditeCaZn(CO3)2Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.15AragoniteCaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15CerussitePbCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.15WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
5.AB.20VateriteCaCO3Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
5.AB.25HuntiteCaMg3(CO3)4Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.30NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
5.AB.40OlekminskiteSr(Sr,Ca,Ba)(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : P3 2 1
5.AB.45BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
5.AB.50Carbocernaite(Ca,Na)(Sr,Ce,Ba)(CO3)2Orth. mm2
5.AB.55BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13Trig. 3 : R3
5.AB.60JuangodoyiteNa2Cu(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.5.1StrontianiteSrCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
11.5.2WitheriteBaCO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
11.5.3NorsethiteBaMg(CO3)2Trig. 3 2 : R3 2
11.5.6BarytocalciteBaCa(CO3)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
11.5.7BenstoniteBa6Ca6Mg(CO3)13Trig. 3 : R3

Fluorescence of AlstoniteHide

Weak yellow fluorescence (SW & LW UV).

Other InformationHide

Soluble in dilute HCl.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for AlstoniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Johnston, J.F.W. (1835) On the dimorphism of Baryto-calcite. Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 6: 1-4. (as Barytocalcite)
Thomson, T. (1835) Records of General Science, London: 1: 373 (as Bicalcareocarbonate of Barytes).
Johnston, J.F.W. (1837) LXXVI. On the composition of the right rhombic baryto-calcite, the Bicalcareo-carbonate of Baryta of Dr. Thomson. Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 10(62): 373-376.
Thomson, T. (1837) IX. On the right rhombic Baryto-Calcite, with reference to Prof. Johnston's paper in the Phil. Mag. for May 1837. Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 11: 45-48.
Breithaupt, J.F.A. (1841) Holoëdrites syntheticus oder Alstonit. in Vollständiges Handbuch der Mineralogie. Vol. 2: 255-256. (as Alstonite)
Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 698.
Becker (1886) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 12: 222.
Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 284.
Mallard, M.E. (1895) Sur l'alstonite et la barytocalcite. Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie.
Kreutz (1909) Bulletin of the Academy of Science, Krakow: 771.
Spencer, L.J. (1910) On the occurrence of alstonite and ullmannite (a species new to Britain) in a barytes-witherite vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine: 15: 302-311.
Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 1: 9.
Hintze, C. (1926) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3096.
Goßner, B., Mußgnug, F. (1930) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paläontologie: 1930: 220-238.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 218-219.
Rossman, G.R., Squires, R.L. (1974) The Occurrence of Alstonite at Cave in Rock, Illinois. Mineralogical Record: 5: 266-269.
Sartori, F. (1975) New data on alstonite. Lithos: 8: 199-207.
Roberts, A.C. (1978) Mineralogical study of an unnamed barium calcium carbonate from the Cave-in-Rock district, Illinois. Geological Survey of Canada Paper 78-1C: 49-52.
Roberts, A.C. (1979) Paralstonite: A new mineral from the Minerva No. 1 mine, Cave-in-Rock, Illinois. Geological Survey of Canada Paper 79-1C: 99-100.
Kapustin, Y.L. (1980) Alstonite, barytocalcite and norsethite. in Mineralogy of Carbonatites, Amerind Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. (New Delhi): 151-153.
Young, B., Greenbank, L., Nancarrow, P.H.A. (1990) Alstonite in situ at Brownley Hill mine, Nenthead, Cumbria. Mineralogical Magazine: 54: 515-516.
Spahr, D., Bayarjargal, L., Vinograd, V., Luchitskaia, R., Milman V., Winkler, B. (2019) A new BaCa(CO3)2 polymorph. Acta Crystallographica: B75: 291-300.

Internet Links for AlstoniteHide

Localities for AlstoniteHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
  • New South Wales
    • Hunter Co.
      • Jerrys Plains
Handbook of Mineralogy
  • Tasmania
    • West Coast municipality
      • Rosebery district
        • Rosebery
SUTHERLAND, F. L. and BOTTRILL, R.S., 2004. Zeolites of western Tasmania. Australian Jnl. Mineralogy, 10, 59-72
  • Styria
    • Weiz District
      • Passail
Carinthia II (2012)
  • Santa Catarina
    • Anitápolis
Comin-Chiaramonti, P., de Barros Gomes, C., Castorina, F., di Censi, P., Antonini, P., Furtado, S., ... & Scheibe, L. F. (2008). Geochemistry and geodynamic implications of the Anitápolis and Lages alkaline-carbonatite complexes, Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Geology, 32(1), 43-58.
  • British Columbia
    • Omineca Mining Division
      • Williston Lake
MÄDER, U.K. (1987) The Aley Creek carbonatite complex. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 176 p. Abstracted in: British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum resources, Geological Fieldwork, Paper 1987-1. 283-288.
  • Inner Mongolia
    • Baotou City (Baotou Prefecture)
      • Bayan Obo mining district
        • Bayan Obo
Zhang Peishan, Yang Zhuming, Tao Kejie, and Yang Xueming (1996): Mineralogy and Geology of Rare Earths in China. Science Press (Beijing), pp. 226.
  • Lapland
    • Savukoski
      • Tulppio
Lee, M. J., Lee, J. I., Garcia, D., Moutte, J., Williams, C. T., Wall, F., & Kim, Y. (2006). Pyrochlore chemistry from the Sokli phoscorite-carbonatite complex, Finland: Implications for the genesis of phoscorite and carbonatite association. GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL-JAPAN-, 40(1), 1.
  • Occitanie
    • Hautes-Pyrénées
      • Argelès-Gazost
        • Pierrefitte-Nestalas
          • Pierrefitte
Handbook of Mineralogy
  • Qeqqata
    • Maniitsoq Island
      • Maniitsoq
Petersen, O. V. and Secher, K. (1993): The minerals of Greenland, The Mineralogical Record, Vol. 24(2), 1-65
  • ǁKaras Region
    • Oranjemund
      • Rosh Pinah
Bezing, L. von, Bode, R. & Jahn, S. (2007): Namibia. Minerals and Localities. Edition Schloss Freudenstein, Bode Verlag, Haltern, 395 pp. (in English)
  • Podlaskie Voivodeship
Kubicki, S., & Ryka, W. (1984). Późnoprekambryjski magmatyzm platformowy i karbonatyty w polskiej części platformy wschodnioeuropejskiej. Przegląd Geologiczny, 32(5), 252-259.
  • Murmansk Oblast
    • Kolsky District
Sorokhtina, N.V., Chukanov, N.V., Voloshin, A.V., Pakhomovsky, Y.A., Bogdanova, A.N., and Moiseev, M.M. (2008): Geology of Ore Deposits 50(7), 620-628.
    • Northern Karelia; Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
  • Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
    • Mirninsky District
      • Daldyn
Sharygin, V. V., Kamenetsky, V. S., & Kamenetsky, M. B. (2008). Potassium sulfides in kimberlite-hosted chloride–“nyerereite” and chloride clasts of Udachnaya-East pipe, Yakutia, Russia. The Canadian Mineralogist, 46(4), 1079-1095.
  • England
    • County Durham
      • Brandon and Byshottles
        • Deerness Valley
Spencer, L.J. (1910) On the occurrence of alstonite and ullmannite (a species new to Britain) in a barytes-witherite vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery Near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 15, n° 71, 302-311.; Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219.
    • Cumbria
      • Eden
        • Alston Moor
          • Nenthead
Hall, T.M. (1868): The Mineralogist's Directory. Edward Stanford (London), 168 pp.; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219; Lithos 8 (1975), 199; BMS Collection
BMS Database
    • Derbyshire
      • North East Derbyshire District
Ford, T., A. Sarjeant & M. Smith (1993): The minerals of the Peak district of Derbyshire. UK Jour. Mines & Minerals 13, 16-55.
    • Northumberland
      • Acomb
Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: vi, 1 and xi, 45; Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 219.; L. J. Spencer (1910) On the Occurrence of Alstonite and Ullmannite (A Species New to Britain) in a Barytes-Witherite Vein at the New Brancepeth Colliery Near Durham. Mineralogical Magazine 15:302-311
  • Wales
    • Powys
      • Old Radnor
T.F. Cotterell : "The mineralogy of Dolyhir quarry, Old Radnor, Powys, Wales, U.K. - a major new mineralogical site in Wales", 5th International Conference "Mineralogy & Museums", Paris, Sept. 5-8th 2004, Bull. de Liaison de la Soc. Franç. de Minéralogie et Cristallographie, 2004, Vol 16, N°2.; Cotterell, T., Green, D., Hubbard, N., Mason, J.S., Starkey, R., Tindle, A. (2011) The Mineralogy of Dolyhir Quarry, Old Radnor, Powys, Wales. UK Journal of Mines and Minerals, 32, 5-61.
    • Rhondda Cynon Taf
      • Llantrisant
Alabaster, C. 1990. Alstonite and barytocalcite from Llantrisant, South Wales and barytocalcite from Holwell, Mendip Hills, England. Journal of the Russell Society, 3, 1-6.
Handbook of Mineralogy
M.Wirth collection
  • Illinois
    • Hardin Co.
      • Cave-in-Rock
        • Ozark-Mahoning group
Rossman, G. R. and Squires, R. L. (1974) The occurence of alstonite at Cave in Rock, Illinois. Mineralogical Record 5: 266-269; Rocks & Minerals: 63: 214.; ; Mineralogical Record (1997) 28:3-49
  • Wyoming
    • Sweetwater Co.
Am Min 26:646-650
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