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About SimpsoniteHide

Edward Sydney Simpson
Yellow, light brown or colourless, gray
Adamantine, Dull
7 - 7½
Specific Gravity:
6.35 (Calculated)
Crystal System:
Named in 1938 by Harry Bowley in honor of Edward Sydney Simpson [March 11, 1875 Woollahara, Western Australia, Australia - August 30, 1939 South Perth, Western Australia, Australia], government mineralogist and chemist of the Geological Survey of Western Australia. The Simpson Desert was also named for him.

Classification of SimpsoniteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
First Published:

4 : OXIDES (Hydroxides, V[5,6] vanadates, arsenites, antimonites, bismuthites, sulfites, selenites, tellurites, iodates)
D : Metal: Oxygen = 1:2 and similar
C : With medium-sized cations; sheets of edge-sharing octahedra

7 : Miscellaneous

18 : Niobates and Tantalates
1 : Niobates and tantalates containing neither rare earths nor U

Physical Properties of SimpsoniteHide

Adamantine, Dull
Yellow, light brown or colourless, gray
7 - 7½ on Mohs scale
None Observed
6.35 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of SimpsoniteHide

Uniaxial (-)
RI values:
nω = 2.045 nε = 2.025
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.020
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High

Chemical Properties of SimpsoniteHide


Crystallography of SimpsoniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
3 - Pyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.37 Å, c = 4.51 Å
a:c = 1 : 0.612
Unit Cell V:
212.15 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals tabular to short prismatic [0001].

Crystal StructureHide

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Big Balls | Small Balls | Just Balls | Spacefill
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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0005281SimpsoniteErcit T S, Cerny P, Hawthorne F C (1992) The crystal chemistry of simpsonite The Canadian Mineralogist 30 663-67119920293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Type Occurrence of SimpsoniteHide

Geological Setting of Type Material:
Primary mineral in Ta-rich granite pegmatites
Bowley, H. (1939) Simpsonite (sp. nov) from Tabba Tabba, western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia: 25: 89–92.

Synonyms of SimpsoniteHide

Other Language Names for SimpsoniteHide


Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
9 photos of Simpsonite associated with Tantalite-(Mn)Mn2+Ta2O6
3 photos of Simpsonite associated with AlumotantiteAlTaO4
3 photos of Simpsonite associated with Rankamaite(Na,K)3(Ta,Nb,Al)11(O,OH)31
2 photos of Simpsonite associated with CassiteriteSnO2
1 photo of Simpsonite associated with Cesstibtantite
1 photo of Simpsonite associated with Tapiolite-(Fe)Fe2+Ta2O6
1 photo of Simpsonite associated with Hydroxykenomicrolite(◻,Na,Sb3+)2Ta2O6(OH)
1 photo of Simpsonite associated with Lithian MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
1 photo of Simpsonite associated with WodginiteMn2+Sn4+Ta2O8

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

4.DC.05BahianiteAl5Sb3O14(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

18.1.2LueshiteNaNbO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
18.1.4FranconiteNa(Nb2O5)(OH) · 3H2OMon.
18.1.7Rankamaite(Na,K)3(Ta,Nb,Al)11(O,OH)31Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Cmmm
18.1.8Hydropyrochlore(H2O,◻)2Nb2(O,OH)6(H2O)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
18.1.10RynersoniteCaTa2O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
18.1.11Microlite GroupA2-mTa2X6-wZ-nIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
18.1.12BelyankiniteCa1-2(Ti,Nb)5O12 · 9H2O (?)Amor.
18.1.13LatrappiteCa2NbFe3+O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
18.1.14Hochelagaite(Ca,Na,Sr)(Nb,Ti,Si,Al)4O11 · 8H2OMon.
18.1.15Bariomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
18.1.16ParabariomicroliteBaTa4O10(OH)2 · 2H2OTrig.
18.1.17Bariopyrochlore (of Hogarth 1977)A2Nb2(O,OH)6ZIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
18.1.18AlumotantiteAlTaO4Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
18.1.22Stannomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.23FoorditeSn2+(Nb,Ta)2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
18.1.25Plumbopyrochlore (of Skorobogatova et al.)A2Nb2(O,OH)6Z
18.1.26Plumbomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)
18.1.27StibiocolumbiteSb(Nb,Ta)O4Orth. mm2
18.1.28StibiotantaliteSb(Ta,Nb)O4Orth. mm2
18.1.31Stibiomicrolite (of Groat et al.)
18.1.35Bismutomicrolite (of Hogarth 1977)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
18.1.36Tantalite-(Mn)Mn2+Ta2O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
18.1.37Gerasimovskite(Mn,Ca)(Nb,Ti)5O12 · 9H2OAmor.
18.1.38Tapiolite-(Mn)Mn2+Ta2O6Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P42/mnm
18.1.39Columbite-(Mn)Mn2+Nb2O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
18.1.42Columbite-(Fe)Fe2+Nb2O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
18.1.43Tantalite-(Fe)Fe2+Ta2O6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
18.1.44ColumbiteOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
18.1.46Tapiolite(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m)
18.1.47Tapiolite-(Fe)Fe2+Ta2O6Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P42/mnm
18.1.51 Staringite(Fe,Mn)x(Ta,Nb)2xSn6-3xO12

Fluorescence of SimpsoniteHide

may fluoresce blue-white, SWUV

Other InformationHide

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 SimpsoniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Bowley, H. (1938) Simpsonite. Report of the Department of Mines Western Australia: 93: 88-88.
Bowley, H. (1939) Simpsonite (sp. nov) from Tabba Tabba, western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia: 25: 89–92.
Taylor, L.E.R. (1939) X-ray studies of simpsonite. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia: 25: 93-97.
Foshag, W.F. (1940) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 25: 312-314.
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 771.
Pough, F.H. (1945) Simpsonite and the northern Brazilian pegmatite region. GSA Bulletin: 56(5): 505-514.
Kerr, P.F., Holmes, R.J. (1945) X-ray study of the tantalum mineral simpsonite. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America: 56: 479-504.
Fleischer, M. (1945) New mineral names. American Mineralogist: 30: 548-550.
McGregor, A.M. (1946) Simpsonite and other tantalates from Bikita, Southern Rhodesia. Mineralogical Magazine and Journal of the Mineralogical Society: 27(192): 157-165.
von Knorring, O., Hornung, G. (1963) Simpsonite and stibiotantalite from Benson pegmatite mine, Mtoko, Southern Rhodesia. Mineralogical Magazine and Journal of the Mineralogical Society: 33(261): 458-466.
Zapiski Vserossiyskogo Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva (1981) 110: 341-342.
Ercit, T.S. (1986) The simpsonite paragenesis. Ph.D. thesis, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada: 471 pgs.
Ercit, T.S., Černý, P., Hawthorne, F.C. (1992) The crystal chemistry of simpsonite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 30: 663-671.

Internet Links for SimpsoniteHide

Localities for SimpsoniteHide

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.
  • Western Australia
    • Bridgetown-Greenbushes Shire
      • Greenbushes Tinfield
Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B.(2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia
    • Cue Shire
      • Meka Station
Pegmatites of Western Australia; M Jacobson, M Calderwood, B Grguric; Hesperian Press, Perth, 2007.
    • Mount Magnet Shire
      • Dalgaranga Station
Pegmatites of Western Australia; M Jacobson, M Calderwood, B Grguric; Hesperian Press, Perth, 2007
    • Port Hedland Shire
      • Wallareenya Station
Mineralogical Magazine 1963 33 : 458-466. Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
  • Minas Gerais
    • Itinga
      • Monte Belo
Analysed (Reynaldo Contreira information); Daniel Atencio, Reynaldo R. Contreira Fo., Stuart J. Mills, Jose M.V. Coutinho, Sara B. Honorato, Alejandro P. Ayala, Javier Ellena, and Marcelo B. de Andrade (2011) Rankamaite from the Urubu pegmatite, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil: crystal chemistry and Rietveld refinement. Am. Mineral. 96, 1455–1460.
  • Paraíba
    • Junco do Seridó
Pereira das Neves, P. S, and Atencio, D. (2018) Enciclopedia dos Minerais do Brasil v. 6: Tectossilicatos, p. 279, Ed. da Ulbra. Canaos, Brazil.
No reference listed
    • Equador
Rob Lavinsky;; Mineralogical Magazine 1963 33 : 458-466; Canadian Mineralogist (1986): 24: 655-663.; Beurlen, H., Da Silva, M.R.R., Thomas, R., Soares, D.R., and Olivier, P. (2008): Nb–Ta–(Ti–Sn) oxide mineral chemistry as tracer of rare element granitic pegmatite fractionation in the Borborema Province, Northeastern Brazil. Mineralium Deposita 43, 207-228.; Beurlen, H., Soares, D. R., Thomas, R., Prado-Borges, L. E., & Castro, C. D. (2005). Mineral chemistry of tantalate species new in the Borborema Pegmatitic Province, Northeast Brazil. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 77(1), 169-182
  • Manitoba
    • Lac-du-Bonnet area
      • Bernic Lake; Grice, Joel D. (1989) Bernic Lake, Manitoba: Mining for Space-age Elements. In: Famous mineral localities of Canada. Published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited & the National Museum of Natural Sciences, 190 pages: 64-67; 153-155.
DR Congo
  • Maniema
Uher, P., Cerny, P., & Chapman, R. (2008). Foordite-thoreaulite, Sn2+ Nb2O6Sn2+ Ta2O6: compositional variations and alteration products. European Journal of Mineralogy, 20(4), 501-516.
  • North Kivu
    • Masisi Territory
      • Osso
V.D.C. Daltry (1992) The Type Mineralogy Of Africa : Zaire pp 33-62
Safiannikoff, A. and van Wambeke, L. (1961): Sur un terme plombifere du groupe pyrochlore-microlite. Bulletin de la Société Francaise de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie 84: 382-384.
  • Tanganyika
Voloshin A.V., Pakhomovskii Ya.A. (1988) Mineralogy of tantalum and niobium in rare-metal pegmatites, - Leningrad, Nauka, p. 240 (in Rus.)
  • East Kazakhstan
    • Ulan
      • Asubulak ore field
        • Krasnokordon
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
  • Murmansk Oblast
    • Voron'i Tundry
J. W. Anthony et al.: Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. III (1997); Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow; P.M. Kartashov data; Pekov, I. (1998) Minerals First discovered on the territory of the former Soviet Union 369p. Ocean Pictures, Moscow
  • Mashonaland East
    • Mudzi District
Hornung. G. PhD thesis. Pegmatites of th N. Mtoko Region. University of Leeds, Research Institute of African Geology. !961
Mineralogical Magazine 1963 33 : 458-466
  • Masvingo
    • Bikita area
Cerny, P., Anderson, A. J., Tomascak, P. B., & Chapman, R. (2003). Geochemical and morphological features of beryl from the Bikita granitic pegmatite, Zimbabwe. The Canadian Mineralogist, 41(4), 1003-1011.
J. W. Anthony et al.: Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. III (1997); Mineralogical Magazine 1946 27 : 157-165
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