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About TitaniteHide

Often contains minor Al, Fe3+ and F.
Colourless, brown, green, yellow, rose-red or black.
Adamantine, Resinous
5 - 5½
Specific Gravity:
3.48 - 3.6
Crystal System:
Member of:
First recognized as "nouveau substance minérale" in 1787 by Marc August Pictet, but only described and named in 1795 by Martin Klaproth for its titanium content. A common synonym, sphene (from the Greek sphenos (σφηνώ), meaning wedge, for its common wedge-shaped crystals), was introduced in 1801 by Rene Just Haüy.
Isostructural with:
Titanite Group. The titanium analogue of Malayaite and Vanadomalayaite. It also seems to be the Ti analogue of UM1999-35-SiO:Ca.

Forms a series with Malayaite.
Titanite close to end-member composition has space-group symmetry P21/a, whereas titanite with significant additional constituents has A2/a symmetry.
A triclinic, Ta- and Al-bearing titanite has been described by Lussier et al. (2009). A synthetic titanite analogue with the formula CaAlSiO4F was reported by Krüger et al. (2015).

Also known as sphene, this calcium titanium silicate forms flattened wedge-shaped crystals, commonly twinned with prominent re-entry angles; massive, compact and lamellar forms are also found. It occurs as an accessory mineral in igneous rocks; in schists, gneisses and other metamorphic rocks, and is also found as a detrital mineral in some sedimentary deposits.

An As- and Na-rich mineral related to titanite was just approved under the name arsenatrotitanite.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Titanite.

Classification of TitaniteHide

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

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
A : Nesosilicates
G : Nesosilicates with additional anions; cations in > [6] +- [6] coordination

52 : NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups and O,OH,F,H2O
4 : Insular SiO4 Groups and O, OH, F, and H2O with cations in [6] and/or >[6] coordination

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
9 : Silicates of Ti

Physical Properties of TitaniteHide

Adamantine, Resinous
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, brown, green, yellow, rose-red or black.
5 - 5½ on Mohs scale
Good on {110}
Due to twinning on {221}
3.48 - 3.6 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.53 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of TitaniteHide

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.843 - 1.950 nβ = 1.870 - 2.034 nγ = 1.943 - 2.110
Measured: 17° to 40°, Calculated: 68° to 82°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.100 - 0.160
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
r > v extreme
X= nearly colorless
Y= yellow to green
Z= red to yellow orange

Chemical Properties of TitaniteHide


Often contains minor Al, Fe3+ and F.
Common Impurities:

Age distributionHide

Recorded ages:
Mesoarchean to Paleogene : 3110 Ma to 36.2 ± 2 Ma - based on 77 recorded ages.

Crystallography of TitaniteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 7.057 Å, b = 8.707 Å, c = 6.555 Å
β = 113.81°
a:b:c = 0.81 : 1 : 0.753
Unit Cell V:
368.49 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Common forms are {111}, {110}, {102}, {100}, {001} and {112}. Crystals equant to wedge-shaped, or flattened with large {001} or {102}, or prismatic by extension along [001], to 65 x 17 x 17 cm, compact, massive.
NOTE: The morphological data is based on a choice of unit-cell parameters that differs from the one that is given in Mindat. This 'old' unit cell has a = 6.56, b = 8.72, c = 7.44 Å and β = 119.54° (see the introduction in http://rruff.info/rruff_1.0/uploads/AM61_238.pdf). The 3D drawings of titanite are also based on this old cell.
On {100}, contact and penetration, less commonly lamellar on {221}.
May be metamict. Titanite close to end-member composition has space-group symmetry P21/a, whereas titanite with significant additional constituents has A2/a symmetry. Smaller unit cells indicate an Al- and F-rich composition.

Crystallographic forms of TitaniteHide

Crystal Atlas:
Image Loading
Click on an icon to view
Titanite no.31 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Titanite no.203 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

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

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
Common accessory mineral in intermediate and felsic plutonic rocks, pegmatites, alpine veins. Also in some gneisses, schists, and skarns.

Type Occurrence of TitaniteHide

Synonyms of TitaniteHide

Other Language Names for TitaniteHide

Varieties of TitaniteHide

Chromian TitaniteChromium-bearing variety of Titanite with usually green colour.
Eucolite-TitaniteA cerian titanite, first described by Scheerer (1853) from Barkevik, Langesundsfjord, Vestfold, Norway.
GreenoviteRed, Mn2+-bearing variety of titanite.
GrothiteTitanite containing admixtures of Al (up to 6 mass%) and Fe3+ with low amounts of Y and REE. First described in granites of Plauen, Germany.
KeilhauiteAn yttrium-bearing titanite with up to 10% Y2O3.
Originally described from Buø, Tromøysund, Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway by Erdmann (1844).
Lederite (of Shepard)Lederite is a variety of titanite, generally red brown to dark brown, that also has a distinct parting, originally mistaken as a cleavage. Because this "cleavage" was not present in ordinary titanite, it was described as a separate species. This mineral i...
Stanniferous TitaniteA Sn-bearing variety of titanite with 10% Sn.
Triclinic TitaniteA variety of titanite with a triclinic symmetry.
Isostructural with Żabińskiite.
A triclinic, Ta- and Al-bearing titanite is described from Heftetjern pegmatite, Tørdal, Telemark, Norway by Lussier et al. (2009)
Yttrian TitaniteAn yttrium-bearing variety of titanite. See also keilhauite.
First named and described by Scheerer (1844) from a feldspar quarry at Buøy Island, Arendal, Aust-Agder, Norway. It was independently and simultanously described as keilhauite by Erdmann (1844)...

Relationship of Titanite to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
Natrotitanite(Na0.5Y0.5)Ti(SiO4)OMon. 2/m : B2/b
ŻabińskiiteCa[Al0.5(Ta,Nb)0.5)](SiO4)OTric. 1

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
214 photos of Titanite associated with Chlorite Group
181 photos of Titanite associated with QuartzSiO2
173 photos of Titanite associated with AdulariaKAlSi3O8
169 photos of Titanite associated with AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
156 photos of Titanite associated with Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
116 photos of Titanite associated with ClinochloreMg5Al(AlSi3O10)(OH)8
115 photos of Titanite associated with CalciteCaCO3
81 photos of Titanite associated with DiopsideCaMgSi2O6
51 photos of Titanite associated with MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
47 photos of Titanite associated with ZirconZr(SiO4)

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.AG.EdgrewiteCa9(SiO4)4F2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.AG.05AbswurmbachiteCuMn3+6(SiO4)O8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.05BrauniteMn2+Mn3+6(SiO4)O8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.05NeltneriteCaMn3+6(SiO4)O8Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.05Braunite-IICaMn3+14(SiO4)O20Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/acd
9.AG.10LångbaniteMn2+4Mn3+9Sb5+O16(SiO4)2Trig. 3m : P3m1
9.AG.15Natrotitanite(Na0.5Y0.5)Ti(SiO4)OMon. 2/m : B2/b
9.AG.15ŻabińskiiteCa[Al0.5(Ta,Nb)0.5)](SiO4)OTric. 1
9.AG.20Cerite-(Ce)(Ce,Ca)9(Mg,Fe)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)4(OH)3Trig. 3m : R3c
9.AG.20Cerite-(La)(La,Ce,Ca)9(Fe,Ca,Mg)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)4(OH)3Trig. 3m : R3c
9.AG.20Aluminocerite-(Ce)(Ce,La,Ca)9(Al,Fe3+)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)4(OH)3Trig. 3m : R3c
9.AG.25Mieite-(Y)Y4Ti(SiO4)2O[F,(OH)]6Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Cmcm
9.AG.30SitinakiteKNa2Ti4(SiO4)2O5(OH) · 4H2OTet.
9.AG.35KittatinnyiteCa2Mn2Mn(SiO4)2(OH)4 · 9H2OHex.
9.AG.55ChantaliteCaAl2(SiO4)(OH)4Tet. 4/m : I41/a
9.AG.60MozartiteCaMn3+(SiO4)(OH)Orth. 2 2 2 : P21 21 21
9.AG.70JasmunditeCa11(SiO4)4O2STet. 4 2m : I4m2
9.AG.75AfwilliteCa3(HSiO4)2 · 2H2OMon. m : Bb
9.AG.80BultfonteiniteCa2(HSiO4)F · H2OTric.
9.AG.85ZoltaiiteBaV4+2V3+12(SiO4)2O19Trig. 3 : P3

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.9.2LorenzeniteNa2Ti2(Si2O6)O3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbcn
14.9.3LintisiteLiNa3Ti2(Si2O6)2O2 · 2H2OMon.
14.9.7OhmiliteSr3(Ti,Fe3+)(Si4O12)(O,OH) · 2-3H2OMon.
14.9.9BenitoiteBaTi(Si3O9)Hex. 6 m2 : P62c
14.9.11FresnoiteBa2Ti(Si2O7)OTet. 4mm : P4bm
14.9.12Joaquinite-(Ce)NaBa2Ce2FeTi2[Si4O12]2O2(OH,F) · H2OMon. 2 : B2
14.9.13Orthojoaquinite-(Ce)NaBa2Ce2FeTi2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH) · H2O
14.9.14StrontiojoaquiniteSr2Ba2(Na,Fe)2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH)2 · H2OMon.
14.9.15Bario-orthojoaquinite(Ba,Sr)4Fe2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2 · H2OOrth.
14.9.16Strontio-orthojoaquinite(Na,Fe)2Sr2Ba2Ti2[Si4O12]2O2(O,OH)2 · H2OOrth.
14.9.18HejtmaniteBa2(Mn2+,Fe2+)4Ti2(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2F2Tric. 1
14.9.19Delindeite(Na,K)2(Ba,Ca)2(Ti,Fe,Al)3(Si2O7)2O2(OH)2 · 2H2OMon.
14.9.22Perrierite-(Ce)Ce4MgFe3+2Ti2(Si2O7)2O8Mon. 2/m : P21/b
14.9.25TisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2OTrig.
14.9.26NeptuniteNa2KLiFe2+2Ti2Si8O24Mon. m : Bb
14.9.29AstrophylliteK2NaFe2+7Ti2Si8O26(OH)4FTric. 1 : P1
14.9.31LobanoviteK2Na(Fe2+4Mg2Na)Ti2(Si4O12)2O2(OH)4Mon. 2/m : B2/m
14.9.32BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2Mon. 2/m : B2/b
14.9.34AenigmatiteNa4[Fe2+10Ti2]O4[Si12O36]Tric. 1 : P1
14.9.37Janhaugite(Na,Ca)3(Mn2+,Fe2+)3(Ti,Zr,Nb)2(Si2O7)2O2(OH,F)2Mon. 2/m : P21/m
14.9.38KoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2OOrth.

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.

Titanite in petrologyHide

References for TitaniteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Klaproth M.H. (1795) Beiträge zur chemischen Kenntnis der Mineralkörper, Teil 1, XV. Untersuchung eines neuen Fossils (Titanit) aus dem Passauischen, 245-252, Rottmann Berlin.
Jaffe, H.W. (1947) Re-examination of sphene, American Mineralogist: 32: 637-642.
Speer, J.A. & Gibbs, G.V. (1976) The crystal structure of the synthetic titanite CaOTiOSiO4, and the domain textures of natural titanites. Am. Mineral., 61, 238-247.
Birch, W.D. (1983) Babingtonite, fluorapophyllite and sphene from Harcourt, Victoria, Australia. Mineralogical Magazine, Sept. 1983, 47, 377-380.
Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte (1984) 251-256.
Janeczek, J. and Sachanbinski, M. (1992) Babingtonite, Y-Al-rich titanite, and zoned epidote from the Strzegom pegmatites, Poland. European Journal of Mineralogist: 4: 307-319.
Urusov, V.S., Eremin, N.N., Yakubovich, O.V. (1995) Electron-density distribution in Ca{TiO[SiO4]} titanite. Crystallogr. Reports, 40, 442-448.
Hammer, V.M.F., Beran, A., Endisch, D., and Rauch, F. (1996) OH concentrations in natural titanites determined by FTIR spectroscopy and nuclear reaction analysis. European Journal of Mineralogy: 8: 281-288.
Della Ventura, G., Bellatreccia, F., and Williams, C.T. (1999) Zr- and LREE-rich titanite from Tre Croci, Vico Volcanic complex (Latium, Italy). Mineralogical Magazine: 63: 123-130.
Jonckheere, R. and Wagner, G. (2000) On the occurrence of anomalous fission tracks in apatite and titanite. American Mineralogist: 85: 1744-1753.
F. Colombo and E. V. Pannunzio Miner (2009) Synthesis and crystal structure refinement by the Rietveld method of antimony-bearing titanite Ca(Ti0.6Al0.2Sb0.2)OSiO4. Powder Diffraction 24, 221-227.
Lussier, A.J., Cooper, M.A., Hawthorne, F.C., Kristiansen, R. (2009) Triclinic titanite from the Heftetjern granitic pegmatite, Tordal, southern Norway. Mineralogical Magazine, 73, 709-722.
Hannes Krüger, Daniel M. Többens, Peter Tropper, Udo Haefeker, Volker Kahlenberg, Martin R. Fuchs, Vincent Olieric, Ulrike Troitzsch (2015) Single-crystal structure and Raman spectroscopy of synthetic titanite analog CaAlSiO4F. Mineralogy and Petrology 109, 631-641.
Lenz, C., Nasdala, L., Talla, D., Hauzenberger, H., Seitz, R., Kolitsch, U. (2015) Laser-induced REE3+ photoluminescence of selected accessory minerals: An “advantageous artefact” in Raman spectroscopy. Chemical Geology 415, 1-16.

Internet Links for TitaniteHide

Localities for TitaniteHide

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 ListShow

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