Lepidolite

A gorgeous lilac or purple Mica based stone, typically used as a source for lithium, rubidium, and caesium.

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Appearance

A layered mineral that often looks almost like a series of sheets, foliated. It is often lavender, pink, purple, or pale grey-pink.


Uses and History

Lepidolite is often used as a decorative gemstone in lower end jewellery – Lepidolite and Quartz is often cut en cabochon or into beads.

However, its primary use is as an ore of Lithium, and sometimes produces Rubidium and Cesium as well.


Locales

Some of the most important locales for Lepidolite include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Madagascar, Russia, Sweden, and the USA.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A member of the Mica group – K(Li,Al)3(Al,Si,Rb)4O10(F,OH)2
Colours and Variations
Pink, purple, violet and violet-grey are most common. May also occur in red, yellow, white.
Streak
White
Luster
Vitreous to pearly
Fracture
Uneven
Crystal habit
Tabular or prismatic crystals, massive, granular, lamellar.
Mohs hardness
2.5 – 3.0
Specific Gravity
2.8 – 2.9
Easiest testing method
Hardness test and visual inspection.
Common Treatments
None.

Photos of Lepidolite

Lepidolite-208658
Boromuscovite-Lepidolite-ch38a
Lepidolite from Brazil

Lepidolite-76775
Lepidolite-76779
Lepidolite (trilithionite) from Rožná, Czech Republic

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Arabic:

  • الليبيدوليت

Hindi:

  • लेपिडोलाइट

Portuguese:

  • lepidolita

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

  • ਲੇਪਿਡੋਲਾਈਟ

English:

Italian:

Russian:

  • Лепидолит
  • лепидолитовая

French:

  • lépidolite

Japanese:

  • レピドライト

Spanish:

  • Lepidolita

German:

  • Lepidolith

Korean:

Thai:

Gujurati:

  • લેપિડોલાઇટ

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 锂云母
  • 鋰雲母

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links