Purpurite

Purpurite is an interesting purple Manganese mineral, prized by collectors.

Purpurite is found worldwide, with locales in Europe, Brazil, Namibia, and the United States. Some excellent quality pieces come out of Portugal and Germany!

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Appearance, Uses and History

Purpurite is an interesting mineral that can vary in colour from brownish black, through purple, all the way to a dark red.

It is sometimes cut into cabochons for jewellery but is more often sold as a mineral specimen. I think it would be a lot more popular if it wasn’t for its rarity, and how uncommon good quality specimens can be.


Locales

A fairly rare mineral, with locales in Australia, France, Namibia, Portugal, and the USA.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A Manganese phosphate mineral with the formula Mn3+(PO4).
Colours and Variations
Dark purple to purplish red.
Streak
Red
Luster
Dull to earthy.
Fracture
Brittle/uneven.
Transparency
Opaque
Crystal habit
Massive, granular.
Mohs hardness
4.0-5.0
Specific Gravity
3.2-3.4
Fluorescence
No
Easiest testing method
Common Treatments
Often acid etched to create a brighter purple colour.  Acid baths can remove a brown colour and reveal more purple.

Photos of Purpurite

Purpurite
Purpurite - Sandamab Pegmatite, Erongo Region, Namibia 2
Purpurite-387870

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:

  • بوربوريت

Hindi:

Portuguese:

  • purpurita

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

  • purpurite

Italian:

Russian:

  • пурпурит

French:

Japanese:

  • プルプライト

Spanish:

  • purpurita

German:

  • Purpurit

Korean:

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links