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The chemical formula of mineral Lithiophilite is indicated by Li(Mn,Fe)PO4 or Lithium Manganese Iron Phosphate. Lithiophilite is actually a Phosphate mineral. Mineral Lithiophilite is actually considered as a source of lithium and phosphorus. It is also most commonly used as mineral specimen and it can be seen exhibiting more interesting images when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Mineral Lithiophilite is actually a rather scarce phosphate mineral. It is also sometimes spelled as lithiophylite. The name Lithiophilite can be loosely translated from the Greek words for lithium lover. Mineral Lithiophilite is known to crystallize in the orthorhombic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this orthorhombic crystal system comprises crystals having three mutually perpendicular axes, of which all are of different lengths.

 

                Although it is scarce and generally does not form good crystals, it does have a wonderful although indirect benefit to the mineral world. These rare phosphate minerals are usually brightly colored and make wonderful mineral specimens. It has been known that Lithiophilite forms a solid solution with the often associated mineral called triphylite. The structures of the two minerals are the same and therefore any differences in physical properties between the two would be related to the iron/manganese percentage. Lithiophilite is slightly less dense and is pinkish to greenish brown whereas triphylite’s color tends toward blue and blue gray.

 

            Mineral Lithiophilite is most commonly found pinkish to greenish brown color that could appear more fascinating when viewed with the aid of polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Lithiophilite is also most commonly found exhibiting vitreous luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized microscope for mineralogists. Most Lithiophilite mineral crystals are found transparent to translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of the mineral Lithiophilite as described in the field of optical mineralogy usually includes well formed crystals that are usually embedded and appear as compact, cleavage masses and intergrown crystal clumps.

 

            Mineral Lithiophilite is also most commonly found showing near perfect basal cleavage in only one direction and imperfect prismatic cleavage in two directions. All cleavages are actually positioned at right angles to each other when it is closely viewed under polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Lithiophilite is also most commonly fund showing uneven fracture when specimen is closely viewed under petrographic polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of the mineral when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is variable from 4 to 5. Lithiophilite is most commonly found leaving a white to grayish white streak when specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 3.34 grams per cubic centimeters which is just above average. This density of Lithiophilite may increase with the increase in iron content.

 

            Mineral Lithiophilite is most commonly found associated with beryl, lepidote, albite, quartz, amblygonite, and many other interesting minerals. The best field indicators of mineral Lithiophilite include association, density, color, cleavage, and environment. Lithiophilite is a primary phosphate mineral found in phosphatic pegmatites and pegmatitic dikes. It alters easily into other phosphate minerals, especially manganese phosphates. Lithiophilite is most commonly found in some localities including Sweden, Portugal, Namibia, Poland, Canada, Africa, Germany, India, Brazil, Australia, and some areas in the United States.



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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 7:56 am
Category:
The Phosphates Mineral Class
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