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Beraunite is an iron phosphate mineral. It was first described by August Breithaupt for an occurrence in Beraun currently in the Czech Republic. Beraunite occurs as a secondary mineral in iron ore deposits, and as an alteration product of primary phosphate minerals in granite pegmatites.

Crystalline Beraunite on green Kidwellite, Coon Creek Mine, Polk County, Arkansas, USA. Size: 3.4 x 3.3 x 2.8 cm
CategoryPhosphate minerals
(repeating unit)
Fe2+ Fe3+5(OH)5(PO4)4·4H2O
Strunz classification8.DC.27
Crystal systemMonoclinic
Crystal classPrismatic (2/m)
(same H-M symbol)
Space groupC2/c
Unit cella = 20.953(8) Å, b = 5.171(1) Å, c = 19.266(4) Å; β = 93.34°; Z = 4
ColorDull greenish to greenish brown when fresh, may be color banded; reddish brown to hyacinth-red, blood-red on exposure
Crystal habitTabular crystals common, may be in coarse radially fibrous aggregates, globular or discoidal, and in crusts
TwinningOn {100}, may be interpenetrant
CleavageOn {100}, good
Mohs scale hardness3-4
LusterVitreous, pearly on cleavages, resinous on fractures
StreakOlive-drab when fresh; yellow, brownish yellow on exposure
Specific gravity2.8 - 3.08 (measured); 2.894 (calculated)
Optical propertiesBiaxial (+)
Refractive indexnα = 1.775 nβ = 1.786 nγ = 1.815
Birefringenceδ = 0.040
PleochroismX = pale flesh-pink, yellow, blue-green; Y = pale flesh-pink, yellow, pale olive-green; Z = carnelian-red, reddish brown, olive-green.
2V angleMeasured: 30° to 60°, Calculated: 66°

Beraunite crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system with point group 2/m. Beraunite’s formula is Fe2+ Fe3+5(OH)5(PO4)4·4H2O. Aluminium and zinc may substitute in the structure.


Rosettes of colorless Beraunite with lavender spheres of strengite on massive hematite, Leveäniemi Mine, Svappavaara, Finland. Overall size 5.5 x 4.5 x 3.8 cm.

Beraunite occurs as a secondary mineral in iron ore deposits and as an alteration product of primary phosphates minerals in granite pegmatites. It is found as an alteration product of triohylite at the Big Chief and Hesnard mines, Keystone, Pennington County, South Dakota, New Hampshire. Also, it is found in Arkansas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in the United States. In addition to those places, it is found in Ireland, Germany, and the Czech Republic.


It occurs as fibrous greenish-black to brown nodules. The chemical analysis of beraunite often show small and irrational amounts of ferrous iron. The chain segments in Beraunite are one and two octahedral in length.Beraunite has two different types which are Zn-rich and Al-rich Beraunites, those two types have variations in data between those taken by Krsano in the X-ray powder diffraction experiment and those in the literature. Phosphate minerals have special characteristics about their chemical composition. The polyatomic complex of iron-oxygen octahedral face is sharing triplets corner to four other octahedral in the arrangement of atoms of the basic iron phosphates like dufrenite, rockbridgeite, and Beraunite. This complex is linked together by the phosphate tetrahedra.


Further readingEdit

  • Alan F.Krivis and John M.Rabb. (1969). Cuprous Complexes Formed with Isonicotinic Hydrazide. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 164, 1064-1065.
  • Barron and Munn.(1967). The crystal structure of beraunite. Acta Crystallographica.22,173-181.
  • Blanchard and Denahan.(1968). Cacoxenite and Beraunite From Florida. American Mineralogist. 53,2099-2100.
  • Clifford Frondel. (1949). The dufrenite problem, American Mineralogist,34, 513-540.
  • Johan P.R.DE. Villiers.(1975). The Crystal Structure of Beraunite with Reference to Its Solid- Solution Behavior. American Mineralogist, 60,1103.
  • Krsano.(2006). Mineralogy of phosphate accumulations in the Huber stock. Czech Geological Society. 51, 1-2
  • Nriagu and Moore.(1984).Phosphate Minerals.16.
  • Paul B.Moore.(1969).Basic Ferric Phosphates: A Crystallochemical Principle. Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 164, 1063-1064.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Beraunite at Wikimedia Commons