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Langbeinite is a potassium magnesium sulfate mineral with the chemical formula K2Mg2(SO4)3. Langbeinite crystallizes in the isometric-tetartoidal system as transparent colorless or white with pale tints of yellow to green and violet crystalline masses. It has a vitreous luster. The Mohs hardness is 3.5 to 4 and the specific gravity is 2.83. The crystals are piezoelectric.[1]

Langbeinite
History museum of Truskavets 086.jpg
Langbeinite in the History Museum, Truskavets
General
CategorySulfate mineral
Formula
(repeating unit)
K2Mg2(SO4)3
Strunz classification7.AC.10
Crystal systemCubic
Crystal classTetartoidal (23)
(same H-M symbol)
Space groupP213
Unit cella = 9.92 Å; Z = 4
Identification
ColorColorless with pale shades of yellow, pink, red, green, gray
Crystal habitAs nodules, disseminated grains, bedded massive
FractureConchoidal
TenacityBrittle
Mohs scale hardness3.5 - 4
LusterVitreous
DiaphaneityTransparent
Specific gravity2.83
Optical propertiesIsotropic
Refractive indexn = 1.5329–1.5347
SolubilitySlowly dissolves in water
Other characteristicsPiezoelectric
References[1][2][3]

The mineral is an ore of potassium and occurs in marine evaporite deposits in association with carnallite, halite and sylvite.[1]

It was first described in 1891 for an occurrence in Wilhelmshall, Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, and named for A. Langbein of Leopoldshall, Germany.[1][2]

Langbeinite gives its name to the langbeinites, a family of substances with the same cubic structure, a tetrahedral anion, and large and small cations.

Related substances include hydrated salts leonite (K2Mg(SO4)2·4H2O) and picromerite (K2Mg(SO4)2·6H2O).

ReferencesEdit