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  • Chemistry: Pb5(VO4)3Cl , Lead Chlorovanadate
  • Class: Phosphates
  • Group: Apatite
  • Uses: as a minor ore of lead and mineral specimens
  • Specimens

Vanadinite shares the same structure with Apatite and the two share similar crystal shapes at times. Vanadinite is part of a chemical series with two other minerals; Pyromorphite (Pb 5 (PO 4 ) 3 Cl) and Mimetite (Pb 5 (AsO 4 ) 3 Cl). This series is a little different than most chemical series which involve substitution of cations such as calcium for magnesium. Instead, this series substitutes its basic chemical units the anion groups; phosphate (PO 4 ), arsenate (AsO 4 ) and vanadate (VO 4 ). Vanadinite is usually red which the other members of this series and apatite group usually are not. Vanadinite's classic crystal habit is short hexagonal prisms terminated by a pinacoid, or flat basal face. These crystals are wider than they are long and are more blade-like than the barrel shaped crystals so common to the Apatite Group minerals. The high luster and deep red color give vanadinite a nice appeal to mineral collectors.


  • Color is typically bright red to orange, less commonly gray or brown.
  • Luster is vitreous to adamantine.
  • Transparency crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System is hexagonal; 6/m
  • Crystal Habit is typically the hexagonal prism with pinacoid as a termination. Rare crystals can have the hexagonal pyramid as a termination. Can also be found as rounded masses and crusts.
  • Cleavage is none.
  • Fracture is conchoidal.
  • Hardness is 3.
  • Specific Gravity is approximately 6.6+ (very heavy for translucent minerals)
  • Streak is yellowish white.
  • Associated Minerals are wulfenite, limonite, barite, galena and secondary lead deposit minerals.
  • Other Characteristics: index of refraction is 2.39 (typically high for lead minerals) and crystal terminations can be hollowed out or pitted but not as often as pyromorphite or mimetite.
  • Notable Occurances include Arizona, USA; Mexico; Tsumeb, Nambia; Zambia; and South Africa.
  • Best Field Indicators are color, crystal habit, high luster and density.

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