• Chemistry: NaF, Sodium Fluoride
  • Class: Halides
  • Group: Halite
  • Uses: Rarely cut as gemstones and as mineral specimens.
  • Specimens

Villiaumite is another strongly colored Halide mineral. It has a typically bold red "carmine" color that is visually unique. Other colorful halides include fluorite (mostly purple, also green, yellow, etc), halite (pink), miersite (yellow), atacamite (green) and boleite (blue) to name a few. Villiaumite's color ranges from the strong red to reddish orange, to lavender pink. It is commonly found with colorless edges or portions that transition into the strongly colored portions of the crystal. Fluorescence is observed in many specimens, but is generally only a weak red color under both short and longwave ultraviolet light.

Villiaumite was named for the French explorer: Villiaume. Although he did not techically discover the mineral; he did collect some rock samples from Guinea in which the new mineral villiaumite was found. Villiaumite is a rare mineral and is found in only a few localities. Most massive specimens are coming from the Kola Peninsula where the mineral is associated with many other rare russian minerals such as nefedovite, lomonosovite, aegirine, fluorcaphite, pectolite, chkalovite and tuperssuatsiaite.

Another great locality for villiaumite is Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada where fine crystals are found. Some crystals from here have been cut as gemstones, but villiaumite is NOT a gemstone mineral as it is too soft and is not durable at all. In fact, villiaumite is soluble in water. Not exactly a property one looks for in a gemstone! Villiaumite is a sodium salt and those salts are usually soluble. And for this reason a desicant should be placed with any specimen to avoid moisture absorbtion and thus its possible destruction.

Villiaumite is a nice mineral to own. It has excellent crystal form (mostly cubes and octahedrons) and is often associated with rare and interesting minerals. Its color is unique and often bright and bold. With rarity, color, associations, fluorescence and crystal form, villiaumite has a lot going for it!


  • Color is carmine red to reddish orange and lavender pink to pink. Most specimens show some colorless areas.
  • Luster is vitreous to waxy in massive specimens.
  • Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System is isometric; 4/m bar 3 2/m.
  • Crystal Habits include small cubes, cubo-octahedrons and octahedrons. Also found massive and as void-filling grains.
  • Cleavage is perfect in three directions forming cubes.
  • Fracture is conchoidal.
  • Hardness is 2 - 2.5.
  • Specific Gravity is 2.8 (average)
  • Streak is pinkish white.
  • Other Characteristics: The index of refraction is 1.327, specimens are soluble in water and some specimens weakly fluoresce a red color under UV light.
  • Associated Minerals include calcite, sodalite, eudialyte, nepheline, aegirine, pectolite, lomonosovite, microcline, fluorite, loparite-(Ce), lamprophyllite, vitusite-(Ce), steenstrupine-(ce), fluorcaphite, urtite, chkalovite, tuperssuatsiaite, nefedovite and murunskite among others.
  • Notable Occurrences include the type locality: Rouma, the Islands of Los, Guinea as well as the Khibina Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia; Aris, Namibia; Point of Rocks, Colfax County, New Mexico, USA; Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada and Greenland.
  • Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, color, solubility in water, occurrence, fluoresce and associations.
VILLIAUMITE specimens:
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VILLIAUMITE specimen vil-1
$ 60.00
Dims: 1.77x1.14x1.50" (4.5x2.9x3.8 cm)
Wt: 1.58 oz. (44.6g)
Khibiny, Russia
This large thumbnail specimen has many characteristic maroon-red villiaumite crystals on a matrix (unidentified) that also contains many schorl tourmaline crystals. The villiaumite is translucent, even transparent in thin sections. The boxlike crystals have a metallic red luster, but dark and dull in some places. Only a couple of the crystals are in relatively good shape, as most appear to be cleavage faces. The matrix mineral (colorless, transparent, perfect cleavage, parting at right angles) reminds me of diopside, or spodumene.
no photo
vil-1 ($ 60.00)
Khibiny, Russia
VILLIAUMITE specimen vil-2
$ 60.00
Dims: 1.9x2.1x1.0" (4.9x5.4x2.5 cm)
Wt: 1.8 oz. (50.8g)
Khibiny, Russia
This specimen has several clusters of deep reddish-orange villiaumite crystals. They are translucent, almost transparent, and look a bright orange color where thin sections are exposed. At first glance, the color is so deep that the crystals appear a deep red. The crystals are clear enough that there is a red sparkle from some of the crystals. The base appears to be albite.
no photo
vil-2 ($ 60.00)
Khibiny, Russia
VILLIAUMITE specimen vil-3
$ 75.00
Dims: 4.29x2.76x1.97" (10.90x7.00x5.01cm)
Wt: 14.42oz (408g)
Koashva, Khibini, Russia
This is a good hand specimen of villiaumite, which many crystals of this deep red mineral. Close examination shows that the crystals are transparent, appearing deep orange-red in some areas and deep wine red in others. While most of the surfaces are cleavage, there are enough natural terminations to reveal the cubic habit of the crystals. This specimen also displays other minerals including a large spray of golden-brown astrophyllite, and many green crystals that look like elbaite tourmaline. There are also a few patches of a yellow fuzzy mineral that I have not identified, and all of this is embedded in a matrix of at least three different white or colorless translucent minerals. Note that everything dark in the images is villiaumite - there is a lot of it here.
no photo
vil-3 ($ 75.00)
Koashva, Khibini, Russia


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