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Occurs in Pinal County. Common in Arizona.

Albite, Colorado. Al Copley photo
Albite, Colorado. Al Copley photo

Chemical Formula: NaAlSi3O8

Specific Gravity: 2.6-2.7

Luster: Vitreous

Hardness: 6-6.5

Albite is a plagioclase feldspar mineral that is commonly found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It often appears as white to light-colored crystals and is an essential component of many rocks.

Next Pinal County mineral: Allanite-(Ce)

MinDate Albite

Albite is a common mineral that belongs to the plagioclase feldspar group, which is a group of rock-forming minerals. Albite is an essential constituent of many igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

Albite is characterized by its white to light gray color and often exhibits a prismatic or tabular crystal habit. It is commonly found in a variety of rock types, including granites, syenites, diorites, and gneisses, among others. The mineral’s name is derived from the Latin word “albus,” meaning “white,” which reflects its typical appearance.

As a plagioclase feldspar, albite forms a solid solution series with another mineral called anorthite. The composition of albite can vary along this series, with pure albite containing the highest amount of sodium compared to anorthite. The specific composition of plagioclase feldspars within this series is determined by the proportions of sodium and calcium in their crystal structures.

Albite’s presence in rocks has important implications for petrology and the classification of rock types. Its abundance and properties contribute to the overall mineralogical and textural characteristics of rocks. Additionally, albite’s occurrence and behavior during processes such as weathering and metamorphism provide valuable insights into the geological history of a region.