Occurs in Pinal County. Common in Arizona.
Chemical Formula: NaAlSi3O8
Specific Gravity: 2.6-2.7
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.