Editorial Feature

Cetineite – Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Cetineite was named after the Cetine mine in Italy where it was first discovered.

Properties of Cetineite

The following are the key properties of cetineite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space group: P63
    • a = 14.2513(3)
    • c = 5.5900(1)
    • Z = 2

  • Crystal Data
    • Hexagonal
    • Point group: 6
    • As tufts of acicular crystals elongated || [0001], to 0.5mm in length
    • X-ray powder pattern: 2.916 (100), 12.41 (80), 3.000 (74), 2.690 (61), 4.11 (55), 4.67 (54), 3.581 (44)

  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1
    Sb2O3 81.06
    S 7.15
    K2O 6.66
    H2O [4.16]
    Na2O 3.87
    -O = S 3.57
    SiO2 0.67
    Total [100.00]

  • Optical Properties
    • Optical class: Uniaxial (+)
    • Pleochroism: Weak, from orange to slightly orange-brown
    • n = > 1.74
    • 2V(meas.) = n.d.

  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 2.23 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of cetineite = 2.47 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PECetineite = 197.89 barns/electron
    U = PECetineite x ρ electron density = 442.02 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.0009650772
    Boson index = 0.9990349228
    Cetineite is radioactive (barely detectable)

How to Identify Cetineite

Cetineite can be identified in the field by its color variations, such as yellow-orange and orange-red. Its transparent to translucent form has {1000} good cleavage. This mineral has a resinous luster, with orange streak. The hardness of cetineite is 3.5 – approximate to a copper penny.

Global Distribution

Cetineite is distributed mainly in Italy from the Cetine mine, 20km southwest of Siena, in Tuscany.

Occurrence of Cetineite and Useful Mineral Association

Cetineite occurs in an antimony deposit in highly silicified evaporites, and on ore which has been roasted, then long-weathered. It is often associated with minerals such as mopungite and senarmontite.


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