Editorial Feature

Amarillite – Occurrence, Properties and Distribution

Amarillite is named after the Tierra Amarilla locality in Chile where it was first discovered in 1933.

Properties of Amarillite

The key physical properties of Amarillite are as below:

  • Cell Data
    • Space group: C2/c
    • a = 8.419(61)
    • b=10.840(40)
    • c=12.4171(50)
    • Z = 4
  • Crystal Data
    • Monoclinic
    • Point group: 2/m
    • Crystals – equant , complexly faceted crystals, thick tabular or rarely prismatic II [001], with common forms {001}, {100}, {110}, {101} and {111}; as groupings of parallel individuals, to 2mm.
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    SO3 43.59 42.24
    Fe2O3 21.39 21.06
    Na2O 7.14 8.18
    H2O 28.45 28.52
  • Optical Properties
    • Transparent
    • Optical class- Biaxial (+)
    • Lustre – Vitreous to adamantine
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density)= 2.26 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Amarillite = 2.22 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEAmarillite = 5.42 barns/electron
    U=PEAmarillite x ρelectron density= 12.24 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.004
    Boson index = 0.99
    GRapi = 0 (Gamma Ray American Petroleum Institute Units)
    Amarillite is not radioactive

How to Identify Amarillite

The colour of amarillite varies from pale yellow to yellow with a greenish tint. It is soluble in water and gives an astringent taste. Its lustre is vitreous to adamantine and hardness varies from 2.5 to 3.

Global Distribution

Amarillite is found in the following locations:

  • Chile – from Tierra Amarilla, Atacama
  • China – from Xitieshan Pb-Zn mine, Quinghai province.

Occurrence of Amarillite and Useful Mineral Association

Amarillite occurs in the oxidation zones of sulfide deposits. It is associated with minerals like coquimbite and other sulphates.


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