Editorial Feature

Biringuccite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Biringuccite is a monoclinic-prismatic mineral, containing sodium, oxygen, hydrogen, and boron. The mineral was first discovered in 1961 from the Larderello, Val di Cecina, Tuscany, Italy.

It was named after Vannoccio Biringuccio, an alchemist and metallurgist and the author of the Pirotechnia.

Properties of Biringuccite

The following are the key properties of Biringuccite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: P21/c (synthetic)
    • a = 11.1955(7)
    • b = 6.5607(4)
    • c = 20.7566(9)
    • α = 93.891(6)°
    • Z = 4

  • Crystal Data
    • Monoclinic
    • Point Group: 2/m
    • Tiny crystals and microcrystalline clusters, in earthy masses
    • X-ray Powder Pattern: 3.45 (100), 10.32 (80), 3.05 (55), 3.03 (55), 2.589 (45), 5.18 (40), 2.853 (40)

  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Biaxial (–) (synthetic)
    • Orientation: Y = b; Z ∧ a = 5.4(6)°
    • α = 1.496(2)
    • β = 1.539(2)
    • γ = 1.557(2)
    • 2V(meas.) = 62.7°
    • 2V(calc.) = 64.6°

  • Estimated Properties
Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 2.29 g/cm3
note: Specific gravity of Biringuccite = 2.32 g/cm3
Photoelectric PEBiringuccite = 0.53 barns/electron
U = PEBiringuccite x ρ Electron density = 1.21 barns/cm3
Fermion index Fermion index = 0.04
Boson index = 0.96
Radioactivity Biringuccite is not radioactive

How to Identify Biringuccite

Biringuccite is a colorless or white mineral, having good cleavage, white streak, and a transparent appearance.

The density of biringuccite is 2.32 g/cm3.

Global Distribution

Biringuccite is widely distributed in the Larderello, Val di Cecina, Tuscany, Italy.

Occurrence of Biringuccite and Useful Mineral Association

Biringuccite occurs as scales on piping in a geothermal field.

It is closely associated with quartz, orpiment, thenardite, and nasinite.


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