Editorial Feature

Bystromite - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Bystromite was named after Dr. Anders Bystrom (1916–1956), a Swedish crystal chemist, who made a structural analysis of the synthetic compound.

Properties of Bystromite

The following are the key properties of bystromite:

  • Cell Data
    • Space group: P42/mnm
    • a = 4.68
    • c = 9.21
    • Z = 2
  • Crystal Data
    • Tetragonal.
    • Point group: 4/m2/m2/m.
    • In porous massive aggregates of submicroscopic particles.
    • Few grains show square or rectangular outlines under the electron microscope.
    • X-ray powder pattern: 3.32 (100), 2.57 (90), 1.73 (90), 4.19 (70), 2.34 (50), 4.63 (40), 2.96 (40).
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    Sb2O5 89.05 90.37
    MgO 6.65 7.43
    H2O+ 2.60 2.20
    CaO 1.44 -
    insol. 0.25 -
    H2O- 0.17 -
    Al2O3 0.08 -
    Fe2O3 0.03 -
    Total 100.27 [100.00]
  • Optical Properties
    • Optical class: Uniaxial
    • n = 1.855–1.915
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density) = 5.08 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of bystromite = 5.70 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PEBystromite = 221.22 barns/electron
    U=PEBystromite x ρ electron density= 1,122.98 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.0068075007
    Boson index = 0.9931924993


    Bystromite is not radioactive.

How to Identify Bystromite

Bystromite can be identified in the field by its blue color. The density of bystromite is 5.7 g/cm3 with a hardness of 7 – approximate to quartz.

Global Distribution

Bystromite is distributed mainly in the La Fortuna and San Jose mines, El Antimonio, 27 km southwest of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.

Occurrence of Bystromite and Useful Mineral Association

Bystromite occurs in quartz veins in an oxidized antimony deposit. It is often associated with minerals such as stibiconite and quartz.


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