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Elongated Inesite Crystal Cluster

The Mineral inesite

Inesite is an uncommon but appealing mineral that forms in attractive pink colors. Its crystals often have a very characteristic, chisel-shaped termination on one of the crystal angles. Inesite is likely named for the Greek term ines, which means fibers, alluding to the sometimes fibrous nature of this mineral.
Chemical Formula Ca2Mn7Si10O28(OH)2 · 5H2O
Composition Hydrous calcium manganese silicate, sometimes with some iron
Variable Formula Ca(Mn,Fe)7Si10O28(OH)2 · 5H2O
Color Light to deep pink, pinkish-red, reddish-brown, maroon, orange
Streak Pale pink
Hardness 6
Crystal System Triclinic
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
As agglomerates of tabular and bladed crystals. Crystals may appear rhombohedral or scalenohedral due to steep, chisel-shaped terminations. Often fibrous, radiating, and acicular. Occasionally globular, botryoidal, and radial.
Transparency Translucent
Specific Gravity 3.0
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 1,1;2,1
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Silicates; Inosilicates
Striking Features Color and mode of occurrence
Environment In hydrothermal replacement deposits of manganese-rich metamorphic rocks and serpentines.
Rock Type Metamorphic
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 3
Demand (1-3) 2


Inesite specimens of quality are highly desired by mineral collectors.

Deep pink Inesite is found in the Fengjiashan Mine, Daye, Hubei Province, China. Well-crystallized and sprays were found at Broken Hill, Yancowinna Co., New South Wales, Australia; and small lavender-pink crystals at the Monte Nero Mine, Rocchetta di Vara, Liguria, Italy.

The Kalahari Manganese Field of South Africa, at both the Wessels Mine in Hotazel and the N'Chwaning Mines in Kuruman, have produced exceptional examples of Inesite, in the form of deep pinkish-red agglomerates of small spiky crystals. In the U.S., the premier locality for Inesite is the Hale Creek Mine, Trinity County, California.

Apophyllite, Calcite, Quartz, Serpentine, Rhodonite, Axinite, Xonotlite,

Rhodonite and Rhodochrosite - Form in different crystals.
Erythrite - Much lower hardness, different environment, usually darker color.

inesite PHOTOS
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