Ferric Tourmaline from Mexico

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Science  03 Apr 1964:
Vol. 144, Issue 3614, pp. 71-73
DOI: 10.1126/science.144.3614.71


Dark brown crystals, up to 10 mm long, occur in rhyolite at Mexquitic, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. They are short prismatic, showing {1120}, {3030}, {1011}, {0221}, with c/a 0.4521, measured with a goniometer, and distinct {1120} cleavage. With an unusual combination of cell dimensions, high density, high refractive indices, and extreme birefringence, this tourmaline falls outside the known elbaite-schorl and schorl-dravite series. A chemical analysis, recalculated on the basis of cell volume and density, gives close to the theoretical 150 atoms per cell, whether the iron is ferrous or ferric, but the physical properties indicate a ferric tourmaline.