Diaboleite - Wikiwand
For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Diaboleite.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CategoryHalide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification3.DB.05
Dana classification10.6.1.1
Crystal systemTetragonal
Crystal classDitetragonal pyramidal (4mm)
H-M symbol: (4mm)
Space groupP4mm
Unit cella = 5.880, c = 5.500 Å, Z = 1[1]
Crystal habitAs square tabular crystals, thin plates, massive
CleavagePerfect on {001}
Mohs scale hardness2.5
LusterAdamantine, pearly on cleavages[1]
StreakPale blue[1]
DiaphaneityTransparent to translucent[1]
Density5.41 to 5.43 g/cm3
Optical propertiesUniaxial (-)
Refractive indexnω = 1.980, nε = 1.850
Birefringenceδ = 0.130
Absorption spectraO > E, in thick fragments[1]
SolubilityCompletely soluble in nitric acid

Diaboleite is a blue-colored mineral with formula Pb2CuCl2(OH)4. It was discovered in England in 1923 and named diaboleite, from the Greek word διά and boleite, meaning "distinct from boleite".[2] The mineral has since been found in a number of countries.


Diaboleite crystal from a slag occurrence in the Laurium District, Attica, Greece (size: less than 1 mm)
Diaboleite crystal from a slag occurrence in the Laurium District, Attica, Greece (size: less than 1 mm)

Diaboleite is deep blue in color and pale blue in transmitted light. The mineral occurs as tabular crystals up to 2 cm (0.8 in) in size, as subparallel aggregates, or it has massive habit. Vicinal forms of the tabular crystals have a square or octagonal outline and rarely exhibit pyramidal hemihedralism.[1]


Diaboleite occurs in manganese oxide ores, as a secondary mineral in lead and copper oxide ores, and in seawater-exposed slag. Diaboleite has been found in association with atacamite, boleite, caledonite, cerussite, chloroxiphite, hydrocerussite, leadhillite, mendipite, paratacamite, phosgenite, and wherryite.[1]

A study in 1986 synthesized diaboleite crystals up to 0.18 mm (0.0071 in) in size using two different methods. The study demonstrated that diaboleite is a low-temperature phase, that is stable under hydrothermal conditions at temperatures less than 100 to 170 °C (212 to 338 °F). At higher temperatures, the first stable mineral to form is cumengeite.[3]


In 1923, diaboleite was discovered at Higher Pitts Mine in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, England,[2] and described by L. J. Spencer and E.D. Mountain.[4] The study of the similar mineral boleite was perplexing at the time and this new mineral only compounded the difficulty. As insufficient material was available for a full investigation, Spencer and Mountain named it diaboleite, meaning "distinct from boleite", out of "desperation".[5]

The mineral was grandfathered as a valid mineral by the International Mineralogical Association as it was described prior to 1959.[2]


As of 2012, diaboleite has been found in Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US.[1][2] The type material is held at the Natural History Museum in London and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Diaboleite" (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Diaboleite". Mindat. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
  3. ^ Winchell, p. 934.
  4. ^ Spencer, p. 78.
  5. ^ Spencer, p. 79.

Further reading

{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Listen to this article