THE MINERAL CHKALOVITE
- Chemistry: Na2BeSi2O6, Sodium Beryllium Silicate.
- Class: Silicates
- Subclass: Inosilicates
- Uses: As mineral specimens and rarely as a
Chkalovite is a rare beryllium silicate mineral.
Other more common and more famous beryllium silicates are
Chkalovite is far too rare to be considered an ore of beryllium.
Chkalovite is found in agpaitic pegmatites, a type of igneous rock that is rich in sodium and poor in silicon and aluminum compared to other typical igneous rocks.
Many new and exotic minerals are discovered wherever this rock type is found.
The agpaitic pegmatites of the
Kola Peninsula, Russia;
Ilimaussaq, Greenland and especially
Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada
are the most famous of these rock types and for good reason.
They have produced hundreds of new mineral species such as chkalovite.
Chkalovite's type locality (the place it was first discovered) is the eastern slope of Malyi Punkaruaiv Mountain in the Lovozero Massif of the Kola Peninsula.
It was discovered there in 1936.
Chkalovite is typically colorless or white and crystals are complex and not always so well formed.
As a result, it is often hard to find and recognize.
Despite these difficulties some specimens are finding their way onto the mineral markets.
Often associated with other rare minerals, chkalovite can make an interesting specimen.
- Color is colorless and white.
- Luster is vitreous to greasy.
- Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.
- Crystal System is orthorhombic; m m 2.
- Crystal Habits include mostly equant (often complex) to prismatic forms.
- Cleavage indistinct in one direction.
- Fracture is uneven to conchoidal.
- Hardness is 6.
- Specific Gravity is 2.7
- Streak is white.
- Associated Minerals are numerous and include many exotic species:
- Notable Occurrences include the type locality; the eastern slope of Malyi Punkaruaiv Mountain in the Lovozero Massif of the
Kola Peninsula, Russia as well as
Ilimaussaq, Greenland and
Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada.
- Best Field Indicators include crystal habit, color, associations, locality and hardness.