• Chemistry: Na4Mn4Si8(O, OH)24 - 9H2O; Hydrated Sodium Manganese Silicate Hydroxide.
  • Class: Silicates
  • Subclass: phyllosilicates and inosilicates
  • Uses: Only as a mineral specimen.
  • Specimens

Raite is a rare and beautiful mineral. It was named in 1973 to honor the international scientific expedition of the ship "Ra II" which was built of papyrus. The ship was captained by Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer and scientist who was determined to prove the sea worthiness of reed boats. The Ra II was successfully sailed from Safi, Morocco to Barbados in 1970.

Raite is a bit of an oddball mineral in that its structure is hard to classify. It is classified as a phyllosilicate in the Dana classification scheme and as a inosilicate in the Strunz classification scheme. The structure of raite is composed of linked chains of silicates, four chains across. Dana considers this a sheet structure and therefore a phyllosilicate, while Strunz considers this to still be a chain structure and therefore an inosilicate.

Raite is another rare and beautiful agpaitic mineral. Agpaitic minerals are those found in unusual igneous intrusive rocks that contain alkali metals and high concentrations of unusual metals such as titanium and zirconium. These rocks are called agpaites and there are only a few localities around the world that are identified as agpaites. At two of these, raite is found; Mount Saint Hilaire, Quebec, Canada and Mt. Lovozero Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia. At both sites, raite forms beautiful acicular crystals arranged in sprays, fans, spherulites, rosettes and as crusts. The color is golden-brown to red or even violet with a silky luster. It is associated with other rare minerals and although hard to find, it is certainly a cool mineral to have in a collection.


  • Color is golden-brown to red or even violet.
  • Luster is silky to vitreous.
  • Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.
  • Crystal System is orthorhombic; 2 2 2
  • Crystal Habits include acicular crystals and aggregates are clustered into sprays, fans, spherulites, rosettes and as crusts.
  • Cleavage is perfect, but rarely seen.
  • Hardness is 3.
  • Specific Gravity is 2.4
  • Streak is yellow.
  • Associated Minerals are aegirine, epididymite, analcime, albite, villiaumite, natrolite, zorite, eudialyte, sodalite, sphalerite, ancylite, nenadkevichite, lovozerite, mangan-neptunite, penkvilksite, serandite and other rare minerals.
  • Notable Occurrences include the type locality of Yubileinaya pegmatite, Karnasurt, Mt. Lovozero Massif, Kola Peninsula, Russia and the famous mineral site of Mount Saint Hilaire, Quebec, Canada.
  • Best Field Indicators are crystal habit, locality, associations and color.
RAITE specimens:
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RAITE specimen rai-1
$ 55.00
Dims: 1.8x1.1x1.6" (4.5x3.7x4.1cm)
Wt: 2.26 oz. (64.0g)
Yubileinaya vein, Karnasurt Mine, Lovozero, RUssia
This is a surprisingly good specimen of the rare mineral raite, although the crystals are tiny and comprise only a small fraction of the specimen. More than half of the specimen is albite (or a similar feldspar), and most of the rest is reddish-brown crystals of eudialite. In addition, there are many small crystals of other minerals, which I have not identified. Nestled in cavities in the eudialite are thousands of transparent honey-brown acicular crystals of raite which are large enough to sparkle brightly in sunlight. In the largest, most protected cavity, these crystals are organized as minute puffballs which appear a darker brown in the aggregate. It takes a bright point light source (such as direct sunlight) to readily identify all of the raite, and a loupe to truely appreciate the crystals.
no photo
rai-1 ($ 55.00)
Yubileinaya vein, Karnasurt Mine, Lovozero, RUssia
RAITE specimen rai-2
$ 42.00
Dims: 1.26x1.61x0.67" (3.2x4.1x1.7cm)
Wt: 0.91oz. (25.7g)
Karnasurt mine, Lovozero, Russia
At one end of this specimen (the image is an end-on view), the surface is covered with fine acicular crystals of raite, largely in radial clumps. A loupe is needed to examine the raite, which is light brown in color, but the crystals are too small to determine luster and transparency. The rest of this specimen is a hodgepodge of minerals, certainly including red villiaumite crystals, possibly eduialite, and a large crystal of something black and/or green. I'm sure that even more minerals are present.
no photo
rai-2 ($ 42.00)
Karnasurt mine, Lovozero, Russia


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