Whewellite | Gemopedia

Whewellite is an unusual mineral because it is a naturally occurring rare organic substance with a definitive chemical formula. Minerals are traditionally inorganic, but whewellite forms crystals with the aid of oxalic acid from coal or organic debris within sedimentary rocks. This mineral is seldom seen by collectors, and almost never as a faceted gem.
Colors
White, Yellow, Brown, Gray, Colorless

Whewellite Classification

Common Name

Whewellite

Species

Whewellite

Variety

Colors

White, Yellow, Brown, Gray, Colorless

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

RI and DR nature.

Comments

Rare

Whewellite Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent - Translucent

Refractive Index

1.489-1.651

Birefringence

0.159-0.163

Optic Character

Biaxial

Optic Sign

Positive

Polariscope Reaction

Doubly Refractive (DR)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

Unobservable

Dispersion

Strength: none

Comments

Whewellite Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

hydrated calcium oxalate

Chemical Formula

Ca(C2O4).H2O

Synthesis

Crystal System

Monoclinic

Classification

Organic

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline to Aggregate

Comments

Whewellite Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

2.5-3

Streak

White

Specific Gravity

2.19-2.25

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Fracture

Conchoidal

Cleavage

Good, in one direction, Poor, in three directions

Comments

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