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Siderite was discovered in 1845 and derives its name from the Greek sideros (iron). Siderite has perfect cleavage in three directions and comes in a wide variety of crystal habits and colors.

Siderite Rough
Siderite Classification
Common Name Siderite
Species Siderite
Siderite Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent
Dispersion Strength: Strong Fire
Refractive Index Over The Limit 1.633-1.875
Birefringence 0.215- 0.242
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert
CCF Reaction None
Pleochroism None
Siderite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3.5-4.5
Streak White
Toughness Poor
Inclusions Aggregates can be fibrous.
Luster Vitreous, Silky, Pearly
Stability Brittle
Fracture Uneven, conchoidal
Cleavage Perfect in 3 directions
Siderite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name Iron Carbonate
Chemical Formula Fe2+CO3
Crystal System Hexagonal
Chemistry Classification Carbonate

Siderite Colors

  • Red Siderite Red
  • Black Siderite Black
  • Yellow Siderite Yellow
  • Brown Siderite Brown
  • Green Siderite Green
  • Colorless Siderite Colorless
  • White Siderite White
  • Gray Siderite Gray

Alternate Names


Countries of Origin

Canada; United States of America (the); Brazil; Australia; France; Portugal; Germany; Greenland; French Polynesia; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)


Soluble in warm hydrochloric acid and slightly soluble in water.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.