Smithsonite Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™
Smithsonite is named for James Smithson, the English founder of the Smithsonian Institution who first identified the mineral. Although it rarely forms crystals, smithsonite is most commonly found as botryoidal or stalactitic masses or as honeycombed aggregates. A member of the calcite group of minerals, smithsonite is prized for its variety of crystal forms. Smithsonite comes in a wide variety of colors depending on the impurities present. The presence of copper gives smithsonite its green to blue coloring. Trace amounts of cobalt are responsible for pink to purple hues while cadmium makes smithsonite yellow, and iron gives it a brown to reddish-brown color.
Green, Blue, Yellow, Brown, Pink, White To Colorless
Smithsonite classificationCommonNameSmithsoniteSpeciesSmithsoniteVarietyColorsGreen, Blue, Yellow, Brown, Pink, White To ColorlessAlternateNamesBonamiteGemstoneGroupsKeySeparationsHigh birefringence high SGClassificationCommentsBonamite is the bluish green variety of smithsonite.
Smithsonite chemistry & crystallographyChemicalNamezinc cabonateChemicalFormulaZnCO3SynthesisCrystalSystemTrigonalChemistryClassificationCarbonateNatureNaturalCrystallinityCrystallineChemistryComments
Smithsonite optical propertiesTransparencyTransparent - SemitranslucentDispersionStrength: strong fire Value: 0.037OpticalCommentsRefractiveIndexOver the Limit 1.621-1.849Birefringence0.225-0.228OpticCharacterUniaxialOpticSignNegativePolariscopeReactionDoubly Refractive (DR)FluorescenceSWUV: inert to strong green or red
LWUV: inert to strong white to yellowish whiteCCFReactionPleochroismUnobservable
Smithsonite characteristic physical propertiesHardness4-5CharacteristicCommentsStreakWhiteSpecificGravity4-4.65 Typical:4.3ToughnessPoorInclusionsLusterVitreousStabilityFractureUneven, SplinteryCleavagePerfect, in three directions