Cassiterite

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Cassiterite (tin doxide)

Description

A hard, dense, brown to black mineral composed of tin oxide. Cassiterite is the principal ore of tin. Starting in the 15th century, cassiterite was mined in Saxony and Bohemia. Currently it is mined in southeast Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Mayasia, Indonesia), Bolivia (Llallagua), Nigeria, Russia, England (Cornwall), and the U.S. (Virginia, Wahington, California). Cassiterite has a dull metallic luster and can be transparent to opaque. It has occasionally been used as a gemstone.

Synonyms and Related Terms

tinstone; tin stone; wood tin; stream tin; Zinnstein (Deut.); Kassiterit (Deut.); cassitérite (Fr.); casiterita (Esp.); cassiterite (Port.); cassiteriet (Ned.)

Raman

CassiteriteRS.jpg


Other Properties

Tetragonal crystal system with prisms, pyramids or fibers. Good cleavage in two directions.

Fracture = uneven. Luster = adamantine to dull. Streak = white, gray or brown.

Insoluble in acids.

Pleochroism. High birefrigence under crossed polars. Straight extinction.

Composition SnO2
Mohs Hardness 6.0 - 7.0
Density 6.8-7.1
Refractive Index about 2.0

Additional Information

Mineralogy Database: Cassiterite

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Nicholas Eastaugh, Valentine Walsh, Tracey Chaplin, Ruth Siddall, Pigment Compendium, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2004
  • Henry Hodges, Artifacts: An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology, Ronald P. Frye, Kingston, Canada, 1988
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "cassiterite" Encyclopædia Britannica [Accessed December 11, 2001].
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998