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Cassiterite (tin doxide)


A hard, dense, brown to black mineral composed of oxide 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.); cassitrite (Fr.); casiterita (Esp.); cassiterite (Port.); cassiteriet (Ned.)



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


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