Call GemSelectCall us | language flags Language | (USD) Currency | Cart
New Arrivals Calibrated Pairs Lots Contact
  : : Lilac Lepidolite
Lilac Lepidolite

Lepidolite is a lilac-gray or rose-colored lithium-bearing mineral of the mica group. It is associated with other lithium-bearing minerals like spodumene in pegmatite bodies. The mineral is noteworthy as one of the major sources of the rare alkali metals rubidium and caesium.

When Lepidolite was first discovered in the 1700's, it was given the name Lilalite, for its lavender color. Scientists eventually renamed the stone lepidolite, from the Greek lepidos meaning "scale." The reference is to the scaly appearance of lithium flakes in the mineral.

Lepidolite Rough
Lepidolite Rough

Gemologically, lepidolite is a potassium lithium aluminum silicate hydroxide fluoride. It has a specific gravity of approximately 2.8 and a refractive index of 1.525 - 1.548. Lepidolite has a hardness rating of 2.5 on the Mohs scale and it has perfect cleavage in one direction. Lepidolite ranges in color from lilac-gray to rose; it is the presence of lithium that lends it the distinctive color. It has a vitreous to pearly luster. Typically lepidolite is found in massive form with uniformly indistinguishable crystals forming large masses

Lepidolite Cabochon from Mexico
Lepidolite Cabochon from Mexico

Lepidolite is a major source of the element lithium, the world's lightest metal. Lithium has many important industrial applications: it is used in rechargeable batteries, alloys for aircraft parts, and in appliances like toasters and microwave ovens. Lithium compounds are used in mobile phones, air purifiers, high-temperature lubricants, and mood-stabilizing drugs.

Lepidolite is often found associated with other minerals, such as spodumene, quartz, amblygonite, feldspar, and tourmaline.

Noteworthy deposits have been found in Brazil; Ural Mountains, Russia; San Diego County, California; Mexico; Tanco Pegmatite at Bernic Lake in Manitoba, Canada; Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

  • First Published: March-30-2009
  • Last Updated: March-05-2011
  • © 2005-2014 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
Email to a Friend
English speaking customer support only

Toll Free - USA & Canada only:
1-800-464-1640

International:
+66-39340503

Subscribe to our Newsletter
 
Reorder Items
Select Language by clicking on the Image
Russian Italian German French Chinese English
Русский Italiano Deutsch Français Chinese English

Save Money
No shipping Fees for Additional Items!
$6.99 Worldwide Shipping