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Xenotime Yttrium Phosphate

Xenotime is a widely spread mineral throughout the world, but good crystals are hard to find. It is one of few yttrium minerals which has been known to science. The other common yttrium minerals are Wakefieldite and chernovite-(Y).

The word Xenotime has been derived from the Greek word 'Xeons' and 'time,' which mean 'foreign' and 'honour' respectively. Xenotime forms a solid solution series with chernovite-(Y) and contains trace impurities of arsenic, silicon dioxide and calcium. Some of the xenotime may be radioactive due to uranium and thorium impurities.

Sometimes even gemstones are also cut from the finer xenotime crystals. Xenotime is widely appreciated in Japan for its ornamental value.

Physical Properties of Xenotime

Color Various shades of brown, also gray, greenish brown, muted red and yellow.
Luster Vitreous to resinous
Transparency Crystals are translucent to opaque
Crystal system Tetragonal; 4/m 2/m 2/m
Crystal habits Stubby to elongated prismatic crystals that are terminated by various slanted dipyramids. It is also known for nice rosette and radial aggregates.
Cleavage Perfect in two prismatic directions
Fracture Uneven
Hardness 4 - 5
Specific gravity Approximately 4.4 - 5.1 (It is heavy for translucent minerals)
Streak Pale brown to yellow or red

Associated Minerals of Xenotime

Uses of Xenotime

Occurrences of Xenotime

Note:- A new discovery of gemmy xenotime, color change from brownish to yellow, has been reported from Afghanistan.

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