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Thulite

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Thulite
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Thulite from Leksvik, Norway.
General
Category Mineral Variety
Chemical formula Ca2Al3(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH)
Identification
Color Pink
Crystal habit Massive
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Cleavage Perfect {010} imperfect {100}
Fracture Uneven to conchoidal
Mohs scale hardness 6.5
Luster Vitreous, pearly on cleavage surfaces
Streak White or colorless
Specific gravity 3.10-3.38
Optical properties biaxial positive
Refractive index 1.69-1.70
Birefringence 0.006-0.018
Pleochroism Present, dichroism or trichroism depending on color.

Thulite (sometimes called rosaline) is an opaque, massive pink manganese rich variety of the mineral zoisite. Thulite is often mottled with white calcite and occurs as veins and fracture fillings transecting many types of rock. In mineralogical literature, thulite may sometimes refer to any pink zoisite.

Thulite was first discovered in Lom, Norway in 1820. It is named after the mythical island of Thule in the belief that the island is Norway. Thulite is used as a gemstone and carving material in the manufacture of jewellery and ornamental objects.

Thulite is also found in the Austrian Tyrol, in Mitchell County, North Carolina, and in Western Australia. A new, more recent find of high quality thulite was discovered near Riverside in Okanogan County, Washington, USA.

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