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The Mica Minerals


Lepidolite (lep-PIDDLE-ite), K(Li,Fe+2)Al3Si3AlO10(OH,F)2, is distinguished by its lilac or violet color, owing to its lithium content. (more below)
Lithium mica
Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
This lepidolite specimen consists of tiny lepidolite flakes and a quartz matrix whose neutral color does not obscure the characteristic color of the mica. Lepidolite can also be pink, yellow or gray.

One notable occurrence of lepidolite is in greisens, bodies of granite that are altered by fluorine-bearing vapors. That's what this may be, but it came from a rock shop with no data on its origin. Where it occurs in larger lumps in pegmatite bodies, lepidolite is an ore of lithium, especially in combination with the pyroxene mineral spodumene, the other relatively common lithium mineral.

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