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Kalinite 1.jpg
Kalinite from the Virgin Valley District, Nevada, USA. Specimen size 5.4 cm
Category Sulfate minerals
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 07.CC.15
Dana classification
Crystal symmetry Monoclinic 2/m
Unit cell a = 19.92(16) Å, b = 9.27(3) Å, c = 8.304(13) Å; β = 98.79(19)°; Z = 4
Formula mass 456.37 g
Color White to pale blue
Crystal habit Fibrous
Crystal system Monoclinic 2/m prismatic
Fracture Conchoidal
Mohs scale hardness 2 to 2.5
Luster Vitreous
Streak White
Diaphaneity Transparent
Specific gravity 1.75 (observed) 2.0 (calculated)
Optical properties Biaxial (-)
Refractive index nα = 1.429 to 1.430, nβ = 1.452, nγ = 1.456 to 1.458
Birefringence None
2V angle 52° (measured), 82° (calculated)
Solubility Soluble in water
Other characteristics Not fluorescent, barely detectable radioactivity
References [1][2][3][4]

Kalinite is a mineral composed of hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate (a type of alum). It is a fibrous monoclinic alum, distinct from isometric potassium alum,[5] named in 1868. Its name comes from kalium (derived from Arabic: القَلْيَه al-qalyah “plant ashes”) which is the Latin name for potassium, hence its chemical symbol, "K".

A proposal to remove recognition of kalinite as a mineral species is scheduled to be submitted to the International Mineralogical Association,[4] currently (March 2010), kalinite is still on the list of approved minerals.[6] Many older samples, however, have been found to be potassium alum.[2]


Kalinite is a rare secondary mineral observed in the oxidized zone of mineral deposits, as efflorescence on alum slates, in caves, and as a volcanic sublimate.[7] It is associated with jarosite, KFe3+3(SO4)2(OH)6, and cuprian melanterite (pisanite), (Fe2+,Cu2+)SO4·7H2O, at Quetena, Chile.[8]


  1. ^ Gaines et al (1997) Dana’s New Mineralogy, Wiley
  2. ^ a b http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/kalinite.pdf
  3. ^ http://www.webmineral.com/data/Kalinite.shtml
  4. ^ a b http://www.mindat.org/min-2137.html
  5. ^ American Mineralogist (1923) 8:15
  6. ^ http://rruff.info/ima
  7. ^ American Mineralogist (1927) 12:14
  8. ^ American Mineralogist (1938) 23:721