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Awaruite pebble from Josephine County, Oregon, USA
Category Native element mineral
(repeating unit)
Ni2Fe to Ni3Fe
Strunz classification 1.AE.20
Metals and intermetallic alloys
Dana classification
Iron - nickel group
Crystal system Cubic
Crystal class Hexoctahedral (m3m)
H-M symbol: (4/m 3 2/m)
Space group Pm3m
Color Silver-white to grayish white
Crystal habit Massive; as pebbles, grains and flakes; rarely as crystals; as rims or regular intergrowths with kamacite in meteorites
Tenacity Malleable and flexible
Mohs scale hardness 5.5 -6
Luster Metallic
Diaphaneity Opaque
Specific gravity 7.8–8.65
Other characteristics Strongly magnetic
References [1][2][3]

Awaruite is a naturally occurring alloy of nickel and iron with a composition from Ni2Fe to Ni3Fe.

Awaruite occurs in river placer deposits derived from serpentinized peridotites and ophiolites. It also occurs as a rare component of meteorites. It occurs in association with native gold and magnetite in placers; with copper, heazlewoodite, pentlandite, violarite, chromite, and millerite in peridotites; with kamacite, allabogdanite, schreibersite and graphite in meteorites.[1]

It was first described in 1885 for an occurrence along Gorge River, near Awarua Bay, South Island, New Zealand, its type locality.[1][2]

Awaruite is also known as josephinite in an occurrence in Josephine County, Oregon where it is found as placer nuggets in stream channels and masses in serpentinized portions of the Josephine peridotite. Some nuggets contain andradite garnet.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Handbook of Mineralogy
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Webmineral data
  4. ^ John M. Bird and Maura S. Weathers, Origin of josephinite, Geochemical Journal, Vol. 13, pp. 41 to 55, 1979 [1]