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Galaxite from the Kaso mine, Japan
Category Oxide minerals
Spinel group
Normal Spinel structural group
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification 4.BB.05
Crystal system Cubic
Crystal class Hexoctahedral (m3m)
H-M symbol: (4/m 3 2/m)
Space group Fd3m
Unit cell a = 8.271 Å; Z = 8
Color Black, red-brown, red to yellow
Crystal habit Octahedra and rounded grains and exolution blebs
Twinning Spinel law with {111} as both twin and composition plane
Cleavage Indistinct to none
Fracture Conchoidal to irregular
Tenacity Brittle
Mohs scale hardness 7.5
Luster Vitreous
Streak Red-brown
Diaphaneity Opaque; may be translucent in thin section
Specific gravity 4.234
Optical properties Isotropic
Refractive index n = 1.923
Other characteristics weakly to moderately magnetic
References [1][2][3]

Galaxite, also known as 'mangan-spinel' is an isometric mineral belonging to the spinel group of oxides with the ideal chemical formula Mn2+Al2O4.[4]

Galaxite is the manganese (Mn) rich endmember of the aluminium (Al) series of the spinel group. Divalent iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mg) readily substitute for the manganese in the crystal structure. Trivalent iron may also substitute for the aluminium. Thus, reflecting most natural samples, the formula may be better represented as (Mn,Fe2+,Mg)(Al,Fe3+)2O4.[2]

Galaxite generally occurs as small granular aggregates with a red-brownish tone. It has a vitreous luster and leaves a brownish-red streak. It is rated 7.5 on the Mohs Scale.[2]

It was first described in 1932 for an occurrence at Bald Knob, Alleghany County, North Carolina near its namesakes, the town of Galax, Virginia, named after the plant galax or wandflower which grows in the area.[2][3]

It occurs in carbonate-rich metamorphosed manganese ore deposits. It occurs associated with alleghanyite, rhodonite, sonolite, spessartine, tephroite, kutnohorite, manganhumite, jacobsite, kellyite and alabandite in the Bald Knob area. Associated minerals include katoptrite, magnetite, manganostibite, magnussonite, tephroite, manganhumite and manganosite in the Brattfors mine area of Nordmark, Värmland, Sweden.[2]

It is sometimes used as a gemstone.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Handbook of Mineralogy
  3. ^ a b Webmineral data
  4. ^
  5. ^ Tables of Gemstone Identification By Roger Dedeyne, Ivo Quintens, p.282