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Kleinite atop quartz from the McDermitt Mine
(repeating unit)
(Hg2N)(Cl,SO4) · nH2O
Strunz classification3.DD.35
Crystal systemHexagonal
Crystal classDihexagonal dipyramidal 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m)
Unit cella = 6.762(2) Å, c = 11.068(3) Å, Z=4
ColorLight to canary-yellow, orange
Crystal habitShort prismatic to equant crystals exhibiting prominent {1010}, {2021}, and {0001}
CleavageUneven on {0001}, imperfect on {1010}
Mohs scale hardness3.5
LusterAdamantine to greasy
StreakSulfur yellow
DiaphaneityTransparent to translucent
Specific gravity7.9-8.0
Optical propertiesUniaxial (+) (Biaxial below 130 °C (biaxial negative) and uniaxial above 130 °C (uniaxial positive). Isotropic above ~ 190 °C)
Refractive indexnω = 2.190 nε = 2.210
Birefringenceδ = 0.020
Other characteristicsColor deepens on exposure to daylight, original color returns in darkness

Kleinite is a rare mineral that has only been found in the United States and Germany that occurs in hydrothermal mercury deposits.[2] It occurs associated with calcite, gypsum and (rarely) barite or calomel.[3] Its color can range from pale yellow/canary yellow to orange, and it is transparent to translucent.[2] As a photosensitive mineral, its coloration darkens when exposed to light.[4]

It has been hypothesized that kleinite formed through a "reaction of cinnabar with oxidized meteoric water", with this reaction being the source of kleinite's nitrogen.[4]


Kleinite is named after Carl Klein (1842–1907), who was a professor of mineralogy at the University of Berlin.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kleinite data on Mindat
  2. ^ a b c d "Kleinite" (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy. 2005. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  3. ^ United States Geological Survey (1909). Bulletin. Bulletin. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 10. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Castor, S.B.; Ferdock, G.C. (2004). Minerals of Nevada. Minerals of Nevada. University of Nevada Press. p. 304. ISBN 978-0-87417-540-0. Retrieved August 3, 2017.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Kleinite at Wikimedia Commons