Aikinite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Sulfides and sulfosalts
    Subclass : Sulfosalts
    Crystal System : Orthorhombic
    Chemistry : PbCuBiS3
    Rarity : Uncommon

Aikinite is an infrequent sulphide of Pb-Bi-Cu hydrothermal veins and gold-bearing veins, which is lead gray to steel gray in color. It was named in honor of Arthur Aikin. It forms fluted acicular crystals or rods embedded in quartz, reaching 3 cm, sometimes grouped in radiating aggregates. More rarely, aikinite forms compact masses where it mixes with other sulphides and sulphosalts (galena, chalcopyrite, enargite, etc...). It is an accessory ore of bismuth. Photo © Christopher O’Neill

Aikinite in the World

The most beautiful crystals in the world come from the auriferous veins of Beresovsk (Urals, Russia) where they build exceptional centimetric tufts (main photo). Good samples are also reported at the Sunnyside gold mine as well as many other mines in Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. Photo © Joy Desor

Aikinite in France

In France, aikinite is known in the small gold vein of La Gardette (Isère).


No known twin for this mineral species.

Fakes and treatments

No fake reported for this mineral species.

Hardness : 2 to 2.5
Density : 7.07
Fracture : Irregular
Trace : Grey-black

TP : Opaque
RI : Not measurable
Birefringence : Not measurable
Optical character : Not measurable
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : Nitric acid

Magnetism : None
Radioactivity : None


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