Bravoite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Sulfides and sulfosalts
    Subclass : Sulfides
    Crystal system : Cubic
    Chemistry : (Ni,Fe)S2
    Rarity : Uncommon

Bravoite is an infrequent sulfide of iron and nickel, isomorphic with pyrite. It is found in basic to ultrabasic igneous rocks and in low temperature hydrothermal veins where it appears to be of secondary origin. It was named in honor of the Peruvian scientist José J. Bravo. Bravoite forms octahedral, cubic or pyritohedral crystals often sharp, reaching 1 cm, encrustations or nodular masses with fibroradiated texture. Bravoite crystals often show zoned growth with alternating bands of pyrite or intergrowths with this mineral. They are a light bronze hue, reminiscent of pyrite, and tarnish to a purplish steel-grey. It is an accessory ore of nickel and cobalt.

Main photo : Bravoite from Dashkesan, Azerbaijan © Boris Z. Kantor

Bravoite and chalcopyrite from Maubacher Bleiberg, Cologne, Germany © Harald Biecker
Bravoite from Winterslag colliery, Limburg, Belgium © Richard De Nul
Zoned bravoite from Maubacher Bleiberg, Cologne, Germany © Günter Grundmann
Zoned bravoite from Maubacher Bleiberg, Cologne, Germany © Günter Grundmann

Bravoite in the World

The finest specimens come from the Rico mine (Colorado), where bravoite coats pyrite crystals. Bravoite is also known at the La Motte mine (Missouri). The Müsen deposit, near Siegen (Germany) is particularly famous for its "mixed" perfect cubic crystals composed of alternating bands of pyrite and bravoite.

Bravoite in France

In France, bravoite is reported in many deposits including Nontron (Dordogne), Prasclos, La Rodde, Chilhac (Haute-Loire), the Maine mine (Saône-et-Loire), Huelgoat (Finistère), several Corsican deposits, etc...


No known twin for this mineral species. 

Fakes and treatments

No fake recorded for this mineral species but very certainly often confused with other sulphides such as pyrite or chalcopyrite with which it is also commonly associated.

Hardness : 6 to 6.5
Density : 4.62 to 4.72
Fracture : Irregular to conchoidal
Trace : Black

TP : Opaque
RI : -
Birefringence : -
Optical character : -
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : -

Magnetism : None
Radioactivity : None