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Group of octahedral alabandite crystals partially coated with pink rhodochrosite, from Uchucchacua Mine, Oyon, Lima, Peru (size: 60 mm x 59 mm x 46 mm, 204 g)
CategorySulfide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification2.CD.10 (10 ed)
II/C.15-30 (8 ed)
Dana classification2.8.1.4
Crystal systemCubic
Crystal classHexoctahedral (m3m)
H-M symbol: (4/m 3 2/m)
Space groupFm3m
Unit cella = 5.2236 Å; Z = 4
Colorblack, steelgray, brownish-black
Crystal habitmostly massive or granular; cubic or octahedral crystals to 1 cm
TwinningLamellar || {111}
CleavagePerfect on {100}
FractureIrregular, uneven
Mohs scale hardness3.5 to 4
DiaphaneityOpaque, translucent in thin fragments
Specific gravity4.053
Optical propertiesIsotropic
Refractive indexn = 2.70

Alabandite or alabandine is a rarely occurring manganese sulfide mineral. It crystallizes in the cubic crystal system with the chemical composition Mn2+S and develops commonly massive to granular aggregates, but rarely also cubic or octahedral crystals to 1 cm.

Etymology and History

Alabandite was first described in 1784 by Franz-Joseph Müller von Reichenstein.[3] The mineral name is derived from its supposed discovery locality at Alabanda (Aïdin) in Turkey.[2]


Alabandite forms in epithermal polymetallic sulfide veins and low-temperature manganese deposits. It occurs with acanthite, calcite, chalcopyrite, galena, pyrite, quartz, rhodochrosite, rhodonite, sphalerite and native tellurium. Sometimes it was found in meteorites.[1]

Localities are several areas in Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, India, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the US, Uzbekistan and Yemen. All together at present time approximately 220 discovery sites are registered.

Crystal structure

Alabandite crystallizes in the cubic crystal system in the space group Fm3m with the lattice parameter a = 5.22 Å[4] and four formula units per unit cell.[1]

See also