Formula: Ca2(SiO4)
Nesosilicate (insular SiO4 groups), olivine group, the high-temperature, monoclinic paramorph of calcio-olivine, which is orthorhombic.
Specific gravity: 3.28 to 3.33
Hardness: 6
Streak: White
Colour: White, grey, colourless in thin section
Solubility: Gelatinised by dilute hydrochloric acid
Common impurities: Al,Fe,Mg,Na,H2O,C,P

Metamorphic environments

Larnite occurs in metamorphosed sedimentary carbonate formations in limestone or chalk in contact with molten basaltic rocks. Larnite is a high temperatures mineral stable in the range of 520o to 670oC; at lower temperatures it is metastable and inverts to its low-temperature polymorph, calcio-olivine, when subjected to mechanical shock. Common associates include brownmillerite, chlormayenite, gehlenite, grossular-hibschite series minerals, melilite group minerals, merwinite, perovskite, rankinite, scawtite, spurrite and wollastonite (Mindat).


At the Hatrurim Basin, Tamar Regional Council, Southern District, Israel, larnite is associated with brownmillerite, mayenite, melilite and spurrite (HOM).

At Tokatoka, Kaipara District, Northland Region, New Zealand, larnite is associated with rankinite, kilchoanite, scawtite and hydrogrossular (HOM).

At the type locality, Scawt Hill, Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK, larnite is found in the contact zone of chalk and dolerite associated with calcite, spurrite, melilite, gehlenite, merwinite, spinel, perovskite and wollastonite. The chief assemblages of the contact zone are (a) spurrite (b) spurrite-larnite (c) spurrite-larnite-melilite (d) spurrite-melilite-merwinite-spinel_larnite, all with calcite (AM 14.338-339).

At 'S Airde Beinn, Isle of Mull, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, UK, larnite occurs in metamorphosed calcitic amygdules (Dana).

At the Marble Canyon Mine, Apache Peak area, Culberson county, Texas, USA, larnite occurs in the contact zone of a syenite-monzonite intrusion (Dana). The mine is situated at an outcrop of five different types of igneous rock that are arranged in a concentric pattern. From the centre out they are: (1) a coarse-grained syenite (2) a coarse-grained green monzonite (3) a medium-grained grey monzonite (4) a discontinuous narrow border of olivine gabbro and (5) small rhyolite dikes which cut the other rock types.
The larnite occurs as rounded crystals that cut across boundaries of associated crystals of merwinite, rankinite and melilite. It is unstable at atmospheric temperature and pressure, especially when disturbed mechanically as by scratching, or when struck with a hammer (AM 51.1766-1774)

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