Formula: Ca2PbSi3O9
Cyclosilicate (ring silicate), margarosanite group
Specific gravity: 4.33
Hardness: 2½ to 3
Streak: White
Colour: Colourless or greyish-white due to included native lead
Luminescence: Fluorescent blue-violet under shortwave ultraviolet light, activated by divalent lead, Pb2+. In some specimens, fluorescent red under midrange light, activated by divalent manganese, Mn2+ (R&M 97.1.64-70).
Solubility: Decomposes in nitric acid with separation of silica (Dana)
Common impurities: Fe,Zn,Mg,Ba,H2O

Metamorphic environments

Margarosanite is a rare lead silicate found in metamorphosed lead-zinc-manganese deposits (Mindat).


At the Långban mine, Långban Ore District, Filipstad, Värmland County, Sweden, margarosanite has been reported in association with nasonite, diopside variety schefferite, apophyllite, calcite and thaumasite (AM 48.698-703). The environment is similar to that at the type locality, except for the absence of any appreciable zinc at Långban (R&M 97.1.64-70).

At the type locality, the Parker shaft, Franklin Mine, Franklin, Franklin Mining District, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA, margarosanite occurs in a metamorphosed stratiform zinc deposit associated with nasonite, minehillite, almandine, hancockite, roeblingite, franklinite, willemite, rhodonite, axinite-(Mn), datolite, prehnite, manganoan biotite, johannsenite, baryte, wollastonite, vesuvianite, microcline, lead, grossular, clinohedrite, bustamite and andradite (AM 1.87-88, HOM, Mindat).
At Franklin, margarosanite occurs in massive form with feldspar. It has been found in association with a large variety of fluorescent minerals, making truly spectacular display specimens under shortwave UV light. The most common associated fluorescent minerals are red fluorescent calcite, green fluorescent willemite, orange fluorescent clinohedrite, red fluorescent axinite, cream-coloured fluorescent nasonite, violet fluorescent minehillite (best under midrange UV), and red fluorescent roeblingite (R&M 97.1.64-70).

Paragenesis of Margarosanite at the type locality

Margarosanite's apparent scarcity is related to its deposition at moderately high temperatures. It has been synthesised at 350oC.
The implied paragenesis is hardystonitelarseniteesperitemargarosanite. The association with additional lead and lead-zinc silicates such as barysilite, clinohedrite, hancockite, nasonite and roeblingite may be localised. Co-occurring minerals include andradite, axinite-(Mn), baryte, bustamite, franklinite, grossular and its variety caswellite, hodgkinsonite, native lead, feldspars (microcline and its variety hyalophane, celsian), minehillite, pectolite, prehnite, vesuvianite, grossular, willemite, xonotlite and wollastonite.
Overlap in crystallisation is the rule.
The early minerals (hardystonite, feldspars, wollastonite, andradite, franklinite, and rarely bustamite) formed at relatively high temperatures. Garnets are stable across a wide temperature range. Toward lower temperatures, hydrated species were stable and were part of the end alteration of the primary minerals, often as fine-grained masses (R&M 90.6.573-574).

Back to Minerals