Cancrinite is a member of the cancrinite-vishnevite family that is classed as a member of the feldspathoid group of minerals. It exhibits a hexagonal crystal system and has an uneven conchoidal fracture. It has a brittle tenacity and a white streak.
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Cancrinite is a rare feldspathoid mineral that consists of an aluminosilicate and carbonate of sodium and calcium. It is classed as a feldspathoid mineral due to its chemical composition. It is one of the few silicate minerals that consists of carbonate ion in its structure. These minerals are commonly associated with other minerals like - Andradite, Monticellite, Natrolite, Nepheline, Orthoclase, and Sodalite.
In 1839, Cancrinite was originally found in the Ural mountains, a mountain range in Russia. After its discovery, it was named "Cancrinite" for Georg Ludwig Cancrin (1774-1845), a Russian German aristocrat and a politician. Some of the places where fine specimens these minerals can be found are - Russia, the USA, India, Finland, and Norway.
Cancrinite usually occurs in igneous rocks as transparent to translucent masses of various colors. It can also be found in alkaline undersaturated magmatic rocks, metamorphic rocks, and contact zones between limestone and igneous intrusives. It also occurs as an alteration product of nepheline and feldspar in nepheline-syenite.
The chemical formula of Cancrinite is Na6Ca2[(CO3)2|Al6Si6O24]·2H2O and it has a hardness of 5-6 according to the Mohs scale.
There are no known types of Cancrinite.
The value of Cancrinite can range anywhere from $20 to $70 according to its color and quality.
The only use of Cancrinite is as a mineral specimen.
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