Titanite

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Titanite, or sphene (from the Greek sphenos (σφηνώ), meaning wedge[4]), is a calcium titanium nesosilicate mineral, CaTiSiO5. Trace impurities of iron and aluminium are typically present. Also commonly present are rare earth metals including cerium and yttrium ; calcium may be partly replaced by thorium.[5]

Contents

Nomenclature

The International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names (CNMMN) adopted the name titanite and 'discredited' the name sphene[6] as of 1982[7], although commonly papers and books initially identify the mineral using both names[8][9]. Sphene was the most commonly used name until the IMA decision,[citation needed] although both were well known[4]. Some authorities[who?] think it is less confusing as the word is used to describe any chemical or crystal with oxidized titanium such as the rare earth titanate pyrochlores series[10] and many of the minerals with the perovskite structure[11]. The name sphene continues to be publishable in peer-reviewed scientific literature, e.g. a paper by Watson et al. was published in early 2008 in the journal Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology.[citation needed] Sphene persists as the informal name for titanite gemstones.

Physical properties

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