THE MINERAL BAKERITE
- Chemistry: Ca4B4(BO4)(SiO4) 3(OH)3 – H2O, Hydrated Calcium Boro-silicate Hydroxide.
- Class: Silicates
- Subclass: Nesosilicates
- Group: Datolite
- Uses: Only as mineral specimens.
Bakerite is a rare boro-silicate that was discovered in Death Valley, California and is still only found in abundance there. It is found there in altered volcanic rocks as nodules and veins. Datolite and howlite a couple of other boro-silicates, form similar looking nodules, but datolite is harder and howlite is softer. Massive magnesite can also be confused with bakerite, but it has good cleavage. At another California locality, crystals and crusts of bakerite are found lining cavities in shale with crystals of celestite. The bakerite crystals are clearly monoclinic with a slanted prismatic form.
- Color is white, colorless or gray.
- Luster is vitreous as crystals; dull to sub-vitreous (porcelaneous) for nodules and masses.
- Transparency crystals are opaque to translucent.
- Crystal System is monoclinic; 2/m
- Crystal Habits include prismatic, slanted (pseudo-rhombohedral) crystals and cauliflower-like nodules and compact masses.
- Cleavage is absent.
- Fracture is conchoidal to uneven.
- Hardness is 4.5
- Specific Gravity is approximately 2.9 (average)
- Streak is white.
- Other Characteristics: Is non-fluorescent.
- Associated Minerals include celestite and other minerals in altered volcanic rocks.
- Notable Occurrences include the type locality at Furnace Creek, Death Valley, Inyo County and at the Sterling Borax Mine in Tick Canyon, Los Angeles County, California, USA.
- Best Field Indicators are locality, nodular character, hardness and non-fluorescence.