Chabazite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Silicates
    Subclass : Tectosilicates
    Crystal system : Triclinic
    Chemistry : CaAl2Si4O12
    Rarity : Common

Chabazite belongs to the group of zeolites, hydrated aluminosilicates made up of a framework crisscrossed with channels into which water and large cations are inserted. Its name comes from the Greek chabazios (melody), it designates one of the twenty stones of the poem Peri Lithos which exalted the virtues of minerals and attributed to Orpheus. Chabazite lines the cavities of basic volcanic rocks (basalts and andesites), in association with other zeolites. it is also known in fissures in metamorphic shales and limestones, and as precipitate from thermal springs. It forms rhombohedral crystals (unique case among zeolites), pseudocubic with striated faces, which commonly compose twin buildings by interpenetration, or by adjoining along the faces of the rhombohedron ("phacolite" facies, rich in faces). Chabazite is colorless, white, sometimes yellowish or a surprising salmon pink. Chabazite channels have a diameter of 3.8 Å, making this mineral (and several other zeolites) an excellent molecular sieve for hydrocarbons. It is also used in the nuclear industry for the extraction and fixation of radionuclides possibly present in residual effluent solutions from reactors; chabazite fixes radioactive cesium and strontium in particular.

Main photo : Chabazite from Gamlarett Quarry, Kirkjubøur, Streymoy, Faroe Islands © Volker Betz

Chabazite from Wasson Bluff, Nova Scotia, Canada © Nadya Georgieva
Twinned chabazite from Nickel quarry, Hesse, Germany © Volker Betz
Chabazite from Perrier, Puy-de-Dôme, France © Pascal Chollet
Chabazite variety phacolite from Soutěsky quarry, Czech Republic © Petr Fuchs

Chabazite in the World

Chabazite is omnipresent in the basalt cavities of the Faroe Islands (Sandoy, Eysturoy, Vidhoy...), where the magnificent white crystals with a vitreous luster measure up to 7 cm across ; they rival in quality the extraordinary Indian geodes from Bombay and their 4 cm colorless, white or pink crystals. The basalt geodes of Scotland (Kilmalcom) and Iceland (Berufjord) include magnificent samples but which do not exceed a centimeter. The very particular salmon pink chabazite is known in 3 cm crystals in the basalt cavities of the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia, Canada) and Paterson (New Jersey), as well as in the pegmatites of Striegau (Poland). Twins of the phacolite facies, rich in faces, are classic in the basalts of the Australian region of Melbourne, where they measure up to 3 cm.

Chabazite in France

In France, chabazite is known in Pouzac (Hautes-Pyrénées), Fort-de-Saleix (Ariège), in Vivarais (Alba) and in Cantal, near Murat where it shows the phacolite facies. It is also found in Perrier near Issoire (Puy-de-Dôme), in Montbrison (Loire), at the Mailhac quarry (Ardèche), etc...

Twinning and special crystallizations

Twins are known and common around [0001], interpenetrating, simple and repeated or contact on {10-11}.

Fakes and treatments

No fake identified for this mineral species.

Hardness : 4 to 5
Density : 2.05 to 2.2
Fracture : Conchoidal
Streak : White

TP : Translucent to transparent
RI : 1.478 to 1.493
Birefringence : 0.002 to 0.006
Optical character : Biaxial (+/-)
Pleochroism : None
Fluorescence : Variable

Solubility : Hydrochloric acid

Magnetism : None
Radioactivity : None


This service is used to secure web forms of our website and required if you want to contact us. By accepting it you agree to Google's privacy policy:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a service used on our website that tracks, reports traffic and measures how users interact with our website content in order for us to improve it and provide better services.


Our website allows you to like or share its content on Facebook social network. By activating and using it you agree to Facebook's privacy policy:


Integrated videos provided by YouTube are used on our website. By accepting to watch them you agree to Google's privacy policy:


Integrated tweets and share services of Twitter are used on our website. By accepting and using these you agree to Twitter's privacy policy:


Our website allows you to share its content on PInterest social network. By activating and using it you agree to PInterest's privacy policy: