Childrenite - Encyclopedia

    Class : Phosphates, arsenates, vanadates
    Subclass : Anhydrous phosphates
    Crystal system : Orthorhombic
    Chemistry : FeAl(PO4)(OH)2 H2O
    Rarity : Quite common

Childrenite is a hydrated phosphate typical of pegmatites rich in phosphorus, and of certain hydrothermal veins. It forms an isomorphic series with eosphorite, its manganiferous equivalent. Its name was given to it in honor of the English chemist and mineralogist John George Children. It occurs in finely tabular equant or prismatic pyramidal crystals, striated according to elongation, as well as in crystalline to fibrous encrustations. It is a transparent to translucent mineral with a yellow-brown to dark brown color.

Main photo : Childrenite of George & Charlotte Mine, Devon, England © Gianfranco Ciccolini

Childrenite of Poço d'Antas claim, Taquaral, Itinga, Minas Gerais, Brazil © Jordi Fabre
6 cm childrenite from Boa Esperança, Linópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil © Rob Lavinsky
Childrenite from Crinis Mine, Cornwall, England © Uwe Haubenreisser
Childrenite from Salsigne, Aude, France © Michel Arliguie

Childrenite in the World

Childrenite is relatively common but deposits having provided beautiful crystals are rare. Good crystals come from mines in the English district of Tavistock (Devon) : with a maximum size of 1 cm, they are encrusted on a matrix of quartz, pyrite and siderite. Crystals are also known in the pegmatites of Greifenstein, near Ehrenfriedersdorf (Saxony, Germany), Minas Gerais in Brazil (notably in Araçuai and Piauí Valley, Itinga or Linópolis which provided crystals up to more than 10 cm ), Maine (Rumford, Paris, Buckfield...) and, still in England in the hydrothermal veins of St-Austell (Cornwall).

Childrenite in France

In France, childrenite is reported at Echassières (Allier), but also at Salsigne (Aude) in crystals up to 2 cm as well as in the pegmatite fields of Collioure (Pyrénées-Orientales).


Twins are common on {100} and {001} but rarely visible.

Fakes and treatments

No fake identified for this mineral species. Very difficult to distinguish from eosphorite without chemical analysis.

Hardness : 5
Density : 3.11 to 3.19
Fracture : Irregular
Streak : White

TP : Translucent to transparent
RI : 1.644 to 1.691
Birefringence : 0.160
Optical character : Biaxial -
Pleochroism : Low
Fluorescence : None

Solubility : -

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: