What’s in the Box?: Purple Edition

Quick, name a purple mineral! Did you say amethyst? Or perhaps fluorite? While those minerals may show standout examples of the most royal of colors, others may show off fine purples, too.


This lavender-colored mineral, lepidolite, is a mica stuffed full of the elements potassium, lithium, and fluorine. It comes from the East Central Alaska, USA, near the Black Rapids Glacier in the Delta River District.

Lepidolite forms most commonly in special granite rocks called pegmatites, which are distinguished by having especially large crystals. The largest crystals in a pegmatite can be several feet long! This lepidolite may be puny by comparison, but what it lacks in size it makes up in colorful charm.

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