Purpurite is a scarce manganese phosphate mineral (MnPO4).  It is a secondary mineral, formed principally by oxidation of lithiophilite, a lithium manganese phosphate.  Purpurite has a submetallic luster, a rich lilac-purple color, and a purplish streak.  It has a moderate hardness - about 4 to 5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.  It is principally found in a massive state or as microcrystalline crusts.


Purpurite (4.3 cm across) from the Sandamap (Sandamab) Pegmatite (apparently emplaced at ~470 m.y., Early-Middle Ordovician boundary times), Southern Tin Belt, west-central Namibia.



Photo gallery of purpurite



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