Reinerite is a rare arsenite (arsenate(III)) mineral with chemical formula Zn3(AsO3)2.[2][3] It crystallizes in the orthorhombic crystal system.

(repeating unit)
Strunz classification4.JA.10
Crystal systemOrthorhombic
Crystal classDipyramidal (mmm)
H-M symbol: (2/m 2/m 2/m)
Space groupPbam (no. 55)
Unit cella = 6.092 Å, b = 14.407 Å
c = 7.811 Å; Z = 4
V = 685.55
a:b:c = 0.423 : 1 : 0.542
ColorSky blue, yellow green
Crystal habitRough striated pseudohexagonal crystals
CleavageGood on {110}, {011} and {111}
Mohs scale hardness5 - 5.5
LusterVitreous to adamantine
Specific gravity4.27
Optical propertiesBiaxial (-)
Refractive indexnα = 1.740 nβ = 1.790 nγ = 1.820
BirefringenceMaxium δ = 0.080
Other characteristicsRelief: very high

Physical propertiesEdit

Reinerite is most commonly found as a sky blue colored mineral, however, it may also be a light yellowish green color. Reinerite has a relative hardness of 5 to 5.5 on the Mohs Scale which is equivalent to that of a knife blade and or shard of glass. It has a density of 4.27 g/cm3,[1] and it exhibits a nonmetallic luster that may be described as glassy or vitreous.[5]


Reinerite develops in dolomite-hosted locations. It is known especially from Namibia, Africa, within the mines of Tsumeb. At the Tsumeb location, Reinerite develops within the polymetallic lead-zinc-copper deposit, 800 m (2,600 ft) below the surface, in the second oxidation zone.[4] It occurs in association with chalcocite, bornite, willemite, smithsonite, hydrozincite, hemimorphite, adamite, olivenite and gebhardite.[2]


Reinerite was first described in 1958 for an occurrence in the Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Namibia and named for senior chemist Willy Reiner (1895–1965) of Tsumeb Corporation, who analyzed this mineral.[1][3]


  1. ^ a b c Webmineral data
  2. ^ a b c Handbook of Mineralogy
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ a b American Mineralogist
  5. ^ Lutgens, Frederick, and Edward Tarbuck. Essentials of Geology. 10th. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. 42. Print.