Database of luminescent Minerals


Chemical Formula: Na8Al6Si6O24Cl2

Familly: Silicates

Status: IMA-GP

Crystal System: Isometric

Mineral for Display: Yes

Associated names (luminescent varieties, discredited names, synonymes etc.):  hackmaniteyooperlite


UV Type Main color Intensity Observation Frequency
Long Waves (365nm):      Orange Very StrongOften
Short Waves (254 nm):      Yellowish White Medium
Other colors LW:                              
Yellowish White , Orangy yellow , Red , Violet red , Violet Pink , Pink ,
Other colors SW:                         
Orange , Violet red , Violet Pink , Salmon pink , Green ,

Daylight Picture

Ilimaussaq Complex, Greenland;

Long Waves Picture (365nm)

Sodalite, UV LW orange;
Ilimaussaq Complex, Greenland;

Short Waves Pictures (254nm)

Sodalite, UV SW orange red ;
Ilimaussaq Complex, Greenland;


Galerie de photos:


     To the gallery (7 images in the gallery)

Phosphorescence (in the common meaning of the term) seen by naked eye:

UV Type Color Intensity Observation Frequency
Long Wave (365nm): Bluish White StrongOften
Short Waves (254 nm): Bluish White Very StrongOften

Ténébrescence: OUI

Sodalite, left before and right after exposition to SW (tenebrescence);
Ilimaussaq Complex, Greenland;

Thermoluminescence: Yes


HACKMANITE : strongly tenebrescent variety of sodalite


From Mont Saint-Hillaire, certain sodalite fluoresces yellow. The response is seen under SW and MW, weaker under LW. Build-up is slow but becomes bright.


Yooperlite: tradename of syenite clasts containing fluorescent sodalite found in 2018 by Erik Rintamaki, a mineral dealer, on the beaches of Lake Superior, Michigan, USA (see Yooperlite).

Main Activator(s) and spectrum:

Most Common Activator: S2-

Other activators:            (UO2)2+ (Uranyl ion) as impurities , Fe3+ , Mn2+ ,

Peaks in the spectrum (nm):

S2- : 587, 608, 628, 653, 677, 707, 732nm

Fe3+? repl. Al3+ : 687-720nm 

(UO2)2+ : 495, 515, 537nm

Mn2+ repl. Na+ : 650nm

Spectrum: Michael Gaft, Petah Tikva, Israel. Plot: Institute of Mineralogy, University of Vienna, Austria, with permission of the authors.


  To the spectrum gallery (2 spectra in the gallery)

Comments on activators and spectra:

Some time Green Luminescence due to uranium impurities;


Cathodoluminescence: intensive greenish-blue or yellow-green or orange.


The research history of the yellow-orange luminescence of sodalite was well presented by Sidike et al (2007).


It may be summarized that published data on the yellow-orange luminescence spectra of sodalite was ascribed to S2 which was confirmed by the study of synthetic analogs activated by sulfur. Nevertheless, Sidike et al. (2007) noted that the peak wavelengths in the yellow orange band reported by many investigators for sodalite and ascribed to S2-do not

agree. It was never reported by single author on several types of S2-  luminescence spectra from the same deposit, which may be explained by different chemical composition and impurities, but different spectra were ascribed to the S2luminescence center in sodalite samples from the same deposit. The values for luminescence maxima were reported to range from 630 nm to 708 nm. A similar situation takes place in scapolite, where the peak wavelengths of S2- emission bands reported by different authors do not agree (Sidike et al. 2008). It was proposed that the main reason for these discrepancies is probably the unsuitable correction of the measured spectra. Nevertheless, it is difficult to assume that such strong discrepancies may be explained only by the absence of proper calibration. A possible explanation for the differences between published spectra may be the presence of several different S2-  centers, or the presence of the luminescence centers with vibrational structure of other types. (Gaft)


The crystal structure of sodalite is an ordered framework of linked AlO4 and SiO4 tetrahedra in which Si and Al alternate on the tetrahedral sites. The overall linkage of (Al,Si)O4 tetrahedra results in cubo-octahedral cavities, which contain a centrally placed anion coordinated tetrahedrally to four cations. The flexibility of the sodalite structure allows a wide range of cations and anions with potential luminescence ability to be substituted into it. Thus, many impurities with potential luminescence ability besides S2-  may be present in the sodalite structure, such as Fe3+ in Al and Si positions, Mn2+ in Na or Be positions, Pb2+ or Tl+ in the Na position and so on. (Gaft)


By Laser-induced time-resolved technique Gaft was able to detect two Fe3+ or Cr3+ (broad band at 687 - 700 & 725 nm), possibly Pb2+ (broad band at 440nm), Eu2+ (band at 405nm), Ce3+ ( band at 340nm) and S2- (broad band at 600 - 620 - 653 - 655nm with weak vibrational structure)  emission centers (Gaft)


The photoluminescence and excitation spectra of sodalites from Greenland, Canada and Xinjiang (China) are observed at 300 and 10 K in detail. The features of the emission and excitation spectra of the orange-yellow fluorescence of these sodalites are independent of the locality. The emission spectra at 300 and 10 K consist of a broad band with a series of peaks and a maximum peak at 648 and 645.9 nm, respectively. The excitation spectra obtained by monitoring the orange-yellow fluorescence at 300 and 10 K consist of a main band with a peak at 392 nm. The luminescence efficiency of the heat-treated sodalite from Xinjiang is about seven times as high as that of untreated natural sodalite. The emission spectrum of the S2 − center in sodalite at 10 K consists of a band with a clearly resolved structure with a series of maxima spaced about 560 cm−1 (20–25 nm) apart. Each narrow band at 10 K shows a fine structure consisting of a small peak due to the stretching vibration of the isotopic species of 32S34S−, a main peak due to that of the isotopic species of 32S2 − and five peaks due to phonon sidebands of the main peak. (see Aierken Sidike, Alifu Sawuti, Xiang-Ming Wang, Heng-Jiang Zhu, S. Kobayashi, I. Kusachi, N. Yamashita, Fine structure in photoluminescence spectrum of S2 center in sodalite, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, September 2007, Volume 34, Issue 7, pp 477–484 )

The emission and excitation spectra of yellow luminescence due to S2 in scapolites (from Canada and  from an unknown locality) were observed at 300, 80 and 10 K. Emission and excitation bands at 10 K showed vibronic structures with a series of maxima spaced 15–30 and 5–9 nm, respectively. The relative efficiency of yellow luminescence from scapolite #2 was increased up to 117 times by heat treatment at 1,000°C for 2 h in air. The enhancement of yellow luminescence by heat treatment was ascribed to the alteration of SO32− and SO4 2− to S2 in scapolite. (see Aierken Sidike, I. Kusachi, S. Kobayashi, K. Atobe, N. Yamashita, Photoluminescence spectra of S2 center in natural and heat-treated scapolites, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, April 2008, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 137–145 )


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(*)Data are not exhaustive and are limited to the most important localities for fluorescence

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