Abhurite is a mineral of tin, oxygen, hydrogen, and chlorine with the formula Sn21O6(OH)14Cl16[3][1] or Sn3O(OH)2Cl2.[4] It is named after its type locality, a shipwreck with tin ingots at Sharm Abhur, a cove near Jeddah in the Red Sea. Abhurite forms alongside other tin minerals like romarchite and cassiterite.[5]

Brownish tabular crystals of abhurite from Shipwreck "Hydra", South coast of Norway
CategoryHalide mineral
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification3.DA.30
Crystal systemTrigonal
Crystal classTrapezohedral (32)
H-M symbol: (32)
Space groupR32
Unit cella = 10.0175 Å, c = 44.014 Å; Z=3
Crystal habitPlaty, thin crystals, cryptocrystalline crusts
TwinningOn 0001
Mohs scale hardness2
Specific gravity4.42
Optical propertiesUniaxial (+)
Refractive indexnω = 2.060 nε = 2.110
Birefringenceδ = 0.050

Locality and formation

Abhurite is attributed for forming on tin materials when in contact with sea water. The mineral was described in 1977 from a shipwreck near Hidra Island, Norway, where it occurred on pewter plates. However, that report was not recognized by the IMA, International Mineralogical Association.[1] Along with Sharm Abhur and the shipwreck near Hidra Island, abhurite was found on tin ingots in the Uluburun shipwreck. On the ingots, it was found with other tin minerals like cassiterite and romarchite, and calcium carbonate minerals like calcite and aragonite.[6]

See also


  1. Mindat.org - Abhurite
  2. Webmineral.org - Abhurite
  3. Handbook of Mineralogy - Abhurite
  4. Richard V. Gaines, H. Catherine W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, and Abraham Rosenzweig: "Dana's new mineralogy", p. 401. John Wiley & Sons, 1997
  5. Memet, J. B. (2007). "The corrosion of metallic artefacts in seawater: descriptive analysis". In Dillmann, P.; Beranger, G.; Piccardo, P.; Matthiessen, H. (eds.). Corrosion of Metallic Heritage Artefacts: Investigation, Conservation and Prediction of Long Term Behaviour. Elsevier. pp. 152–169. doi:10.1533/9781845693015.152. ISBN 9781845693015.
  6. Vandiver, Pamela B.; Goodway, Martha; Mass, Jennifer L. (2002-01-01). Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology VI: Symposium Held November 26-30, 2001, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Materials Research Society. ISBN 9781558996489.

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