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Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

Vladimir Bukanov. Russian Gemstones Encyclopedia

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LITHIUM NIOBATE


LITHIUM NIOBATE (Synthetisch Lithium Niobat—Synthétique lithium niobate——интетический ниобат лити€)

Composition & Properties. Oxide – LiNbO3, trigonal system. Hardness 4.5-5.5. Density 4.64. Cleavage in one direction. Lithium niobate is an artificial crystalline material, which has been received from melt with the method by Czochralski since 1969. They produce different colors adding different admixtures. Because of its high dispersion and bi-refraction, its colorless crystals were used for the imitation of brilliants under the trade name astrilite or linobate. It can be colored golden-brown with the irradiation with X-rays. This color is stable up to the temperature of 150°C.

There are data on the usage of lithium niobate in jewelry, as well as on other similar artificial materials: barium niobate, potassium niobate, sodium niobate, lithium-sodium niobate and also barium-sodium niobate. The last one has the trade name banana after its content.

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