Purpurite is a manganese iron phosphate, and a member of the Triphylite Group. It was named in 1905 by Louis C. Graton and Waldemar T. Schaller from the Latin, "purpura" in reference to its color. Purpurite forms orthorhombic, cleavable, blocky masses which are brown-black to purple-black on altered surfaces, with a silky luster. Purpurite is the trivalent manganese end member in the Heterosite-Purpurite Series. Purpurite is a secondary mineral, formed by oxidation of iron and or manganese and simultaneous leaching of lithium from lithiophilite. Purpurite is far less common than heterosite, and is frequently artificially colored bright purple through acid etching. The type locality for purpurite is: Faires Tin mine, Kings Mountain, Gaston Co., North Carolina, USA. Other notable localities include: Branchville, Fairfield Co., Connecticut, USA; Custer district, Custer Co., South Dakota, USA; Stewart mine and Tincon pegmatite, Pala district, San Diego Co. California, USA; Chanteloube, Haute-Vienne dept., France; Kitumba, Rwanda, and Sandamab, and Erongo, both Namibia; Wodgina, Marble Bar, Western Australia, Australia.
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