is a sulfate mineral, distinguished as one of only a handful that
contain both carbonate and sulfate ion groups. It has the chemical
It was first
described in 1888 for an occurrence in Searles Lake, California and
named for American geologist Henry Garber Hanks (1826–1907).
Hanksite is normally found in crystal form as evaporite deposits.
Hanksite crystals are large but not complex in structure. It is often
found in Searles Lake, Soda Lake, Mono Lake, and in Death Valley. It is
associated with halite, borax, trona and aphthitalite in the Searles
be colorless, white, gray, green or yellow and is transparent or
translucent. The mineral's hardness is approximately 3 to 3.5. The
specific gravity is approximately 2.5 (slightly below average). It is
salty to the taste and sometimes glows pale yellow in ultra-violet
light. Typical growth habits are hexagonal prisms or tabular with
pyramidal terminations. The streak of Hanksite is white. It can contain
inclusions of clay that the crystal formed around while developing.