The new mineral pavlovskyite Ca8(SiO4)2(Si3O10) forms rims together with dellaite Ca6(Si2O7)(SiO4)(OH)2 around galuskinite Ca7(SiO4)3CO3 veins cutting calcio-olivine skarns in the Birkhin gabbro massif. In addition, skeletal pavlovskyite occurs in cuspidine zones of altered carbonate xenoliths in the ignimbrites of the Upper Chegem caldera (North Caucasus). The synthetic analog of pavlovskyite has been synthesized before and is known from cement-like materials. Isotypic to pavlovskyite is the synthetic germanate analog Ca8(GeO4)2(Ge3O10). The crystal structure of pavlovskyite, space group Pbcn, a = 5.0851(1), b = 11.4165(3), c = 28.6408(8) Å, V = 1662.71(7) Å3, Z = 4, has been refined from X-ray single-crystal data to R1 = 3.87%. The new colorless mineral has a Mohs hardness of 6–6.5, biaxial (−), α = 1.656(2), β = 1.658(2), γ = 1.660(2) (589 nm), 2V (meas) = 80(5)°, 2V (calc) = 89.9°, medium dispersion: r > v, optical orientation: X = b, Y = c, Z = a.
For comparison with pavlovskyite, the crystal structure of kilchoanite Ca6(SiO4)(Si3O10) from the Birkhin massif [space group I2cm, a = 11.4525(2), b = 5.0867(1), c = 21.996(3) Å, V = 1281.40(4) Å3, Z = 4] has been refined from single-crystal X-ray data to R1 = 2.00%.
Pavlovskyite represents a 1:1 member of a polysomatic series with calcio-olivine γ-Ca2SiO4 and kilchoanite Ca6(SiO4)(Si3O10) as end-member modules. The structure is characterized by strongly folded trisilicate units (Si3O10) interwoven with a framework of CaO6 and CaO8 polyhedra. Olivine-like slices with orthosilicate groups are interstratified with the characteristic trisilicate module of Ca4(Si3O10) composition. Although the optical properties of pavlovskyite and kilchoanite are similar, both minerals can be distinguished by chemical analyses (different Ca/Si ratio), X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy. The new mineral is named after V.E. Pavlovsky (1901–1982), an outstanding geologist in the area of Eastern Siberia, in particular of the Baikal region.