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Minerals

Azurite

Azurite

Azurite is a carbonate mineral, which obtains its blue hue from copper. It is one of two basic copper(II) carbonate minerals (green malachite is the other). It is used as blue pigment. It makes poor quality jewelry, due to softness and colour loss over time.

Alternative name: Chessylite

$Cu_3(CO_3)_2(OH)_2$

Biotite

Biotite

Biotite is a phyllosilicate mineral, in the mica group. It has iron, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen which form sheet silicate sheets loosely bond by potassium ions.

Alternative name: iron mica, black mica.

Named after Jean-Baptiste Biot in 1847, in recognition of his work analysing the optical properties of mica.

$K(Mg,Fe)_3(AlSi_3O_{10})(F,OH)_2$

Calcite

Calcite

Calcite is a stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. It is used for gun sights for aircraft, and has applications as microbiologically precipitated calcite in soil remediation and stabilization.

$CaCO_3$

Hematite

Hematite

Hematite is the mineral form of iron(III) oxide. Black to silver-grey, brown or red. It is the main ore which is mined for iron.

$Fe_2O_3$

Leucite

Leucite

Leucite is a white to grey mineral consisting of potassium and aluminium tectosilicate. Rock strata bearing leucite are rare, but are found in the Phlegraean Fields near Naples.

$K[AlSi_2O_6]$

Mica

Mica

A group of phyllosilicate minerals. Its hexagonal sheets of atoms gives the crystals a nearly perfect basal cleavage. The word derives from Latin micare, to glitter.

$AB_{2-3}(X, Si)_4O_{10}(O, F, OH)_2$

Mimetite

Mimetite

A lead arsenate chloride, a secondary mineral in lead deposits. Also known as prixite.

$Pb_5(AsO_4)_3Cl$

Olivine

Olivine

A magnesium iron silicate, a nesosilicate or orthosilicate. The group includes forserite ($Mg_2SiO_4$) and fayalite ($Fe_2SiO_4$). Gemstones made from olivine include peridot and chrysolite. Olivine is one of the most common minerals of the Earth's crust. Olivine basalt has been found on the Moon and olivine, along with feldspar and pyroxenes, has been found in Martian soil.

$(Mg,Fe)_2SiO_4$

Pumice

Pumice

Pumcite in powdered form, pumice is a vesicular volcanic rock, technically a glass pyroclastic. It is formed during an eruption. The super-heated and pressurised rock is ejected and undergoes rapid cooling and depressurization, producing bubbles which are trapped within the rock.

It is used to make pozzolan for cement production, and for pumice stones for abrasives and the cosmetics industry.

Pyroxene

Pyroxene

A group of inosilicate minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The name comes from Greek for fire and stranger. Pyroxenes can occur as crystals in volcanic glass.

$XY(Si,Al)_2O_6$, where X can be any of calcium, sodium, iron(II) and magnesium, and Y is an ion of chromium, aluminium, iron(III), or others. For example, Pigeonite = $[Mg,Fe,Ca][Mg,Fe]Si_2O_6$

Red lava

Red Lava

This specimen of volcano ejecta was retrieved from Pompey, Mt. Vesuvius.

Sanidine

Sanidine

$K(AlSi_3O_8)$

Siderazot

Siderazot

Pentairon dinitride

Sulphur

Sulphur

Sulphur is ejected from active volcanoes, and bubbles up from fractures within the caldera. This sample was found at Mt Vesuvius, near Naples, Italy.

Formula $S$

Vesuvianite

Vesuvianite

Vesuvianite is a sorosilicate mineral in skarn and limestone, which have been metamorphised.

Also known as idocrase, it was first discovered in 1795 in the lavas of Mt Vesuvius. Cut to make gemstones.

$Ca_{10}(Mg, Fe)_2Al_4(SiO_4)_5(Si_2O_7)_2(OH,F)_4$

Content © Andrew Bone. All rights reserved. Created : March 11, 2016 Last updated :March 12, 2016

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