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Vanadinite

| Types of Minerals | March 20, 2013

Vanadinite

Vanadinite

Vanadinite is a mineral belonging to the apatite group of phosphates, with the chemical formula Pb5(VO4)3Cl. It is one of the main industrial ores of the metal vanadium and a minor source of lead. A dense, brittle mineral, it is usually found in the form of red hexagonal crystals. It is an uncommon mineral, formed by the oxidation of lead ore deposits such as galena. First discovered in 1801 in Mexico, vanadinite deposits have since been unearthed in South America, Europe, Africa, and in other parts of North America.
Vanadinite

Occurences of Vanadinite

Vanadinite is an uncommon mineral, only occurring as the result of chemical alterations to a pre-existing material. It is therefore known as a secondary mineral. It is found in arid climates and forms by oxidation of primary lead minerals. Vanadinite is especially found in association with the lead sulfide, galena. Other associated minerals include wulfenite, limonite, and barite.
It was originally discovered in Mexico by the Spanish mineralogist Andrés Manuel del Río in 1801. He called the mineral “brown lead” and asserted that it contained a new element, which he first named pancromium and later, erythronium. However, he was later led to believe that this was not a new element but merely an impure form of chromium. In 1830, Nils Gabriel Sefström discovered a new element, which he named vanadium. It was later revealed that this was identical to the metal discovered earlier by Andrés Manuel del Río. Del Río’s “brown lead” was also rediscovered, in 1838 in Zimapan, Hidalgo, Mexico, and was named vanadinite because of its high vanadium content. Other names that have since been given to vanadinite are johnstonite and lead vanadate.
Vanadinite for sale on Rocks and Minerals Trader.

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Peridot

| Types of Minerals | February 2, 2013

Peridot

Peridot

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color, an olive green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, so the color of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow to olive to brownish-green. The most valued color is a dark olive-green.
Peridot is gem-quality olivine. Olivine is a silicate mineral with formula of (Mg, Fe)2SiO4. As peridot is the magnesium rich variety (forsterite) the formula approaches Mg2SiO4.

Peridot is Olivine

Olivine, of which peridot is a type, is a common mineral in mafic and ultramafic rocks, and it is often found in lavas and in peridotite xenoliths of the mantle, which lavas carry to the surface; but gem quality peridot only occurs in a fraction of these settings. Peridot can be also found in meteorites.

Olivine in general is a very abundant mineral, but gem quality peridot is rather rare. This mineral is precious.
 
Peridot for Sale

Peridot in meteorites

Peridot crystals have been collected from some Pallasite meteorites. A famous Pallasite was offered for auction in April 2008 with a requested price of close to $3 million at Bonhams, but remained unsold.

Peridot for Sale.

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Chalcanthite

| Types of Minerals | January 29, 2013

Chalcanthite

What is Chalcanthite

Chalcanthite, whose name derives from the Greek, chalkos and anthos, meaning copper flower, is a richly-colored blue/green water-soluble sulfate mineral CuSO4·5H2O. It is commonly found in the late-stage oxidation zones of copper deposits. Due to its ready solubility, chalcanthite is more common in arid regions.
Chalcanthite is a pentahydrate and the most common member of a group of similar hydrated sulfates, the chalcanthite group. These other sulfates are identical in chemical composition to chalcanthite, with the exception of replacement of the copper ion by either manganese as jokokuite, iron as siderotil, or magnesium as pentahydrite.

Uses of Chalcanthite

As chalcanthite is a copper mineral, it can be used as an ore of copper. However, its ready solubility in water means that it tends to crystallize, dissolve, and recrystallize as crusts over any mine surface in more humid regions. Therefore, chalcanthite is only found in the most arid regions in sufficiently large quantities for use as an ore.
Chalcanthite
Secondarily, chalcanthite, due to its rich color and beautiful crystals, is a sought after collector’s mineral. However, as with its viability as an ore, the solubility of the mineral causes significant problems. First, the mineral readily absorbs and releases its water content, which, over time, leads to a disintegration of the crystal structure, destroying even the finest specimens. It is critical to store specimens properly to limit exposure to humidity. Second, higher quality crystals can be easily grown synthetically, and, as such, there is a concern that disreputable mineral dealers would present a sample as natural when it is not.
Many Chalcanthite specimens offered for sale are artificially grown.

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Spodumene

| Types of Minerals | January 18, 2013

What is Spodumene

What is Spodumene

The gem Spodumene occurs very rarely and in much smaller crystals ranging from colorless to yellow, pink to violet, Kunzite, yellowish-green to medium deep green, Hiddenite, and an extremely rare light blue color.
Spodumene is a major source of lithium, which has a great variety of uses including in the manufacture of lubricants, ceramics, batteries, welding supplies, experimental fuels and in anti-depressant drugs. Spodumene gems are perfectly suited for setting into rings, pendants, brooches and earrings.The perfect cleavage of spodumene makes it more difficult to facet, and care is required to prevent damage when wearing a spodumene gem set in a ring.
Spodumene

More information about Spodumene

Spodumene is a pyroxene mineral consisting of lithium aluminium inosilicate, LiAl(SiO3)2, and is a source of lithium. It occurs as colorless to yellowish, purplish, or lilac kunzite, yellowish-green or emerald-green hiddenite, prismatic crystals, often of great size. Single Spodumene crystals 47 feet in size are reported from the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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What is a Mineral

| Blog | January 3, 2013

What is a Mineral?

What is a Mineral is defined as a naturally occurring substance that is solid and stable at room temperature. A mineral has an ordered atomic structure and is represented by a chemical formula. Minerals are different from rocks which can be an aggregate of minerals or non-minerals and don’t have a specific chemical composition.

Examples of What is a Mineral

What is a Mineral
For more examples of What is a Mineral, see the Mineral Library.

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Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals

| Blog, Videos | December 19, 2012

Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals

Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals

Watch this short video on Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals. Before video taping, we gave the geode a few hits with a hammer and screwdriver until a crack started to form. Before having it crack any more, I started to film. As you see, a small hit caused the geode to split in two. Unfortunatly, the shiny crystals in this geode are quite small, but it’s a fun experiement to do with kids. As you’ll see at the end, we were left with a few small, but shiny quartz crystals.

 
As stated in Wikipedia, geodes or more or less rounded formations in volcanic (igneous) and sedimentary rocks. Most of the what is inside a geode is quartz or calcite. While there isn’t an exact understanding of how geodes formed,the basic understanding is that the geodes formed from bubbles in volcanic rock or sedimentary, while the crystals formed later, with the slow seeping of mineral-laden water into the bubble.
 
Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals
 
Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals.

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Rocks and Minerals for Kids

| Blog | December 11, 2012

Rocks and Minerals for Kids

Rocks and Minerals for Kids

Learn about Geology with Rocks and Minerals for Kids.
Can you answer all the questions below successfully? See the Rocks and Minerals questions, then scroll down the page for the answers. See how many you can match correctly. The correct Rocks and Minerals answers are at the very bottom of the page.

Rocks and Minerals Quiz Questions

  1. What is the most abundant element found in the Earth’s crust?
  2. What type of rock is formed when layers of sediment harden over millions and millions of years?
  3. What is the process called where rock and soil are moved by wind, water, ice and gravity?
  4. What type of rock is formed when pressure, liquid and heat transform pre-existing rock?
  5. What is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust?
  6. What type of scientist studies the Earth’s structure, how it is made, and the origins of the planet? Hint, this type of scientist studies rocks, soil, fossils, mountains, and earthquakes.
  7. What is the natural chemical process that breaks down rocks?
  8. What kind of rock is formed from the cooling of molten magma or lava?

 
Rocks and Minerals for Kids
 

Rocks and Minerals Quiz Answers

  • Geologist
  • Igneous Rock
  • Metamorphic Rock
  • Silicon
  • Sedimentary Rock
  • Erosion
  • Oxygen
  • Weathering

 
Rocks and Minerals for Kids
 

Rocks and Minerals Quiz Correct Answers

  1. Oxygen
  2. Sedimentary Rock
  3. Erosion
  4. Metamorphic Rock
  5. Silicon
  6. Geologist
  7. Weathering
  8. Igneous Rock

 
If you correctly answered 7 out of 10 questions or better, you are on your way to understanding the science known as Geology! Rocks and Minerals for Kids is an educational tool to learn more about Rocks and Minerals and Geology.

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Rock Cycle

| Blog, Videos | December 11, 2012

Rock Cycle

This video is a short explainer about the Rock Cycle and the three types of rocks, Igneous rock, Metamorphic rock and Sedimentary rock, and how those rocks are formed. It is a Geology educational resource for kids and adults.

Sedimentary Rock

Sedimentary rocks form at or near the Earth’s surface. Rocks made from particles of eroded sediment are called clastic sedimentary rocks, rocks made from the remains or living things are called biogenic sedimentary rocks, and those that form by minerals precipitating out of solution are called evaporites. Sandstone is an example of Sedimentary rock.
Rock Cycle

Igneous Rock

Igneous rocks begin as hot, fluid material. The word “igneous” comes from the Latin word for fire. This material may have been lava erupted at the Earth’s surface, or magma at depths below the surface. Basalt is an example of Igneous rock.
Rock Cycle

Metamorphic Rock

Metamorphic rocks form when sedimentary and igneous rocks become changed, or metamorphosed, by conditions below the surface. The four main agents that metamorphose rocks are heat, pressure, fluids and strain. These agents can act and interact in an unlimited variety of ways. As a result, most of the thousands of rare minerals known to science occur in metamorphic (“shape-changed”) rocks. Marble is an example of Metamorphic rock.
Rock Cycle

See more on the Rock Cycle, Geology and Rocks and Minerals for Kids.

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Turquoise Colors

| Blog | December 10, 2012

Turquoise Colors

Turquoise Colors

Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula

CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O

It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years because of the unique hue and variation different Turquoise Colors produce.

Turquoise Colors

Here is a list of high grade turquoise:

  • Classic Bisbee Turquoisefrom Arizona
  • Classic Nevada Blue Gem Turquoise
  • Carico Lake Lime Green Turquoise
  • Brown Spider Web Tortoise Turquoise
  • High grade Dry Creek Red Spider Web
  • Dark Green Damale Turquoise
  • Manassa Green Turquoise from Colorado
  • Morenci Blue Turquoise from Arizona
  • Mint Green Tortoise Turquoise from Nevada
  • Fox Aqua Blue Green Turquoise
  • Yellow Ivory Tortoise
  • Classic Natural Sleeping Beauty “Robin’s Egg Blue”
  • Pilot Mountain Boulder or Ribbon Turquoise
  • Yellow Spider Web Damale Turquoise
  • High grade Number 8 Turquoise
  • Turquoise Mountain Electric Blue with Golden Brown Web
  • Villa Grove Turquoise from Colorado
  • Blue Wind Fine Black Spider Web Turquoise
  • Kingman Classic Blue Turquoise
  • Lookout Mountain Blue with Black Spider Web Turquoise
  • Classic Pilot Mountain Blue to Green Fade Turquoise
  • Royston Turquoise “Royal Blue”
  • Classic Stormy Mountain Turquoise
  • Tibetan Spider Web Sky Blue Turquoise
  • Electric Blue Ithaca Peak Turquoise with Pyrite Matrix

In many cultures of the past, Turquoise has been highly sought after for thousands of years as a holy stone, and a bringer of good fortune. The oldest evidence for this claim dates back to near 3,000 before Christ, in ancient Egypt, where grave furnishings included turquoise inlays. In the ancient Persian Empire, the sky-blue gemstones as they were known, were worn round the neck and wrist as protection against unnatural death. If they changed color, the wearer was thought to have reason to fear the approach of doom.

Turquoise Colors

Learn more about Turquoise Colors and Types of Turquoise.

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Azurite

| Types of Minerals | December 9, 2012

Azurite

Azurite

What is Azurite. Azurite is a soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. It is also known as Chessylite after the type locality at Chessy-les-Mines near Lyon, France.

The mineral, a carbonate, has been known since ancient times, and was mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History under the Greek name kuanos (κυανός: “deep blue,” root of English cyan) and the Latin name caeruleum. The blue of azurite is exceptionally deep and clear, and for that reason the mineral has tended to be associated since antiquity with the deep blue color of low-humidity desert and winter skies. The modern English name of the mineral reflects this association, since both azurite and azure are derived via Arabic from the Persian lazhward (لاژورد), an area known for its deposits of another deep blue stone, lapis lazuli (“stone of azure”).
Azurite is one of the two basic copper(II) carbonate minerals, the other being bright green malachite. Simple copper carbonate (CuCO3) is not known to exist in nature. Azurite has the formula Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2, with the copper(II) cations linked to two different anions, carbonate and hydroxide. Small crystals of azurite can be produced by rapidly stirring a few drops of copper sulfate solution into a saturated solution of sodium carbonate and allowing the solution to stand overnight.

Azurite crystals are monoclinic

When large enough to be seen they appear as dark blue prismatic crystals.[2][3][5] Azurite specimens are typically massive to nodular, and are often stalactitic in form. Specimens tend to lighten in color over time due to weathering of the specimen surface into malachite. Azurite is soft, with a Mohs hardness of only 3.5 to 4. The specific gravity of azurite is 3.77 to 3.89. Azurite is destroyed by heat, losing carbon dioxide and water to form black, powdery copper(II) oxide. Characteristic of a carbonate, specimens effervesce upon treatment with hydrochloric acid.
Color

Azurite optical properties

Color (color, intensity) of minerals such as azurite and malachite are explained in the context of conventional electronic spectroscopy of coordination complexes. Relatively detailed descriptions are provided by ligand field theory.
Weathering

Azurite is unstable

In open air it is unstable with respect to malachite, and often is pseudomorphically replaced by malachite. This weathering process involves the replacement of some the carbon dioxide (CO2) units with water (H2O), changing the carbonate:hydroxide ratio of azurite from 1:1 to the 1:2 ratio of malachite:

2 Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2 + H2O → 3 Cu2(CO3)(OH)2 + CO2

From the above equation, the conversion of azurite into malachite is attributable to the low partial pressure of carbon dioxide in air. Azurite is also incompatible with aquatic media, such as saltwater aquariums.
 
Azurite
 

Azurite Pigments

Ground azurite powder for use as a pigment. Azurite was used as a blue pigment for centuries. Depending on the degree of fineness to which it was ground, and its basic content of copper carbonate, it gave a wide range of blues. It has been known as mountain blue or Armenian stone, in addition it was formerly known as Azurro Della Magna (from Italian). When mixed with oil it turns slightly green. When mixed with egg yolk it turns green-grey. It is also known by the names Blue Bice and Blue Verditer, though Verditer usually refers to a pigment made by chemical process. Older examples of azurite pigment may show a more greenish tint due to weathering into malachite. Much azurite was mislabeled lapis lazuli, a term applied to many blue pigments. As chemical analysis of paintings from the Middle Ages improves, azurite is being recognized as a major source of the blues used by medieval painters. True lapis lazuli was chiefly supplied from Afghanistan during the Middle Ages while azurite was a common mineral in Europe at the time. Sizable deposits were found near Lyons, France. It was mined since the 12th century in Saxony, in the silver mines located there.[6]
Heating can be used to distinguish azurite from purified natural ultramarine blue, a similar but much more expensive pigment, as described by Cennino D’Andrea Cennini. Ultramarine withstands heat, but azurite turns to black copper oxide. However, gentle heating of azurite produces a deep blue pigment used in Japanese painting techniques.

Azurite Jewelry

Azurite is used occasionally for beads, jewelry and is an ornamental stone. However, its softness and tendency to lose its deep blue color as it weathers limit such uses. Heating destroys azurite easily, so all mounting of azurite specimens must be done at room temperature.

Collecting Azurite

The intense color of azurite makes it a popular collector’s stone. However, bright light, heat, and open air all tend to reduce the intensity of its color over time. To help preserve the deep blue color of a pristine azurite specimen, collectors should use a cool, dark, sealed storage environment similar to that of its original natural setting.

Prospecting Azurite

While not a major ore of copper itself, the presence of azurite is a good surface indicator of the presence of weathered copper sulfide ores. It is usually found in association with the chemically very similar malachite, producing a striking color combination of deep blue and bright green that is strongly indicative of the presence of copper ores.

Azurite History

The use of azurite and malachite as copper ore indicators led indirectly to the name of the element nickel in the English language. Nickeline, a principal ore of nickel that is also known as niccolite, weathers at the surface into a green mineral (annabergite) that resembles malachite. This resemblance resulted in occasional attempts to smelt nickeline in the belief that it was copper ore, but such attempts always ended in failure due to high smelting temperatures needed to reduce nickel. In Germany this deceptive mineral came to be known as kupfernickel, literally “copper demon”. The Swedish alchemist Baron Axel Fredrik Cronstedt (who had been trained by Georg Brandt, the discoverer of the nickel-like metal cobalt) realized that there was probably a new metal hiding within the kupfernickel ore, and in 1751 he succeeded in smelting kupfernickel to produce a previously unknown (except in certain meteorites) silvery white, iron-like metal. Logically, Cronstedt named his new metal after the nickel part of kupfernickel. An unintended later consequence of his choice is that both Canadian and American coins worth one-twentieth of a dollar are now named after a German term for “kobolds”—that is, they are called nickels.
 
Azurite is found in the Rocks and Minerals Trader Mineral Library under the A mineral category.

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Types of Rocks

| Blog | December 4, 2012

Types of Rocks

Rocks come in many different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.
The three Types of Rocks found on Earth are Igneous, Metamorphic and Sedimentary.
Types of Rocks
 

Igneous

Igneous rocks are formed from the solidification of molten rock material. There are two types of Igneous rocks:
1) Intrusive igneous rocks such as diorite, gabbro, granite and pegmatite that solidify below Earth’s surface.
2) Extrusive igneous rocks such as andesite, basalt, obsidian, pumice, rhyolite and scoria that solidify on or above Earth’s surface.
Granite, shown below, is an example of Igneous rock.
Types of Rocks
 

Sedimentary

Sedimentary rocks are formed by the accumulation of sediments. There are three basic types of sedimentary rocks:
1) clastic sedimentary rocks such as breccia, conglomerate, sandstone and shale, that are formed from mechanical weathering debris.
2) chemical sedimentary rocks such as rock salt and some limestones, that form when dissolved materials precipitate from solution.
3) organic sedimentary rocks such as coal and some limestones which form from the accumulation of plant or animal debris.
Limestone, shown below, is an example of Sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary Rock
 

Metamorphic

Metamorphic rocks have been modified by heat, pressure and chemical process usually while buried deep below Earth’s surface. Exposure to these extreme conditions has altered the mineralogy, texture and chemical composition of the rocks. There are two basic types of metamorphic rocks:
1) Foliated metamorphic rocks such as gneiss, phyllite, schist and slate which have a layered or banded appearance that is produced by exposure to heat and directed pressure.
2) Non-foliated metamorphic rocks such as marble and quartzite which do not have a layered or banded appearance.
Marble, shown below, is an example of Metamorphic rock.
Metaphorphic Rock

Photos courtesy of geology.com. Types of Rocks.

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How to Post an Ad

| Videos | December 1, 2012

How to Post an Ad

How to Post an Ad

Click on the Post an Ad button near the top of the website. You must register to post an ad, it is easy and only takes 30 seconds or less. You will find you can register by clicking the Join Now button on the right hand side of the home page or you can register when you click the POST AD button.
 

 
Visit the FAQ page for more information on how to post an ad on Rocks and Minerals Trader.
 

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Types of Turquoise

| Blog | November 28, 2012

Types of Turquoise

Types of Turquoise

Less than 25% of Turquoise is desirable in its natural state. Much of the untreated turquoise is very delicate and porous with a tendency to undergo color changes when exposed to light, sweat, skin oil, and different types of soaps and cleaning agents.
Turquoise is hard and therefore considered a gemstone, but compared to other gemstones, it is considered soft. Natural turquoise is highly valuable but makes up only a fraction of the turquoise jewelry on the market today. Turquoise mines usually produce only around ten percent high quality turquoise.
About 90% of turquoise jewelry usually goes through some type of treatment, according to most rock and mineral buffs.
Types of Turquoise

Types of Turquoise Treatments:

Treatments are done to keep turquoise from fading or falling apart, and virtually all turquoise stones, natural and treated, are waxed to protect the stone.

Enhanced
A hard turquoise is treated with varying electrical currents to harden the stone and enhance the color. No dyes, resins, waxes, or oils are used in this treatment. Enhanced turquoise does not change color with time.

Stabilized
The turquoise is impregnated with acrylic or epoxy to harden the stone and enhance the color. Stabilized turquoise will not change color with time.

Compressed
Pressure is used to harden the turquoise.

Fracture-Sealed
A fracture sealer is used in this treatment to harden the turquoise matrix.

Synthetic
Turquoise made in the lab, and it identically reproduces the chemical composition and physical characteristics of natural turquoise.

Plastic
Yes, plastic!

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History of Birthstones

| Blog | November 6, 2012

History of Birthstones

The History of birthstones dates back thousands of years

The origin of the birthstone and the history of birthstones is believed to date back thousands of years to the time of Moses, before Christ.
It was at Moses’ command that the Breast Plate of the High Priest was made with the twelve colors, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, and a corresponding gemstone was attributed to each color. Over the centuries, the number twelve developed mystical proportions. There were twelve tribes of ancient Israel, twelve apostles, twelve foundation stones of the Holy City, twelve months of the year and twelve signs of the zodiac. As time went on, people wanted to own all twelve stones of the sacred Breast Plate and began wearing one gemstone set into a piece of jewelry each month and changing it as the months changed. Eventually, in a quest for individuality, people began wearing only his or her stone of birth all year, giving birth to the twelve birthstones. Each birthstone is believed to represent a mystical power. Some were believed to ward off evil, protect the wearer in battle, cure blindness, gout and palsy, and even immunize the wearer from drunkenness.

The History of Birthstones talks about 12 stones, one for each month. Some of the months actually have two birthstones.
History of Birthstones
Learn more about the Birthstones chart.

History of Birthstones is popular throughout the world!

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Birthstones

| Blog | November 4, 2012

Birthstones

Traditional and Modern Birthstones by Month

Do you know your birthstone? Many people are surprised there is more than one birthstone for many of the months.
Find your birthstones below. For a full list of approximately 4,000 minerals, see the Mineral Library.

Month Modern Traditional
January Garnet Garnet
February Amethyst Amethyst
March Aquamarine Bloodstone
April Diamond Diamond
May Emerald Emerald
June Pearl (or Moonstone) Alexandrite
July Ruby Ruby
August Peridot Sardonyx
September Sapphire Sapphire
October Opal Tourmaline
November Citrine Yellow Topaz
December Turquoise (or Blue Topaz) Turquoise (or Blue Zircon)

Birthstones

Learn the History of Birthstones.

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Halite

| Types of Minerals | November 1, 2012

Halite

Halite is also known as Rock Salt

Halite is the mineral form of sodium chloride (NaCl). Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount and type of impurities.

Halite occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals

It is found in those areas as a result of the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas. Salt beds maybe hundreds of meters thick and underlie broad areas. In the United States and Canada extensive underground beds extend from the Appalachian basin of western New York through parts of Ontario and under much of the Michigan Basin. Other deposits are in Ohio, Kansas, New Mexico, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. The Khewra salt mine is a massive deposit of halite near Islamabad, Pakistan. In the United Kingdom there are three mines; the largest of these is at Winsford in Cheshire producing half a million tons on average in six months.
Halite

Halite is used for managing ice

Halite is often used both privately and municipally for managing ice. Because brine (a solution of water and salt) has a lower freezing point than pure water, putting salt or saltwater on ice that is near 0°C will cause it to melt. (This effect is called freezing-point depression.) It is common for homeowners in cold climates to spread salt on their walkways and driveways after a snow storm to melt the ice. It is not necessary to use so much salt that the ice is completely melted; rather, a small amount of salt will weaken the ice so that it can be easily removed by other means. Also, many cities will spread a mixture of sand and salt on roads during and after a snowstorm to improve traction.Salt is also used extensively in cooking as a flavor enhancer and to cure a wide variety of foods such as bacon and fish. Larger pieces of Halite can be ground in a salt mill or dusted over food from a shaker as finishing salt.

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  • Vanadinite

    Vanadinite

    by on March 20, 2013 - 0 Comments

    Vanadinite Vanadinite is a mineral belonging to the apatite group of phosphates, with the chemical formula Pb5(VO4)3Cl. It is one of the main industrial ores o...

  • Rocks and Minerals for Kids

    Rocks and Minerals for Kids

    by on December 11, 2012 - 1 Comments

    Rocks and Minerals for Kids Learn about Geology with Rocks and Minerals for Kids. Can you answer all the questions below successfully? See the Rocks and Miner...

  • Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals

    Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals

    by on December 19, 2012 - 0 Comments

    Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals Watch this short video on Breaking Open a Geode to Find Quartz Crystals. Before video taping, we gave the geode a...

  • Types of Rocks

    by on December 4, 2012 - 0 Comments

    Types of Rocks Rocks come in many different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes. The three Types of Rocks found on Earth are Igneous, Metamorphic and Sediment...

  • Birthstones

    Birthstones

    by on November 4, 2012 - 1 Comments

    Traditional and Modern Birthstones by Month Do you know your birthstone? Many people are surprised there is more than one birthstone for many of the months. F...

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