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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Mineral Monday: Salt

Salt crystals from Germany Image Credit: Walter J. Pilsak Happy Halloween! In keeping with the spirit of the holiday, we’re going to be talking about one of the most magical minerals of all: salt. Salt (NaCl, or halite) has been a highly prized mineral for millennia. But, under the traditional definition of a mineral, salt, […]

Mineral Monday: Kyanite

Kyanite Image Credit: Rob Lavinsky, It’s Monday again! And that means it’s time to rock*. Last week we talked briefly about olivine, and you learned that geologists love naming things, and also that olivine’s chemical structure can substitute magnesium for iron and vice-versa, giving us one big olivine-y spectrum of compositions. This week we’re […]

Mineral Monday: Olivine

I have a wonderful friend who is a graduate student in chemistry. While we were both undergrads, she happened to take a course in geology*, and she told me that the mineral names geologists used drove her nuts. They didn’t make sense – why not just say silicon dioxide instead of quartz?** The simple answer […]

Mineral Monday: Fluorite

Fluorite Crystals Image Credit: arbyreed via Flickr I adore fluorite. It is easily one of my favorite minerals, useful, gorgeous, and with a fantastic amount of history to it. Fluorite (CaF2) is the modern version of the name fluorspar, which was coined by Georgius Agricola in the early-to-mid-1500’s. Georgius Agricola Image Credit: Wikipedia Agricola was […]