USE OF CRYSTAL FORMS AND HABITS IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION

The atoms within the crystal of a mineral are arranged in a regular fashion to form a lattice, and the crystal exhibits a shape with surface regularity which reflects its internal symmetry[Ref1]. The shape of a crystal is often typical of a mineral. and often typical the location where found; thus, crystal shape comprised of. . . Read More

USES OF CLEAVAGE, PARTING, AND FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION

CLEAVAGE IN A MINERAL CRYSTAL[Ref1] Cleavage in a mineral is the tendency for the crystal to split along definite  crystallographic planes as exemplified by the rhombohedron cleaved from a calcite crystal shown in Figure 1[Ref1]. These planes of weakness are present within a regular repeating array of atoms and ions within the crystal and are. . . Read More

FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION

Fracture in mineralogy is the texture and shape of the surface formed when the mineral is fractured. Fracture differs from cleavage and parting, which involve clean splitting along a plane surface, as it produces rough irregular surfaces [Ref1]. The appearance of fracture surfaces among minerals is highly varied and is a useful tool in identification.. . . Read More

USES OF CLEAVAGE, PARTING, AND FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION-I

Structural failure of a mineral crystal can occur by cleavage, by parting, or by fracture.  The characteristics of any of these failure modes exhibited by a mineral can be useful as tools towards its identification. In this Blog I’ll discuss the properties of cleavage and their use in identifying minerals and follow with a second. . . Read More

MINERAL STUFF: AMBER, THE GEM

Amber is a hard resin formed from tree sap by fossilization and is many millions of years old[Ref1]. Since Neolithic times (about 9000-3000 BC) and before the Copper Age[Ref]2) amber has been highly valued as a gemstone and used to create beautiful jewelry and artworks. Wide use of amber in Early Europe and in the. . . Read More

Your Slab Saw is Your Friend

This short tutorial on how to operate a slab saw is directed toward the new user and can be a refresher for the seasoned slab-miester. Generally slab saws are heavy, so find a covered area indoors to place it, (or outside if you have to). You probably won’t be moving it unless yours has wheels.. . . Read More