Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mineral Andalusite dan Chiastolite

Andalusite is a rock-forming mineral that is mined for use in high-temperature refractories. Gem-quality specimens are cut into faceted gems and cabochons. Mineral Andalusite forms during the regional metamorphism of shale. It is found in schist and gneiss at some present and ancient convergent plate boundaries where the rocks have been exposed to the temperatures and pressures needed for its formation. In these rocks, andalusite is often associated with kyanite and sillimanite. Mineral Andalusite also forms during the contact metamorphism of argillaceous rocks. In this situation, it can form within the metamorphosed rock or in veins and cavities within the igneous rock. It can be associated with cordierite in hornfels, granite, and granitic pegmatite.

Chiastolite is a variety of andalusite that contains black particles of graphite arranged in geometric patterns. The graphite is pushed aside by crystal growth within a rock that is being metamorphosed. As growth occurs, the particles become concentrated at crystal interfaces. The result can be a cross-shaped pattern within the mineral - similar to the "cross-stone". People have known about these cross stones for centuries and have valued them for their perceived religious or spiritual meaning. Attractive specimens are often cut and polished for use as amulets, charms, and novelty gems. 

Mineral Andalusite Chiastolite
Picture Of Andalusite

Physical Properties and Uses of Andalusite
Andalusite has a number of useful physical properties. It has the ability to withstand high temperatures without alteration. For that reason it is used to make high-temperature ceramics and refractories. The white porcelain of many spark plugs is made using andalusite.

Properties of Andalusite
Physical Properties of Andalusite

Transparent specimens of andalusite are often strongly pleochroic. This makes them have different apparent colors when viewed from different directions. This pleochroic effect allows andalusite to be cut into unique gemstones. Although twinning is not common in andalusite, nicely crystallized specimens that posses twinning can be distinctive. Twinning can produce cross-shaped structures perpendicular to the crystallographic c-axis, similar to what is shown in the rock at right.

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