Minerals

By: Erica Cullison

Agate

Agate is a banded version of the mineral Chalcedony. It is the most varied and popular type of Chalcedony. Agate forms in rounded knobs which need to be cut open to see the bands. Most Agate is ugly when it first forms, they need to be polished to bring out the true beauty of the mineral. Agate has a range of 7-9 on the Mohns Scale. Agate comes with all different colors of the rainbow. It is a relatively inexpensive stone, but definitely beautiful. It is found all over the world from as far as Egypt and Asia to as close as Mexico and the USA. You could use Agate for decoration purposes, I personally think it would add charm and elegance to your home.


Physical Characteristics:

Color: Nearly every color

Hardness: 7

Cleavage: None

Luster: Dull, Vitreous to greasy

Transparency: Transparent to opaque

Streak: White

Aragonite

Aragonite is a calcium carbonate, sort of similar formula to Calcite. Aragonite is harder than Calcite. It has a hardness of 3.5-4 on the Mohns scale. But Aragonite is an interesting and attractive mineral in it's own unique way. It forms in fascinating habits and can have a nice, pretty color. Aragonite is formed in two different places, in a Moroccan lava bed and in the carbonate shells of sea life. It doesn't necessarily have a distinct shape. They come in different shapes and sizes. Did you know that pearls are composed out of mostly Aragonite? I think Aragonite will be a beautiful item to have. It reflects the light and shines it's beauty.


Physical Characteristics:

Color: White, colorless, blue, red, yellow, orange, brown, green

Luster: Vitreous to dull

Cleavage: Distinct in one direction

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Hardness: 3.5 -4

Streak: White

Rhodonite

Rhodonite is an attractive mineral that is often used and cut into pieces to put in jewelry. It is named after the Greek word for rose, (rhodon). It's rose pink color is distinct and can only be compared to another mineral. It is very rare and I think would be a good investment because of that. You would have something that not many people have. It may be gone soon. The streak of the mineral is ironically white. It's hardness is 5.5- 6.5 on the Mohns scale. Rhodonite is a symbol for love, the light pink color symbolizes love and the black veins represent grounded love. It bring emotional balance and strenthens humanity. This is a gift you could give to your significant other or your parents to show how much you appreciate them.


Color: Pink, red, orange, black

Luster: vitreous to dull to pearly

Cleavage: Perfect in one direction

Transparency: translucent to barely transparent

Hardness: 5.5-6.5

Streak: White

Dioptase

Dioptase are one of the few minerals that can have a true emerald's deep green color, but because it's soft and has a pretty good cleavage, it cannot be cut into a gemstone. The hardness is 5 on the Mohns scale. They are deeply colored and show developed crystals, The crystals can be quite clear but sometimes cloudy because of the distinct color. Fine sources of Dioptase are still available but there are only few sources of it left. Dioptase has a gorgeous color, that could be worth a lot someday.


Color: Deep green

Luster: Vitreous

Cleavage: Perfect in three directions

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Hardness: 5

Streak: Green

My birthstone: Peridot

I like the birthstone Peridot because it's unique color of green. It's different than any other birthstone, because every other one is a pretty color that most people like, but the Peridot is uncommon. Peridot is said to say that it keeps away the nightmares and to bring power. Peridot is known as one of the few gemstones that only have one color. It is also the wedding anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage. The peridot symbolizes love, faithfulness, truth, and loyalty.


Physical Characteristics:

Color: Shades of green

Hardness: 6.5-7

Cleavage: Usually not seen very well

Crystal System: Orthorhombic