Meerschaum is a hydrous magnesium silicate having the chemical formula Mg4Si6O15(OH)2•6H2O. Most of the meerschaum of commerce is obtained chiefly from the plain of Eskişehir in Turkey, between Istanbul and Ankara. It occurs there in irregular nodular masses, in alluvial deposits, which are extensively worked for its extraction. It is said that in this district there are 4000 shafts leading to horizontal galleries for extraction of the meerschaum. The principal workings are at Sepetçi Ocağı and Kemikçi Ocağı, about 20 miles southeast of Eskişehir. The mineral is associated with magnesite (magnesium carbonate), the primitive source of both minerals being a serpentine.
Mica The principal use of ground mica is in gypsum wallboard joint compound, where it acts as a filler and extender, provides a smoother consistency, improves workability, and prevents cracking. In the paint industry, ground mica is used as a pigment extender that also facilitates suspension due to its light weight and platy morphology. The ground mica also reduces checking and chalking, prevents shrinkage and shearing of the paint film, provides increased resistance to water penetration and weathering, and brightens the tone of colored pigments. Ground mica also is used in the well-drilling industry as an additive to drilling “muds.”
The two largest uses of molybdenum are as an alloy in stainless steels and in alloy steels-these two uses consume about 60% of the molybdenum needs in the United States. Stainless steels include the strength and corrosion-resistant requirements for water distribution systems, food handling equipment, chemical processing equipment, home, hospital, and laboratory requirements. Alloy steels include the stronger and tougher steels needed to make automotive parts, construction equipment, gas transmission pipes. Other major uses as an alloy include tool steels, for things like bearings, dies, machining components, cast irons, for steel mill rolls, auto parts, crusher parts, super alloys for use in furnace parts, gas turbine parts, chemical processing equipment. Molybdenum also is an important material for the chemicals and lubricant industries.
Group of minerals that are compounds of one or more metallic elements combined with the borate radical (B2O3). The borates group contains two sub-groups, the hydrous borates and the anhydrous borates. Many borate minerals, such as borax, colemanite, and ulexite, are salts: soft, readily soluble, and found in evaporite contexts. However, some, such as boracite, are hard and resistant to weathering, more similar to the silicates.BORAXBorax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as a flux in metallurgy, neutron-capture shields for radioactive sources, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.COLEMANITEIt is one of the more stable of borate minerals. Colemanite is pyroelectric and develops an electrical charge during a change of temperature. The crystal symmetry of prismatic monoclinic minerals would scientifically disqualify them from being pyroelectric, since pyroelectricity is directly related to crystal symmetry. This mineral is therefore regarded as a scientific oddity, and as of yet no explanation has been given to how Colemanite is pyroelectric.
Cryolite or kryolite mineral usually pure white or colorless but sometimes tinted in shades of pink, brown, or even black and having a luster like that of wax. Chemically, it is a double fluoride of sodium and aluminum, Na3AlF6. Its principal use is as a flux in the smelting of aluminum. It is used also as a source of soda, aluminum salts, fluorides, and hydrofluoric acid (by the action of sulfuric acid).
Graphite is rather common, but fine crystals are rare. Most Graphite mining areas produce enormous quantities from a single or several large Graphite veins. Graphite has the same chemical composition as the mineral Diamond, but the atomic structure of Graphite and Diamond is entirely different. This causes almost opposite characteristics in their physical properties.
Much care should be given to Graphite specimens, especially thin crystals, which are fragile. It is very hard to wash crystals as they peel off and get ruined. Graphite will also smudge on its surface, and can get worn out if it is moved around too much. Graphite also smudges the hand if handled, and will smudge a paper or cardboard box if it is stored in one.
The “lead” in pencils is in fact composed of a mixture of Graphite and clay. There is no lead in pencils at all. Much of the commercially mined Graphite is used for pencil fillings. Its main function, however, is as a lubricant. It has many electrical uses, primarily because it is the only common nonmetal that is a good conductor of electricity.
Talc is known for being the softest mineral on earth. It is number 1 on the Mohs hardness scale, and can be easily scratched by a fingernail. Talc is not commonly seen in collections, as it is usually uninteresting and fairly common, although a few deeply colored and crystallized examples are known and well sought after. Also very popular are the Talc pseudomorphs. Talc forms some very interesting pseudomorphs after many different minerals, and certain localities are known for the specific minerals replaced by Talc.
Talc is a very important industrial mineral. Talc is crushed into powder to form talcum powder, which is the main ingredient in many cosmetics as well as some baby powders. Talcum powder was also used as a filler to prevent slipping in latex gloves, although its use is being replaced with corn starch which is safer for inhalation. Talc is highly resistance to heat and electricity, and is therefore used in electronics and as an insulator. It is also a filler material for paints, rubber and insecticides.
Large amounts of nickel are used in the specialty steel industry for stainless steel and related alloys. And also in nonferrous alloys (or mixed with metals other than steel) and super alloys (metal mixtures designed to withstand extremely high temperatures and/or pressures, or to have high electrical conductivity). Nickel is used as a coating on other metals to slow down corrosion.
Perlite is used in a number of different situations. The majority of perlite is used in construction products, mainly ceiling tiles and roof insulation products, but also as refractory bricks (a refractory brick is a brick designed to withstand very high temperatures), pipe insulation, and filling in masonry block construction. For example, loose perlite is poured into holes in concrete blocks after they are laid in place to improve the insulating quality of the construction. Perlite is also used as an insulator in other ways in the construction of buildings. It reduces noise and, since it is non-combustible, it also improves the fire resistance of different construction components in buildings.
A native element and precious metal, Gold has long been prized for its beauty, resistance to chemical attack and workability. As it is found as a native element, has a relatively low melting point (1063 degrees Celsius) and is malleable, it has been used by mankind for thousands of years.
Gold is used as a standard for international currency and is also widely used in jewelry, electronics (where its superb properties as a conductor help offset its tremendous cost), dentistry and in photographic processes.
Silver is one of the most famous precious metals, and has been used for ornamental purposes since the earliest of times. Most silver is extracted from silver ores, but considerable amounts are mined from Native Silver. Silver can be found pure, but is usually mixed with small amounts of gold, arsenic, and antimony. A natural alloy of gold and silver is known as Electrum, and is usually classified as a variety of Gold.
Silver has many unique physical properties that give it very special status. Silver is the best conductor of electricity, is the second most malleable and ductile metal, and is in greater abundance than all other precious metals with similar properties. Due to its unique properties and intrinsic beauty, it is extensively used industrially and as ornaments.
Platinum is the rarest and most expensive of the popular precious metals. It is much rarer then Gold. Due to its rarity and value, it is not readily available to mineral collectors and is seldom represented in in all but the highest-end mineral collections.
Platinum is an exquisite precious metal used in jewelry as ring settings, bracelets, and necklaces. Platinum jewelry is rare, beautiful, and durable, and is therefore highly regarded.
Native Platinum is the most significant source of the element platinum, although considerable quantities are also mined from the rare platinum arsenide mineral Sperrylite. The rare metals iridium, osmium, rhodium, and palladium are almost exclusively mined together with platinum in platinum deposits.
Pumice is a light and porous type of pyroclastic igneous rock. It is formed from the lava that is full of gas. During the explosive volcanic eruptions, the liquid lava is ejected in the air. As the lava hurtles through the air, it cools and the gases escape from the rock, leaving it full of holes.
Any type of igneous rock can form pumice rock, provide suitable eruptive conditions it get. It can be andesite, basalt, dacite or rhyolite. When larger amounts of gas are present in the rock, the resultant is a finger-grained variety of pumice, which is known as pumicite.
Pumice is popular in making lightweight concrete and is used as abrasive, particularly in polishes and cosmetics exfoliants. When pumice is used as an additive for cement, its fine-grained version knowns as pozzolan is mixed with lime to form a light-weight, smooth, plaster-like concrete. This type of concrete has been in use since Roman times.
Quartz is a chemical compound consisting of one part silicon and two parts oxygen. It is silicon dioxide (SiO2). It is the most abundant mineral found at Earth’s surface and its unique properties make it one of the most useful natural substances.
Quartz is one of the most useful natural materials. Its usefulness can be linked to its physical and chemical properties. It has a hardness of seven on the Mohs Scale which makes it very durable. It is chemically inert in contact with most substances. It has electrical properties and heat resistance that make it valuable in electronic products. Its luster, color and diaphaneity make it useful as a gemstone and also in the making of glass.
NaCl salt, which is an important substance in the chemical industry and in food preparation, is produced from four main sources: lakes, seas, salt rock and underground salt water. Salt from lakes has the lowest cost and is of high quality. Turkey is surrounded by the sea in three directions, and salt production from the sea is gaining in importance.
Halite, the natural form of salt, is a very common and well-known mineral. It is found in solid masses, and as a dissolved solution in the oceans and in salt lakes. The inland lakes that are rich in salt exist in arid regions, and may also be below sea level without an outlet. These lakes evaporate during dry seasons, causing a recession in the water level and an increase of salinity content. When this happens, salt forms on the evaporated shores of the lake. This also happens as the tributaries of salt lakes are diverted for human and agricultural use, causing the lake to dry up with additional salt forming at the evaporating shoreline. Many of these inland lakes have already dried up, leaving over enormous salt deposits which may be commercially mined
Pure Celestine is colorless, but impurities give this mineral a wide range of colors. The most common color is light blue, which is often caused by irradiation of gold. This light blue tint may be present in a whole specimen, or may only be confined to one area. Celestine is isomorphous with Barite, and may partially replace it.
Celestine is the most common mineral containing the element strontium, and is its primary ore. It is a popular mineral among collectors.