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The chemical formula of mineral Sinhalite is indicated by MgAlBO4 or Magnesium Aluminum Borate. Sinhalite is actually a Carbonate mineral. Sinhalite is most commonly used as mineral specimen. It is also used for gemstone purposes. Sinhalite is most commonly found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. Sinhalite is actually rare mineral and it is only known from the gem gravels in Sri Lanka. It was said to be discovered as a new species in 1952. Since then, it has been considered as an unusual gemstone classified under Borates minerals. Sinhalite derived its name from Sinhala, the Sanskrit word for the island of Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.

 Mineral Sinhalite is most commonly found greenish brown to brown in color. Sometimes it can be also found greenish yellow in color. Sinhalite is more fascinating when viewed under petrographic polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. Sinhalite is most commonly found showing vitreous luster when viewed in reflected light of polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Most crystals of mineral Sinhalite are found transparent to translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of the mineral Sinhalite as described in the field of optical mineralogy is usually limited to alluvial grains found in gem gravels. Sinhalite is known to crystallize in the orthorhombic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this orthorhombic crystal system comprises crystals having three mutually perpendicular axes, of which all are of different lengths. Sinhalite is most commonly found showing distinct cleavage in two directions, which can be seen more clearly visible when specimen is evaluated closely under petrographic polarizing light microscopes. The hardness measure of the mineral when evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually 6.5. Sinhalite is most commonly found leaving a white streak when specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 3.5 grams per cubic centimeters, which is slightly above average for translucent minerals. Sinhalite is also found to be strongly pleochroic. In optical mineralogy, this means that it may appear to have different colors from different viewing angles using the petrographic polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Sinhalite is usually found associated with other gem gravel minerals such as Peridot, sapphire, ruby and garnets. The best field indicators of mineral Sinhalite usually include locality, color, relatively high hardness and pleochroism. Sinhalite has only limited occurrence to the gem gravels of Sri Lanka. 



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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 at 9:14 am
Category:
The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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