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The chemical formula of mineral Ulexite is indicated by NaCaB5O6(OH)6 – 5H2O or Hydrated Sodium Calcium Borate Hydroxide. Ulexite is actually a Carbonate mineral. It is considered as an ore of boron and it is most commonly used as mineral specimen and most often found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Ulexite, just like other Borates is a structurally complex mineral. It is most commonly found with the mineral borax and it is actually directly deposited in arid regions from the evaporation of water in intermittent lakes called playas. In optical mineralogy studies, playas are known to form only during rainy seasons due to runoff from nearby mountains. The runoff is actually rich in the element boron as evaluated in optical mineralogy. It is also highly concentrated by evaporation in the arid climate. The concentration is eventually found so great that crystals of Ulexite, borax as well as other boron minerals is found forming and accumulating into great thickness.

 

            It has been also found that some specimens of mineral Ulexite form a cotton ball tuft of acicular crystals that can be found more fascinating and more splendidly exhibited under polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. ulexite specimen can actually be confused with the similar appearing tufts of the silicate mineral okenite. However, they are completely different in origin as well as mineral associations. Mineral Ulexite is most commonly found white or gray to colorless which can be more fascinating when viewed under petrographic polarizing microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Ulexite is also usually found showing silky luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized microscopes for mineralogists. Most crystals of mineral Ulexite are usually found transparent to translucent in appearance.

 

            Ulexite is most often found in a vein-like bedding habit that is most commonly found composed of closely-packed fibrous crystals that appear more interesting when viewed under polarizing microscope for mineralogists. This variety of mineral Ulexite is called TV Rock. This variety is actually very popular in many rock shops, especially with children. The unusual optical phenomenon can be seen if the specimen is approximately an inch thick and it is polished flat on both sides perpendicular to the fibers. It can be seen with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy that the fibers will behave like optical fibers and it will be found transmitting an image from one side of the specimen to the other. A good specimen resting on a newspaper will have the writing appear to be on top of the specimen without any distortion of the lettering. It would be amazing to find out that the newspaper can easily be read upon the surface of the mineral Ulexite. This interesting phenomenal optical property of mineral Ulexite will stun anyone who has not seen it before. This effect is partially the result of the large spaces in the sodium octahedral chains mentioned above.

             Ulexite is known to crystallize in the triclinic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this triclinic crystal system commonly comprises crystals having three axes, of which all are unequal in length and are positioned oblique to one another. The crystal habit of mineral Ulexite as dexxfribed in the field of optical mineralogy usually include tufts of acicular crystals called cotton balls which can be seen more clearly exhibited and more fascinating and interesting when viewed with the aid of polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Ulexite is also usually found as vein-like masses of parallel fibrous crystals that can be seen more splendidly exhibited  when viewed with the aid of polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Ulexite is also usually found exhibiting perfect cleavage found in one direction which can be seen more clearly visible when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Ulexite is also found showing fibrous fracture when evaluated with the aid of polarized microscopes for mineralogists. The hardness measure of mineral Ulexite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually found 2, which is usually softer than a fingernail. Ulexite is most commonly found leaving a white streak when specimen sample is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 1.97 grams per cubic centimeters, which is very low in density. Similar other borate minerals have an alkaline taste, while Ulexite is usually tasteless. Ulexite is most commonly found associated with other interesting minerals like borax, hydroboracite, colemanite and other borate minerals. The best field indicators of mineral Ulexite include locality, crystal habit, unique optical property, associations, density and hardness. Ulexite notably occurs at several localities including Kazakhstan, Chile, and some areas in USA including California and Nevada.



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Thursday, October 15th, 2009 at 4:12 am
Category:
The Carbonates and Borates Mineral Class
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