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The chemical formula of mineral Benitoite is indicated by BaTiSi3O9 or Barium Titanium Silicate. Benitoite is actually a Silicate mineral. Benitoite mineral was only discovered at the beginning of 20th century. It was actually discovered in the year 1907 at the Dallas Gem Mine, San Benito County in California. Benitoite minerals were never found elsewhere other than San Benito, California. Due to this reason, mineral Benitoite has been designated as the California state gemstone. This mineral species Benitoite was named after its type of locality by the mineralogist G. D. Louderback.

 

            Specimens of Benitoite are commonly found in shades of blue in transmitted light of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. They can be also found colorless in appearance and sometimes yellowish if in thin sections. There is also a rare appearance of the pinkish Benitoite specimens that are very interesting to view under geological polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists. Colorless mineral specimens of Benitoite commonly allow the whole constituents of the white light to pass through making the mineral non-pleochroic even between crossed nicols of polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. Benitoite minerals usually exhibit a vitreous luster in reflected light of polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. When mineral specimen is evaluated under several adjustments on the aperture diaphragm of the polarized microscope for mineralogists, Benitoite usually show an absent cleavage. It has an irregular fracture that can be found clearly exhibited when the mineral specimen is evaluated between crossed nicols of the petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. They can be also conchoidal, the fractures developed in brittle materials characterized by smoothly curving surfaces that usually display nice microscope views under polarizing microscope. The hardness measure for mineral specimen Benitoite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method commonly gives values ranging from 6 to 6.5. This hardness is considered significant and suitable for gemstone purposes. When Benitoite mineral specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate, it usually leaves a white streak. The specific gravity measure for Benitoite specimen usually gives an approximate value of 3.6  grams per cubic centimeters, which is commonly considered an above average value.

 

            Benitoite mineral is considered one of those few minerals that crystallize in the ditrigonal-dipyramidal symmetry class. This class technically is hexagonal and it usually produces trigonal looking crystals. But Benitoite minerals are actually well known crystallizing in the hexagonal system of crystal formation. In the field of optical mineralogy, the hexagonal system of crystallization comprises crystals having four axes. Three of which are positioned in a single plane with equal length and are symmetrically spaced. The fourth axis is found to be perpendicular to the other three axes. Crystals of Benitoite mineral are usually found transparent to translucent in appearance. The crystal habit of the mineral as described in the field of optical mineralogy commonly includes flattened six-faced dipyramid that has distinct triangular shape, which is often modified by minor faces. Benitoite crystals can be also found as small grains. Benitoite mineral crystals can be also found in tabular form that is shaped like a book, which can be splendidly exhibited under polarized light microscopes. This actually forms dimensions that are thin in one direction.

 

            Specimens of Benitoite mineral commonly show high surface relief when evaluated with the aid of polarizing light microscope used in optical mineralogy. It also shows strong birefringence when viewed in plane light of polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Mineral specimens of Benitoite are considered as fluorescent minerals. They commonly exhibit fluorescent pale blue color under short ultraviolet light. Benitoite mineral specimens are usually found with high dispersion when viewed in plane light of petrographic polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. Crystals and cut stones of Benitoite mineral tend to be small and considerably expensive. Specimens of Benitoite mineral are found pleochroic and usually possessing two corresponding principal colors commonly blue to white if viewed in transmitted light of polarized microscope in optical mineralogy. It has two principal indices of refraction found when specimen is evaluated between plane-polarized lights of petrographic polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Benitoite are considered non-magnetic minerals. Benitoite mineral specimens are found having uniaxial positive figures when evaluated between crossed nicols of geological polarizing light microscope. After several chemical evaluations, Benitoite minerals are found not radioactive. There is no specific data on the toxicity and health danger for mineral Benitoite. However, specimens of this mineral should be treated with great care and use of sensible precautions upon handling them.

 

            Benitoite minerals are commonly found in hydrothermally altered serpentinite. Benitoite minerals in tiny grains in Eocene sands can be found in Texas. The splendid mineral association of Benitoite with other wonderful minerals only occurs at the Dallas Gem Mine in San Benito County, California. They can be found formed in fractures of a serpentine rock from hydrothermal solutions. These solutions, after chemical evaluations, is found to contain a number of unusual elements such as titanium, barium, iron, fluorine, niobium, lithium, cesium and manganese, all of which are found in a relatively high concentrations. However, it is still not well understood how such a solution occurred and what other conditions caused the crystallization of these rare minerals. Best field indicators of mineral Benitoite commonly include color, crystal habit, locality, fluorescence, and its wonderful association with other interesting minerals. Some Benitoite minerals can be also possibly found in Japan, Belgium, Arkansas and St. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada.



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Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Category:
The Silicates Mineral Class
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