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The chemical formula of mineral Laumontite is indicated by CaAl2Si4O12-4H2O or Hydrated Calcium Aluminum Silicate. Laumontite is actually a Silicate mineral. Laumontite is known to crystallize in the monoclinic system of crystal formation. In the field of optical mineralogy, this monoclinic system of crystal formation comprises crystals having three axes of unequal lengths. Two of which are usually found in a position that is oblique or not perpendicular to one another. However, both of which are commonly found perpendicular to the third axis. Mineral Laumontite was named after the Frenchman F.P.N. de Laumont.

            Laumontite is actually a zeolite mineral. Laumontite is most commonly used as mineral specimen and it is also used as chemical filter. The structure of mineral Laumontite is that of a typical zeolite. It has the zeolitic openness wherein large ions and molecules are allowed to reside and move around inside the overall framework of the mineral. The structure of the mineral Laumontite actually contains open channels that allow water and large ions to travel into and out of its crystal structure. It has been studied in the field of optical mineralogy that the size of the open channels controls the size of the molecules or ions that pass through it. Thus, mineral Laumontite and many other zeolites can actually act as chemical sieves.

            Mineral Laumontite is actually a very wonderful specimen most especially when it is evaluated closely with the aid of the polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Crystals of Laumontite could actually appear like a monument above a desert plain because its columnar crystals could actually project above the clutter of crystals at its base. Laumontite mineral crystals can be also found in smaller forms and almost acicular jutting prisms that look like a rugged landscape, which could be more fascinating when viewed with the aid of polarized light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Most Laumontite mineral specimens are usually found opaque in appearance but it still it retains an alabaster-like luster reminiscent of carved sculpture.

            Mineral Laumontite is actually one of the must-haves zeolite minerals among zeolite collectors. It is also considered as a real prize for all other mineral collectors. Zeolite minerals can actually have a framework, sheet, or chain-like structure that can be seen more clearly exhibited when the mineral is viewed closely with the aid of petrographic polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. The structure of mineral Laumontite is a framework of amino-silicate tetrahedrons. Just like other zeolite minerals, Laumontite commonly forms inside the petrified bubbles of volcanic rocks or vesicles. These volcanic rocks have undergone a small amount of metamorphism. These mineral specimens are actually very fun to collect among mineral collectors because of such varied associations and forms.

            However, mineral Laumontite can loss water upon exposure to light. These loss of water destabilize the crystals and cause the crystals to become powdery. When Laumontite dehydrates, it turns into a new mineral called leonhardite. Laumontite must be seal in an air tight, lightproof container for storage to prevent water loss. It should only be expose to light on occasions to admire them. It is also good to note that the alteration of the mineral Laumontite is slow and fine Laumontite specimens can be admired for many years if only properly cared.

            Laumontite is most commonly found colorless or white in appearance. It can be also be found tinted pink, gray, yellow, almond, or brown that could appear more splendidly wonderful when mineral is viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Laumontite is also most commonly found exhibiting vitreous to dull luster upon exposure to reflected light of petrographic polarizing microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Laumontite mineral crystals are most commonly found transparent to opaque upon exposure to light. The crystal habit of mineral Laumontite as described in  the field of optical mineralogy usually include nearly square prisms terminated by the flat, slanted face of a pinacoid. Laumontite can be also found massive in form as well as fibrous and radiating that could appear more fascinating and splendidly wonderful when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope. When closely evaluated with the aid of polarized microscope for mineralogists, Laumontite can be seen showing some good penetration twins.

            Mineral Laumontite can be also found showing perfect cleavage in two directions, forming splinters that can be seen more fascinatingly wonderful when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope for mineralogists. Laumontite is also usually found showing uneven fracture when it is viewed under geological polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of the mineral Laumontite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually found less than 4. The specific gravity measure of the mineral Laumontite is most commonly found approximately 2.2+ grams per cubic centimeters and it is considered very light. Laumontite is also most commonly found leaving a white streak when specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. Laumontite mineral crystals are commonly grooved or striated when viewed under polarizing microscope for mineralogists. When cleavage surfaces are examined in reflected light of polarized microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy, they can be found exhibiting pearly luster. Mineral Laumontite is most commonly found associated with quartz, babingtonite, natrolite, calcite, heulandite, apophyllite, and many other zeolites. The best field indicators of mineral Laumontite commonly include density, crystal habit, and luster. Mineral Laumontite notably occurs at several localities such as Iceland, Scotland, Poona in India, and some areas in California such as Pateron, New Jersey, and Pine Creek.



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Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 at 7:55 am
Category:
The Silicates Mineral Class
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