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The chemical formula of mineral Natrolite is indicated by Na2Al2Si3O10-2H2O or Hydrated Sodium Aluminum Silicate. Natrolite is actually a Silicate mineral. It is most commonly used as mineral specimen and chemical filter. It can be seen exhibiting splendid microscope appearance when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope. Natrolite is actually a common and popular zeolite mineral. The hallmark of this mineral is its radiating sprays of ice clear acicular crystals. But it is important to note that this habit is not exclusive to natrolite. Natrolite can also make a nice specimen by itself which can be also found more splendidly exhibited under polarized microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Natrolite, however, is more often found as an accessory mineral to others and it can actually enhance the beauty of associated minerals such as heullandite, apophyllite, benitoite, and others.

 

            Natrolite, just like any others zeolite mineral, has a typical openness that allows large ions and molecules to reside and actually move around inside the overall framework. The structure contains open channels that allow water and large ions to travel into and out of the crystal structure. The size of these channels controls the size of the molecules or ions, and therefore zeolites like natrolite can act as a chemical sieve. The structure of mineral Natrolite contains chains of silicate tetrahedrons aligned in one direction and this produces the needle-like crystals. Its cleavage results from the weaker bonds between the chains.

 

            Mineral Natrolite is most commonly found clear or white, also tinted yellow and brown which can be seen more splendidly exhibited when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists. Natrolite is also usually found showing vitreous to dull luster on some compact masses when viewed in reflected light of polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists. Natrolite mineral crystals are commonly found transparent to translucent in appearance. Natrolite 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. The crystal habit of mineral Natrolite as described in the field of optical mineralogy includes sprays of needle thin acicular crystals with a pyramid termination. It can be also found as nodules, fibrous and massive crusts.

 

            Mineral Natrolite can be found showing perfect prismatic cleavage in two directions when viewed with the aid of polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Cleavage is actually rarely seen due to small crystal size. Mineral Natrolite is most commonly found showing conchoidal fracture when viewed under petrographic polarizing light microscopes for mineralogists. The hardness measure of the mineral when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is ussuly ranging from 5 to 5.5. Natrolite specimen is most commonly found leaving a white streak when rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of mineral Natrolite is approximately 2.2 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered very light. The best field indicators of mineral Natrolite include density, crystal habit, and associations. Natrolite is usually found associated with other interesting minerals such as quartz, benitoite, apophyllite, heulandite, stilbite and other zeolites. Natrolite notably occurs at several localities including Poona in India, San Benito in California, New Jersey and Nova Scotia.



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Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 3:16 am
Category:
The Silicates Mineral Class
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