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The chemical formula of mineral Orthoclase is indicated by KAlSi3O8 or Potassium Aluminum Silicate. Orthoclase is actually a Silicate mineral. It is used in the porcelain industry and also as mineral specimen. Orthoclase is usually found showing fascinating microscope images under polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. Orthoclase is found to be a polymorph of other minerals that share the same chemistry but have different crystal structures. It has been acknowledged that if positive identification between these minerals cannot be made by field methods, then the specimen is simply classified as potassium feldspar or K-spar in optical mineralogy. Plagioclase feldspars lack potassium and they are usually light colored and are usually found striated.

             Mineral Orthoclase is most commonly found off-white, yellow, or shades of red, orange to brown that could appear more interesting when viewed under polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Mineral Orthoclase is most commonly found showing vitreous to dull luster if weathered. Most crystals of mineral Orthoclase are usually found opaque in appearance. It may be translucent or rarely transparent at some time. Orthoclase is also known to crystallize in the monoclinic system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, the 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. The crystal habits of mineral Orthoclase as described in optical mineralogy usually include blocky or tabular crystals. Crystals of Orthoclase have nearly rectangular or square cross-section with slightly slanted dome and pinacoid terminations. Twinning also common and is usually found more clearly exhibited when specimen samples are evaluated under polarizing microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. A pseudo-orthorhombic or pseudo-trigonal variety that is found in alpine veins is called adularia. This one forms more flattened tabular crystals that are more fascinating when viewed under polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Mineral Orthoclase is most commonly found showing good cleavage in two directions forming nearly right angled prisms when closely viewed under polarized microscope for mineralogists. it is also most often found showing conchoidal to uneven fracture when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes used in optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of mineral Orthoclase when specimen is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually found 6. Orthoclase is also most commonly found leaving a white streak when rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is approximately 2.53 grams per cubic centimeters to 2.56 per cubic centimeters, which is considered average. Mineral Orthoclase is usually found associated with other interesting minerals including micas, quartz topaz, tourmalines, plagioclase feldspars and garnets. The best field indicators of mineral Orthoclase include color, lack of striations, occurrence, cleavage and twinning if present. Orthoclase notably occurs at several localities and among them are Salzburg in Austria, Cornwall in England and some areas in USA including New York, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.



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Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 2:24 pm
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The Silicates Mineral Class
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