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The chemical formula of mineral Wollastonite is indicated by CaSiO3 or Calcium Silicate. Wollastonite is actually a Silicate mineral. It is most commonly used in ceramics, as paint filler and it is also most commonly used as mineral specimen. Wollastonite is usually found showing fascinating microscope appearance when viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Mineral Wollastonite is a common mineral in skarns or in contact metamorphic rocks. Skarns can sometimes produce some wonderfully rare and exotic minerals with very unusual chemistries. However, in optical mineralogy, it has been found that Wollastonite has no unusual elements in its chemistry and it is somewhat common and not considered very exotic among collectors. Wollastonite forms from the interaction of limestones that contains calcite, with silica, in hot magmas. This event actually happens when hot magmas intrude into and/or around limestones or from limestones chunks that are broken off into the magma tubes under volcanoes and then blown out of them. Wollastonite was named for the English chemist and mineralogists, W. H. Wollaston (1766 – 1828). It is easily mined in some places where it is the major component of the metamorphosed rock. Mineral specimens can be interesting with their fibrous habit, pearly luster and some specimens, especially those from Franklin, New Jersey, will fluoresce. Although Wollastonite is not an exotic mineral, it has its uses. Wollastonite is an important constituent in refractory ceramics, those ceramics that are resistant to heat. This includes refractory tile and usage as a filler for paints.

             Mineral Wollastonite is typically found white, colorless or gray in color that is most often found exhibiting nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscopes for mineralogists. Wollastonite is usually found showing vitreous or dull to pearly luster on cleavage surfaces, which can be found more clearly visible when specimen sample is evaluated closely in reflected light of polarizing microscope used in optical mineralogy. Most crystals of mineral Wollastonite are generally found translucent and rarely transparent in appearance. Wollastonite 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 Wollastonite usually includes rare tabular crystals but more commonly massive in lamellar, radiating, compact and fibrous aggregates. Mineral Wollastonite is also known showing perfect cleavage in two directions at near 90 degrees forming prisms with rectangular cross-sections. A third direction of cleavage in only good to fair and the overall cleavage fragments are elongated splinters which can be found more clearly visible when viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes. Mineral Wollastonite is also most commonly found showing splintery to uneven fracture when viewed with the aid of polarized microscopes for mineralogists. The hardness measure of mineral Wollastonite when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually ranging from 5 to 5.5. The specific gravity measure of the mineral Wollastonite is approximately 2.8 to 2.9 grams per cubic centimeters, which is considered average for translucent minerals. Wollastonite is most commonly found leaving a white streak when sample is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. Wollastonite is also soluble in hydrochloric acid and some specimens will fluoresce under ultra violet light. Wollastonite is associated with garnets, diopside, Vesuvianite, epidote, tremolite and various plagioclase feldspars and also calcite. The best field indicators of mineral Wollastonite usually include fluorescence if present, cleavage, softness, solubility in HCl and environment of formation. Wollastonite notably occurs at several localities including Italy, Finland, Romania, Germany, Mexico, China, Greece, Canada, Switzerland and some areas in USA.



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Friday, October 30th, 2009 at 2:59 pm
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The Silicates Mineral Class
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