Muscovite – Day 9 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate? Today’s mineral is Muscovite Mica find out more about it below..

Continuing on the theme of a vintage holiday season, another of my favourite things about this time of year is how much everyone embraces the sparkles!

Even my nails like to be sparkly at this time of year!

Even my nails like to be sparkly at this time of year!

In fact our love of sparkles isn’t a modern thing, even the Victorians like to embrace the glitter! But not having access to the plastics that we take for granted to make our sparkles, they had to look elsewhere, and found the amazing mineral Muscovite Mica. During the Victorian period, wealthy poeple celebrating the season would buy chunks of this mineral and then break it up to use the little reflective flakes as glitter, and if you have even been into a lab after a first year geology student has been doing their mineral identification – you will know that it still happens!! So today’s mineral is Muscovite Mica – vintage glitter.

Muscovite MIca from the MInDat website, image taken by Rob Lavinsky and irocks.com

Muscovite Mica from the MinDat website, image taken by Rob Lavinsky and irocks.com

 Muscovite:

Chemical formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Colour: White to colorless, silvery-white, and tinged various colors by impurities.
System: Monoclinic
Hardness (Mohs):
Can you find it in the UK? Yes

Muscovite Mica can be found in many places across the UK, not least as part of some sparkly or shiny rocks that you might spot. This is the locations of Muscovite in the UK from the MinDat website.

Muscovite Mica can be found in many places across the UK, not least as part of some sparkly or shiny rocks that you might spot. This is the locations of Muscovite in the UK from the MinDat website.

Mica is a common mineral that makes up many types of rock – you may be familiar with the dark brown to black version of Mica – Biotite – that you can see sparkling away in lumps of granite. Muscovite mica is also most easily found whe you look at a rock, rather than as big lumps of crystal, but you can still find it across the UK.

For more information about Muscovite please visit the MinDat website.

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