This holiday season, why not get a mineral every day instead of chocolate? Today’s mineral is Kaolinite find out more about it below..
So if you have friends who live overseas you will surely have today and the next few days marked on your calendar, as it’s the LAST POSTAGE DAY FOR AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND today. Unfortunately you have already missed Africa; the Middle East; Asia Central and South America; and the Caribbean (among a few others), but for most other locations you still have a few days left to get your mail delivered before the 24th December.
If you are posting a letter to a loved one or friend, did you think about the fact that your festive envelope couldn’t exist without the mineral Kaolinite? A clay mineral, Kaolinite is added to paper to improve the texture and as a filler, a practice which has been done for years!
Chemical formula: Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Colour: White to cream and pale-yellow, also often stained various shades of brown
Hardness (Mohs): 2 – 2½
Can you find it in the UK? Yes
Kaolinite is often known by another common name of China Clay. If you think where in the UK you can find China Clay Quarries – that is undoubtedly where you can find Kaolinite. Finding a lovely crystal like the one in the images is much harder, but if you do you should treasure it!
For more information about Kaolinite please visit the MinDat website.
I think your picture is more precisely kaolinite pseudomorphing a carlsbad twinned crystal of orthoclase feldspar (it’s still gorgeous!)
Ah darn it I think you are right – that is what you get for trusting Wikipedia images! It was hard to find a nice one, I got sucked in my this one! I will be more careful with my checking in future. Thanks David!