Talc – Day 16 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

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

So now the party season is fully upon us, how many festive dinners have you got scheduled this year? I’m only going to three (apart from the big day) but one year I had ELEVEN!! That was a lot of seasonal parties!!!!! If you are going out to a party tonight (as I am – staff party here we come!) then you will probably be thinking about looking your best, and if you are like me that means sparkles! I also like a bit of shimmer in my make-up, but did you know that your make-up probably includes some of the mineral talc?

A bit of sparkle goes a long way at this time of year and shimmery make-up just helps it along!

A bit of sparkle goes a long way at this time of year and shimmery make-up just helps it along!

Talc has been used in make-up for years, but since the recent resurgeance of mineral make-up talc is becoming a more obvious ingredient. It is actually pretty good in make-up as it is not harsh on your skin and smooths the make-up on. If you are anything like me you are very familiar with talc from when you were a kid, my mum would use if for anything from patting you down after the bath to getting swimming caps on (yes I did look like a ghost afterwards, but it didn’t hurt!). So the talc in your seasonal make-up is today’s mineral advent!

This is a gorgeous picture of a talc crystal from the MinDat Website.

This is a gorgeous picture of a talc crystal from the MinDat website.

Talc:
Chemical formula: Mg3(Si4O10)(OH)2
Colour: Colorless, white,  sometimes it can be pale green, bright emerald-green to dark green, brown or gray.
System: Triclinic
Hardness (Mohs): 1 (if you are a geologist you should know this – it’s the standard!)
Can you find it in the UK? Yes

Locations you can find Talc in the UK according to the MinDat website

Locations you can find Talc in the UK according to the MinDat website

You can find Talc in the UK, it is often found in large masses in or near rocks that are metamorphic (aka altered by heat and/or pressure). As these kinds of rocks can be located far from civilisation be careful if going hunting for talc!

For more information about Talc please visit the MinDat website.

Copper – Day 15 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

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

It’s the 15th of December and you know what that means… THERE ARE ONLY 10 MORE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!!! So an important question remains to be asked. Have you got your Christmas lights up yet?

Are your Christmas lights up yet? They should be by now!

Are your Christmas lights up yet? They should be by now!

You should do, and if you do by now your house shold be strung with copper. Copper?! I hear you say? Yes, copper, it’s the wire that helps your lights sparkle so gorgeously! So today’s mineral for the advent is copper! And not only is it a mineral, but a metal too – a really important one.

Gorgrous Copper!

Gorgrous Copper!

Copper:
Chemical formula: Cu
Colour: Copper-red. Tarnishes to black or green in air.
System: Isoclinic
Hardness (Mohs): 2½ – 3
Can you find it in the UK? Yes

There are many locations you can find copper across the UK! Map is from the MinDat website.

There are many locations you can find copper across the UK! Map is from the MinDat website.

You can find Copper in the UK, in fact up until a few decades ago it was commercially mined in this country. Check out locations across the southwest, Devon and Cornwall in particular, the northwest and Scotland for some prime copper hunting locations! However, if you end up in one of these locations be careful in any sites that could have old mining structures – they might not always be marked!

For more information about Copper please visit the MinDat website.