Crystalshapes - Cut-and-assemble mineral crystal shapes A...

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Cut-and-assemble mineral crystal shapes A mineral, by definition, has a crystal shape. These shapes fall into one of six basic groups, although there are many variations within these groups. (In fact, some of these variations may look to us very unlike anything else in the group.) The defining characteristic that determines which group a crystal belongs in is the geometric angles between the atoms in the crystal. The shapes shown below are the simplest shapes in each category. If you want to see other variations, a good rock and mineral book (such as Simon & Schuster’s Guide) will have drawings of much more complex shapes. (The Internet probably has this same information, too.) Examples of minerals in each category: ISOMETRIC: salt, pyrite, garnet, galena, fluorite, copper, silver, gold HEXAGONAL: quartz, calcite, tourmaline, graphite, beryl, apatite, corundum, hematite, cinnabar TETRAGONAL: zircon, rutile, wulfenite, chalcopyrite ORTHORHOMBIC: sulfur, topaz, olivine, barite, stibnite, epsomite, aragonite MONOCLINIC: orthoclase, mica, gypsum, malachite, azurite TRICLINIC: albite, rhodonite
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