Chapter 5 Notes - Chapter 5 Notes The Mechanism of Cleavage...

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Chapter 5 Notes The Mechanism of Cleavage Like other properties possessed by minerals, cleavage is a directional feature and can only exist in crystalline substances Cleavage occurs in a gemstone as a well-defined plane of weak atomic bonding which allows the stone to be split in two leaving reasonably flat surfaces These cleavage planes are always parallel to a crystal face in a perfectly formed single crystal In those gemstones that possess the property of cleavage, the cleavage planes are the result of the atoms lying parallel to these planes being more closely linked together than the atoms between the planes The bonding force along the planes of atoms is therefore much stronger than between the planes Cleavage can sometimes be of help in identifying a gemstone An indication that a stone possesses cleavage is often revealed by the interference colours developed within the stone or on its surface, which is the result of flaws or cracks caused by incipient (initial) cleavages (rainbow-like areas of colour seen in fluorite, topaz, and
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Chapter 5 Notes - Chapter 5 Notes The Mechanism of Cleavage...

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