Olivine

Chemical Formula: (Mg, Fe)2SiO4

Color: Most are green, but can also be yellow or brown

Hardness: 6.5-7

Importance: Is an ore of magnesium. Magnesium from olivine is used in fireworks, metal alloys, and car parts.  Also acts as a flux, or purifier, in steel production. This means that magnesium as added to liquid steel during manufacturing so that it does not oxidize.

Other Interesting Information: Most people know of olivine’s gemstone variety, peridot, which is green olivine that is transparent. Is also known to be part of many rocks, especially mafic igneous rocks.

My Take: One of my favorite things about olivine is that it forms in small grains that cluster to form the mineral. Only a few other minerals do this, making olivine truly unique.

For More Information: http://www.minerals.net/mineral/olivine.aspx

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