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The Mineral Pectolite
pectolite picture

pectolite

Pectolite is a mineral that varies in color between white and gray. It crystallizes in the triclinic system characteristically taking place in fibrous crystalline or radiated masses. When the fibers are packed very densely, the final formation is thick, globular masses. Pectolite could be hard and dense, but is generally quite soft and delicate to physical touch. It may get dented if touched too hard, and thin splinters get easily broken during handling. Its samples are known to furnish splinters on handling because of their slight and fragile crystals which break easily. 

Chemical Formula  
NaCa2Si3O8 (OH)

Derivation of Name  
Its first description occurred during 1828 in Italy’s Trento Province in Mt. Baldo. Its origin of the name is from Pektos, a  Greek word.

Occurrence         
 Its occurrence is as a primary mineral seen as part of nepheline syenites, that are inside hydrothermal openings in Serpentinites, Diabase and Basalts along with Serpentine, Datolite, Calcite, Prehnite and Zeolites. It is widespread in worldwide locations.           

Gemology  
It earned the trade name of Larimar and is widely popular as a semi-precious stone.

Source 
Its known natural sources are: Paterson and Franklin, New Jersey; Lake County., California, USA; Bahamas, Dominican Republic; England and Italy.

mineral pectolite

pectolite mineral picture

Mineralogy  
This mineral can be confused with many other minerals of similar appearance. These are: Okenite, Artinite Wollastonite, and a couple of others. Thankfully, the majority of these minerals do not form with zeolites, though Okenite is among those which do, it is soft and malleable, unlike pectolite that is a fine variety of mineral that can occasionally form fascinating specimens. However, it was not so well-regarded till a special variety was found in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

Color           
Color is colorless, gray or white and pale to sky blue in Lorimar.

Density                              
2.7 to 2.9.

Mohs hardness
4.5 to 5

     
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