Kaolinite – Day 10 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

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

So if you have friends who live overseas you will surely have today and the next few days marked on your calendar, as it’s the LAST POSTAGE DAY FOR AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND  today. Unfortunately you have already missed Africa; the Middle East; Asia Central and South America; and the Caribbean (among a few others), but for most other locations you still have a few days left to get your mail delivered before the 24th December.

Is your overseas post ready to go - or have you already sent it?!

Is your overseas post ready to go – or have you already sent it?!

If you are posting a letter to a loved one or friend, did you think about the fact that your festive envelope couldn’t exist without the mineral Kaolinite? A clay mineral, Kaolinite is added to paper to improve the texture and as a filler, a practice which has been done for years!

A gorgeous Kaolinite crystal (image from Wikipedia)

A gorgeous Kaolinite crystal (image from Wikipedia) – EDIT: As DB correctly noted this isn’t just Kaolinite, but Kaolinite that has replaced a lovely feldspar crystal, but kept the shape (known as a psuedomorph). For an image of just Kaolinite crystals, see the MinDat page here.

 

 Kaolinite:

Chemical formula: Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Colour: White to cream and pale-yellow, also often stained various shades of brown
System: Triclinic
Hardness (Mohs): 2 – 2½
Can you find it in the UK? Yes

Kaolinite is found in many locations in the UK, in fact if you zoom in on this map from the MinDat Website you can see more and more little crystals pop up!

Kaolinite is found in many locations in the UK, in fact if you zoom in on this map from the MinDat Website you can see more and more little crystals pop up!

Kaolinite is often known by another common name of China Clay. If you think where in the UK you can find China Clay Quarries – that is undoubtedly where you can find Kaolinite. Finding a lovely crystal like the one in the images is much harder, but if you do you should treasure it!

For more information about Kaolinite please visit the MinDat website.

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2 thoughts on “Kaolinite – Day 10 of the Mineral Advent Calendar

    • Ah darn it I think you are right – that is what you get for trusting Wikipedia images! It was hard to find a nice one, I got sucked in my this one! I will be more careful with my checking in future. Thanks David!

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