Spar (mineralogy)

Spar (Mineralogy)

Spar (mineralogy)

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<!-- Commented out because image was deleted: -->Spar is a term that is used to refer to a category of crystals that have readily discernible faces. Crystallized, earthy, and some metallic, a spar will easily break into rhomboidal, cubical, or laminated fragments with polished surfaces, but without regard to the ingredients of which they are composed.

The various "spar" minerals were a historical term among miners and alchemists for any nonmetallic mineral akin to gypsum, known in Old English as spærstān, spear stone, referring to its crystalline projections. Thus, the word spar in mineralogy has the same root as "spear," by way of comparison to gypsum, as a common natural crystal forming in spearlike projections.

Amongst miners the term "spar" today is frequently used alone to express any bright crystalline substance. Most frequently, spar describes easily cleaved, lightly colored nonmetallic minerals such as feldspar, calcite or barite. Barite (BaSO<sub>4</sub>), the main source of barium, is also called "heavy spar" (Greek "barys" means "heavy").The largest type of spar is of the phreatic variety, since it essentially much more time to grow than average spar. It grows best where the water is just barely saturated with minerals. Some caves are like giant geodes, the walls and ceilings completely lined with spar. Jewel Cave and...
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