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Caption: Selenite is the translucent to transparent variety of the ubiquitous mineral gypsum, a calcium-sulfate dihydrate with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. Selenite's name is derived from the Greek word for moon, a name explained by it's pearl-like lustre, reminiscent of the glow of the moon. As opposed to what is suggested, Selenite contains no Selenium; the similarity of names comes from both substances being named after the Greek word for the Moon.The sample in this picture is of a type called "Selenite rods or blades" and originates from a mine in southern Morocco, where the purity and elongate columnar crystallinity of the material is taken advantage of to produce decorative pillars that are sometimes illuminated from inside.

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Keywords: blades, caso4â·2h2o, decorative, gypsum, mineral, morocco, pillars, rods, selenite, selenium

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