'Orthoclase, Carlsbad twins'

'Orthoclase, Carlsbad twins'

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Credit: JOEL AREM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Orthoclase, potassium aluminum silicate, is a member of the large family of feldspars, and has been called the most common of all silicate minerals. It is a component of a huge variety of igneous and metamorphic rocks, and occurs all over the world. It is a primary constituent of granite and granite pegmatite, the latter being a host to many gem materials. Orthoclase displays monoclinic symmetry, as opposed to another related potassium feldspar, microcline, that has triclinic symmetry. Orthoclase is common as crystals, and these are usually twinned, i.e. intergrown along a specific symmetry axis or plane. Carlsbad twins are distinctive and useful in identification of the mineral.

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Keywords: arem collection, carlsbad twin, crystal, crystals, feldspar, gem, gem mineral, geology, granite, granite pegmatite, igeous, metamorphic, microcline, mineral, mineralogy, minerals, nature, object, ores, orthoclase, pegmatite, rock, silicate, silicate mineral, specimen, specimens, still life, symmetry axis, symmetry plane, twin, twinned, twinning

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