ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Muscovite. Close-up view of a polished face of a crystal of muscovite. Muscovite is hydrous potassium aluminium silicate, and forms monoclinic tabular crystals with pseudo-hexagonal or triangular outline. Muscovite is soft and light, and cleaves easily into very thin, flexible sheets. It is a common mineral in rocks, especially plutonic igneous formations, or as a sedimentary mineral in sandstones and marls. Giant crystals of up to 50 square metres have been found. The main uses of muscovite are as a heat or electrical insulator, either as very thin sheets or as a powder mixed in paper. Magnification x1.5 at 6x7cm size. Magnification: x2.5 at 5x4inch size.
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