PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Stibnite crystals. Stibnite, also called antimonite, is a sulphide of the element antimony. It is an orthorhombic, lead-grey mineral with a metallic lustre. Here it is seen in its common form, as needle-thin crystals, but it can also occur in exceptionally large columnar crystals. It is completely opaque in visible light but is transparent in infra-red light. Stibnite is mined as a source of antimony, which is used in the electronics industry. This sample, found in Tuscany in Italy, is 10 centimetres in diameter.
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