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How Is Calcite Mined?

[Summary]Calcite Facts Coloring Pages Privacy policy Terms of Use 2005-2017 Softschools.com Calcite Mineral | Uses and Properties Calcite as chalk: Calcite in the form of chalk from Dover, England. Specimen is about 4 inches (10 centimeters) across. The best

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Calcite Facts

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Calcite Mineral | Uses and Properties

Calcite as chalk: Calcite in the form of chalk from Dover, England. Specimen is about 4 inches (10 centimeters) across.

The best way to learn about minerals is to study with a collection of small specimens that you can handle, examine, and observe their properties. Inexpensive mineral collections are available in the Geology.com Store.

Calcite

Crystal structure of calcite

Calcite is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The Mohs scale of mineral hardness, based on scratch hardness comparison, defines value 3 as "calcite".

Other polymorphs of calcium carbonate are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Aragonite will change to calcite at 380–470 °C,[5] and vaterite is even less stable.

Calcite mineral information and data

Named for an important industrial use of the mineral after the Latin word calx, or calce, for “lime.” Calcite is extremely common and widespread, and it is an important rock forming mineral and is common in limestone, marble, chalk, as a cement, hydrothermal veins, igneous rocks, and caves. Calcite is highly variable in color and forms, but it is most easily recognized by its reactivity to hydrochloric acid and even weaker acids like vinegar, which it will effervesce strongly when in contact with. Calcite can fluoresce red, blue, yellow, and many other colors and shades under both long-wave and short-wave ultraviolet light. It is also phosphorescent, cathodoluminescent, thermoluminescent and occasionally triboluminescent. Another telling property of Calcite is its strong optical birefringence which causes a double refraction, and thus double image, which can be viewed by looking at objects through a clear calcite specimen.

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