Q:

What is calcite made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Calcite is a mineral made of calcium carbonate. It is one of the most common minerals on Earth and comes in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Calcite and aragonite are polymorphous to each other; they contain the same chemical composition but differ in crystal structure.

Continue Reading
What is calcite made of?
Credit: De Agostini / A. Rizzi De Agostini Picture Library Getty Images

Full Answer

Calcite is usually found in sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. It is the main component of limestone, marble and the Earth's crust and is one of the most widely used minerals. The properties of calcite make it suitable for agricultural soil treatment, construction material and pharmaceutical applications. Crushed limestone and marble are also used to neutralize acids in areas where streams have large quantities of acid mine drainage.

According to the University of Minnesota, calcite occurs in both crystalline and massive forms. Crystals of calcite are usually transparent to translucent, whereas masses of calcite tend to be light colored. Both these forms of calcite can create a wide range of colors when exposed to small amounts of impurities, which gives them a unique appearance depending on their location in the world. In powdered form, calcite often has an extremely white color that is used as a white pigment or "whiting," according to Geology.com.

Learn more about Geology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    From what is limestone made?

    A:

    Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is at least 50 percent calcium carbonate, and is found in nature in the form of the mineral calcite. Calcium carbonate has the molecular formula CaCO3. The formation of limestone can occur either through evaporation or the accumulation of shells from dead organisms like oysters in a marine environment.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some locations where calcite is found?

    A:

    Calcite occurs as stalactites and stalagmites in caverns and is also found in mineral deposits in hot springs. It constitutes the shells of marine organisms such as bivalves and echinoderms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who discovered calcite?

    A:

    Calcite is a very common mineral, so it is hard to say that a particular person was the first to discover it. The popular colorless variety of calcite, called "Iceland Spar," was first formally described in the 1600s by a mining company working in the Helgustadir Mine in Eskifjord, Iceland.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What minerals are used to make glass?

    A:

    Common minerals that are used in glass production include antimony, feldspar, lead, lithium, quartz, silica, sodium carbonate, tantalum, calcite, gypsum, muscovite mica and orthoclase. The principal ingredient of glass is sand, which is primarily composed of quartz or silica.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore