What are some facts about feldspar minerals?


Quick Answer

Feldspar minerals include quartz, muscovite, orthoclase and plagioclase. They are usually light colored and igneous, which means they are formed in or around volcanoes. Feldspar minerals are the most common type of minerals found on Earth.

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Full Answer

Quartz, or silicon dioxide, is a hard mineral with a Mohs hardness rating of 7. It has a vitreous luster and can come in a wide variety of colors. Quartz is used in everything from glass making to arrowheads and abrasives. High quality quartz can be polished and turned into jewelry.

Muscovite is a type of mica that splits apart into sheets that are can be transparent. People once used these sheets as window panes, though most have a glassy or pearly sheen to them and have a slight tint.

Muscovite got its name because it was once mined near Moscow, Russia. Muscovite is also used as insulation in filters and is added to paints and glazes.

Orthoclase is a feldspar mineral that is rich in potassium, so it is called a K-feldspar. The semi-precious gem moonstone is made largely out of orthoclase, and orthoclase goes into making granite. It is also used to make glass and ceramics.

Plagioclase is a bit softer than quartz and splits in two directions at a nearly 90-degree angle. Good building stones are often abundant in plagioclase minerals.

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