What Are Some Facts About the Mineral Talc?


Quick Answer

Talc is a common mineral which is widely known for its use in talcum powders, for its softness, and for creating pseudomorphs of other minerals in rock formations. It is not considered a gemstone and is often used for industrial purposes.

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Full Answer

Talc comes from the Arabic word "talq." Talc is defined as the softest mineral on the Mohs hardness scale, and can be easily scratched or carved. Soapstone is a kind of talc which is used for ornamental purposes such as small carvings. The pseudomorphs for which talc is well known occur when talc slowly replaces another mineral in a rock formation, eventually taking over the original mineral's shape. Natural talc often contains small amounts of asbestos mixed in with the mineral, raising concern about cancer risks.

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