Augite Facts

Augite Facts
Augite is a rock-forming mineral that is most often found in igneous rocks like diorite, andesite, gabbro, and basalt. Wherever these rocks are found throughout the world, there will be evidence of Augite found within them. Augite has also been found in metamorphic rocks that have been formed under the high temperatures. Hornblende, olivine, plagioclase, and orthoclase are other minerals that are closely associated with Augite. The color of Augite is found most often to be brown, purplish, black and dark green. Augite is a mineral that has been found beyond the planet Earth. It is a common mineral in lunar basalts and has been discovered in some stone meteorites. Some of these meteorites have believed to be parts of Mars and the Moon that have been launched into space. The name Augite comes from the Greek word augites meaning brightness referring to the bright luster that augite will periodically exhibit.
Interesting Augite Facts:
Light reflecting from the crystal faces and the cleavage surfaces of Augite reveals a very vibrant luster whereas the light striking other nearby surfaces are very dull luster.
Augite does not have any chemical, optical or physical properties that are very useful. Because of this fact, there is virtually no commercial use for the mineral. This makes it one of the few minerals that fall into this category of being commercially useless.
There have been studies done to discover if there is calcium content of augite that can be useful in temperature studies of igneous rocks.
It is possible for geologists to use the presence of Augite to determine some factors of magmatic chemistry or as target minerals for some radiometric dating.
Because of the chemical structure, Augite is really considered more of a group than a single mineral, but it is still classified a single mineral by the IMA.
The forming of large crystals is common in Augite, however, the crystals are normally dull and very uninteresting. There have been very few occasions where a large and beautiful crystal is found and sought after by mineral collectors.
Fassaite is a variety of Augite found in Italy that has a very low iron content and light green in color.
Jeffersonite is a variety of Augite that is rich in zinc and manganese and has been found in New Jersey.
Some of the most well-known discoveries of Augite have been in volcanoes in Italy. There have also been two volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean that have produced good Augite crystals.
There has been some lustrous black Augite crystal found in Canada at Diamond Lake, and Ontario.
On occasion there have been transparent augites found that contains dendritic patterns and is used as gems and ornamental stones known as shajor in different parts of India. These have been found near the Ken River.
Because augite is an iron based mineral, it is often found near other iron-bearing minerals which does not increase the chemical value of Augite, but it has led to the discovery of other iron rich minerals.
While it has little to no commercial or industrial value, the presence and study of Augite continues to be important because it may reveal to scientists and geologists information about Earth's history in certain regions.
The tenacity of Augite is very brittle

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