Flint Facts

Flint Facts
Flint, also known as flintstone, is a hard chemical or biochemical sedimentary rock. It is a form of microcrystalline quartz that is referred to as "chert" by geologists. Flint can be found in various colors, but the outer layer is often white with a rough lumpy surface but when broken, it looks like dark glass. It often forms as nodules in sedimentary rocks such as chalk and marine limestones. The nodules can be dispersed randomly throughout the rock, but often concentrated in distinct layers. These bands of flint are an Upper Cretaceous rock laid down in the continental shelves of a tropical sea. When the chalk erodes, the hard weather resistant flint nodules survive as pebbles on a shingle beach or streams. It has been one of the most useful types of stones to mankind. The conchoidal fracture of flint causes it to break into sharp-edged pieces.
Interesting Flint Facts:
Chalk cliffs are an excellent place for flint. When the chalk weathers away, flint nodules fall off.
When flint is struck against steel or two flintstones are struck together, they can produce a spark. For centuries, this was a way for people worldwide to made fire.
People carried a small box called a tinder box which had some flintstones and cloth, bark or sawdust. The hard flint edge shaves off a particle of steel that exposes iron which reacts with oxygen and can then ignite tinder.
Flints were also used to make a spark to fire a gun. This type of gun was called a flintlock gun and was introduced in the 17th century and continued to be popular for two centuries. They were used as a self-defense weapon and as a military arm. The firearm had a metal plate that produced a spark when struck with chert. It ignited a small reservoir containing black powder that discharged the firearm. Their effective range was short and misfires were often.
Because it is very durable and weather resistant, flintstones have been used in facing walls in homes and buildings in some countries where flint is more abundant. In England, builders broke the stones to show the inside to give buildings a glassy finish instead of a dull finish that stones would have made.
In prehistoric times, flint was used to make axes, knives, scraping tools and spearheads. Their survival depended upon having a durable material that could be used to produce sharp tools. Flint was used discovered and utilized by Stone Age people in almost every early culture located where flint was easily found. Their survival depended upon having this durable material that could be used to produce sharp tools and weapons. It these tools were broken or damaged in use, they were reshaped into smaller tools.
When polished, flint is very attractive and colorful. For many years, it has been used to make colorful jewelry beads for necklaces, bracelets and also beautiful gemstones for pins, belt buckles and pendants.

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