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Mineralpedia Details for Calcite

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Calcite

Calcite

Named for an important industrial use of the mineral after the Latin word calx, or calce, for “lime.” Calcite is extremely common and widespread, and it is an important rock forming mineral and is common in limestone, marble, chalk, as a cement, hydrothermal veins, igneous rocks, and caves. Calcite is highly variable in color and forms, but it is most easily recognized by its reactivity to hydrochloric acid and even weaker acids like vinegar, which it will effervesce strongly when in contact with. Calcite can fluoresce red, blue, yellow, and many other colors and shades under both long-wave and short-wave ultraviolet light. It is also phosphorescent, cathodoluminescent, thermoluminescent and occasionally triboluminescent. Another telling property of Calcite is its strong optical birefringence which causes a double refraction, and thus double image, which can be viewed by looking at objects through a clear calcite specimen.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/calcite.pdf

Formula
CaCO3 
Crystal System
Trigonal 
Crystal Habit
Crystalline - Coarse, Stalactitic, Massive 
Cleavage
Perfect, Perfect, Perfect 
Luster
Vitreous (Glassy) 
Color
colorless, white, pink, yellow, brown 
Streak
white 
Class
Trigonal - Hexagonal Scalenohedral 
Fracture
Brittle - Conchoidal 
Hardness
WebMineral
View Calcite 
Mindat
View Calcite 

Calcite from Rosiclare, Hardin Co., Illinois, United States

Calcite
            from Rosiclare, Hardin Co., Illinois, United States

Soft yellowish brown colored Calcite with crystals from 4 to 5 cm, one is doubly terminated. 

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Calcite from Shimen, Hunan Prov., China

Calcite
            from Shimen, Hunan Prov., China

Large 4cm Calcite crystals showing striated faces with included Orpiment and external, prismatic, bright red Realgar crystals to 7mm. 

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Calcite (Cobaltoan) from Bou Azzer dist., Anti-Atlas, Morocco

Calcite (Cobaltoan)
            from Bou Azzer dist., Anti-Atlas, Morocco

Glassy purplish pink Calcite rhombs to 5mm.

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Calcite from Buick mine, Reynolds Co., Missouri, United States

Calcite
            from Buick mine, Reynolds Co., Missouri, United States

Clear Calcite crystal on Dolomite. 1cm.

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Calcite from Shullsburg, Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, United States

Calcite
            from Shullsburg, Lafayette Co., Wisconsin, United States

An aestethic group of huge nearly 5cm translucent white Calcite crystals that are very well formed and take an interesting nailhead/modified rhombohedral form. Classic and highly sought locality for the Wisconsin collectors! Minor scuffing. Minor fluorescence to a light orange.

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Calcite from Elmwood mine, Smith Co., Tennessee, United States

Calcite
            from Elmwood mine, Smith Co., Tennessee, United States

You've seen plenty of these on the market these days. It's a popular American locality which has produced countless beautiful groups of Fluorite, Calcite, Sphalerite and Barite. This specimen is nearly flawless, albeit, a partially cleaved matrix base, although you can expect that with any Elmwood piece. This crystal has the best amber orange color sought after in these pieces, the luster is great and the crystal edges are sharp. The large main crystal is 9cm long, You can see the twin plane in a few photos. With a little help, it displays marvelously.

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CALCITE from Geevor Mine, Pendeen, St Just dist., Cornwall, England

CALCITE
            from Geevor Mine, Pendeen, St Just dist., Cornwall, England

Aesthetic specimen of orange, discoidal Calcite to over 1cm in nice clusters on Quartz. The original tag (prov. tab) shows it to be from the "Coronation Lode" of the Geevor mine.

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Calcite from Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

Calcite
            from Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

Basic rhombs of Calcite with stepped edges and good luster. Crystals to 2cm. 

Snow white, beautifully stark cluster of Calcite rhombic crystals from 3mm to 25mm.

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Calcite from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Calcite
            from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Groups of discoidal crystals once called "Poker-Chip" Calcite. The largest crystal ti 5cm across and all the larger crystals have grey bands. Sits and displays nicely.

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Calcite from Thomasville, Jackson Twp, York Co., Pennsylvania, United States

Calcite
            from Thomasville, Jackson Twp, York Co., Pennsylvania, United States

Calcite 3.5cm across on matrix.

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Calcite from Southwest mine, Bisbee, Cochise Co., Arizona, United States

Calcite
            from Southwest mine, Bisbee, Cochise Co., Arizona, United States

Orange-pink stained Calcite showing nice clusters of spear-shaped crystals from 2 - 10mm.

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Calcite from Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois, United States

Calcite
            from Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co., Illinois, United States

Honey yellow scalenohedral crystals to 2cm with curved edges.

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Calcite from Pine Point, Northwest Territories, Canada

Calcite
            from Pine Point, Northwest Territories, Canada

Flat rhombic or discoidal crystals of Calcite to 1.5cm on Dolomite.

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Calcite from near Greybull, Big Horn Co., Wyoming, United States

Calcite
            from near Greybull, Big Horn Co., Wyoming, United States

A nice group of iron-stained dog-tooth Calcite crystals to about 5-6mm in open geode-like vug.

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Calcite from Sweetwater mine, Viburnum Trend, Reynolds Co., Missouri, United States

Calcite
            from Sweetwater mine, Viburnum Trend, Reynolds Co., Missouri, United States

Two nail-head light honey colored crystals one to 3cm the other to 2.5cm on Dolominte & Galena matrix with micro Chalcopyrite crystals.

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Calcite from Bigrigg mine, Cumbria, England

Calcite
            from Bigrigg mine, Cumbria, England

Scalenohedral crystals with red hematitic tips. 

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Calcite from Black Rapids mine, Lyndhurst, Ontario, Canada

Calcite
            from Black Rapids mine, Lyndhurst, Ontario, Canada

Large rhombic color zoned Calcite crystals from 2-3.5cm. 

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Calcite from Dal'negorsk, Primorsky Kray, Russia

Calcite
            from Dal'negorsk, Primorsky Kray, Russia

Group of divergent columnar Calcite crystals with cavernous centers filled with tiny rhombic crystals as is the outer "prism" faces. This occurence is noted in the Dal'negorsk book by the Mineralogic Almanac volume 4, 2001 titled "DALNEGORSK". A photo of this same occurence and habit is shown on page 47, in which it is described as "case-like".

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Calcite from Monroe Co., Iowa, United States

Calcite
            from Monroe Co., Iowa, United States

Calcite with crystals up to 6mm.

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Calcite from North Vernon, Jennings Co., Indiana, United States

Calcite
            from North Vernon, Jennings Co., Indiana, United States

A nice 3cm yellowish gold crystal to 3cm across.

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Calcite from Adventure mine, Ontonagon Co., Michigan, United States

Calcite
            from Adventure mine, Ontonagon Co., Michigan, United States

Two generations of Calcite with scalenohedral (1cm) crystals topped with a short prismatic nail-head (3mmx6mm) Calcite crystal. 

Two Calcite crystals perched nicely on top of mixed adularia, hematite, copper matrix. The two crystals are coated with an orange crust giving it a nice coloration. Each crystal is about 1.3cm.

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Calcite from Kambove dist., Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

Calcite
            from Kambove dist., Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

Magenta rhombic crystals from 1-5mm. Brilliant color and beautiful specimen.

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Calcite from Platteville dist., Grant Co., Wisconsin, United States

Calcite
            from Platteville dist., Grant Co., Wisconsin, United States

Water clear rhombic crystals mostly at 2-3mm, but also one large at 1.2cm. The crystals are on Marcasite as seen in the photos, which in turn are on Galena.

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