Earth’s Most Common Mineral

Do you know the most common mineral in planet earth? Quartz? Nope. Feldspar? Nope. Ah, you say: All that limestone, the answer must be calcite. Wrong again. OK, you think it is a trick question. Maybe it is ice with all the polar ice sheets. Nice try, ice is a mineral, but not correct.

What if I told you this mineral cannot be collected anywhere and that it was not officially named until last year even though it comprises ~38% of the earth by volume.  Why, you might ask?  How about because no one had been able to find a sample to analyze? Are you catching on?

The newly christened mineral is bridgmanite. For a long time, scientists have known that a significant portion of the earth’s lower mantle is a very dense magnesium-iron silicate mineral.  However, lacking a sample they could not characterize the material and without crystal structure information it could not be properly studied and named.

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Two WCGMC Workshops

On December 13th, 17 Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club members convened for a day of sawing, polishing, faceting and camaraderie.  The event marked the inaugural session in the club’s newly christened workshop.  With several saws, three polishing machines, and a faceting machine the fun commenced.   The cover photo shows Gary, Ed, Ken, and Sue working on their rocks.

Ed instructs Gary on how to facet.  In the background Scott watches Glenn adjust a slab in the polisher

Ed instructs Gary on how to facet. In the background Scott watches Glenn adjust a slab in the polisher

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