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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
This is a crystal of olivine within the igneous rock basalt.
Click on image for full size
Image from: Andrew Alden, About.com Geology Guide

Olivine

Olivine looks like little green crystals. It is typically found in some igneous and metamorphic rocks. Often the crystals are so small that you need to use your hand lens or magnifying glass to see them clearly.

  • Shape: Orthorhombic (usually a many-sided prism that has an overall sphere shape)
  • Luster: Greasy
  • Color: Green (but sometimes yellow or brown)
  • Streak: White
  • Hardness: 6.5-7 on Mohs Hardness Scale
  • Cleavage: Yes, but the crystals do not break easily along it
  • Fracture: Conchoidal, brittle


Last modified April 16, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

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