Dolomite - Physical Properties & Healing Properties

DOLOMITE

Chemistry: CaMg(CO3)2, Calcium Magnesium Carbonate

Class: Carbonates

Group: Dolomite

Uses: Steel Manufacturing

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  • Dolomite


Dolomite is a common sedimentary rock-forming mineral that can be found in massive beds several hundred feet thick. They are found all over the world and are quite common in sedimentary rock sequences. Except in its pink, curved crystal habit dolomite is hard to distinguish from its second cousin, calcite. Disputes have arisen as to how these dolomite beds formed and the debate has been called the "Dolomite Problem". Dolomite forms rhombohedrons as its typical crystal habit. But for some reason, possibly twinning, some crystals curve into saddle-shaped crystals. Dolomite is used for manufacturing certain types of refractory bricks used in steel making.


Origin Of The Name

Dolomite is named for the French mineralogist Deodat de Dolomieu



Interesting Facts

Disputes have arisen as to how these dolomite beds formed and the debate has been called the "Dolomite Problem". Dolomite at present time, does not form on the surface of the earth; yet massive layers of dolomite can be found in ancient rocks. That is quite a problem for sedimentologists who see sandstones, shales and limestones formed today almost before their eyes. Why no dolomite? Well there are no good simple answers, but it appears that dolomite rock is one of the few sedimentary rocks that undergoes a significant mineralogical change after it is deposited. They are originally deposited as calcite/aragonite rich limestones, but during a process call diagenesis the calcite and/or aragonite is altered to dolomite. The process is not metamorphism, but something just short of that. Magnesium rich ground waters that have a significant amount of salinity are probably crucial and warm, tropical near ocean environments are probably the best source of dolomite formation.

Dolomite forms rhombohedrons as its typical crystal habit. But for some reason, possibly twinning, some crystals curve into saddle-shaped crystals. These crystals represent a unique crystal habit that is well known as classical dolomite. Dolomite can be several different colors, but colorless and white are very common.



Where Is It Found

They are found all over the world and are quite common in sedimentary rock sequences.

Dolomite is a common sedimentary rock-forming mineral that can be found in massive beds known as dolomites. These beds may be several hundred feet thick. Dolomite also forms as sediments in ore veins such as limestone. Limestone where dolomite is present in more than a small amount are called dolomitic limestone. Dolomite is only rarely found in higher temperature metamorphic surroundings.

Except in its pink, curved crystal habit dolomite is hard to distinguish from its second cousin, calcite.
The pearly clusters are particularly common in association with galena, sphalerite, and calcite in low temperature veins from sites in Midwestern quarries of the USA. Especially in the Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma lead district and areas like our specimens from the Meridian Quarry Black Rock, Lawerence County, Arkansas. Nice dolomite crystals are found in limestone pockets in the quarries at Rochester, New York. Large fine crystals have been found in Switzerland, in pegmatitic seams in North Carolina, and in veins in Colorado. Other locals include Ontario, Canada; Pamplona, Spain and Mexico.



What Do We Do With It

Dolomite is used for manufacturing certain types of refractory bricks used in steel making. The dolomite is heated to a high temperature to drive off the carbonate as carbon dioxide and the remaining material, a mixture of calcium and magnesium oxides, is blended with carbon and other materials and pressed into blocks for the furnaces. The magnesium and calcium oxides have very high melting points and are an excellent, inexpensive refractory material. Dolomite is also used as a source of magnesium oxide for making magnesium metal and for chemical uses, such as the common laxative milk-of-magnesia. Dolomitic limestone's and dolomites are mined along with limestone and used for crushed stone and aggregates for manufacture of pavement, concrete for construction and as fill material. Dolomite is also used in some cements, as a source of magnesium. Of course Dolomite is also used as mineral specimens.



Metaphysical Uses

Dolomite is a gentle stone that encourages charitable actions, generosity and giving of all kinds, as well as receiving. It also encourages energetic thinking, original thinking, spontaneity, creativity, and manifestation. It can help develop stamina for dealing with hyperactive people. It is also used to stop energy leaks from the chakras, and to balance and align the chakras. It stabilizes both human and mineral energies, and when placed strategically in a home with other minerals they balance the energetic atmosphere.

It is a particularly good stone for relieving sorrow, and soothing hurt, loneliness, stress, and anxiety. Sometimes it is called the "herb" of rocks. In the physical realm it is used in crystal healing for strengthening bones, teeth, muscles, and the female reproductive system. It reduces the effects of PMS. Pink dolomite is also particularly good for insomnia.



Physical Characteristics

Color: Colorless, white, pinkish, or light tints darker colors even black when iron is present.

Luster: Glassy to Pearly

Transparency: Crystals Transparent to Translucent

Crystal System: Trigonal

Crystal Habits: Rhombahedral

Cleavage: Perfect in 3 directions

Fracture: Conchoidal

Hardness: 3.5 - 4

Specific Gravity: 2.8

Streak: White

Associated Minerals: Barite, calcite, fluorite, sulfide ore minerals, quartz and some times with gold.