Hornblende - Physical Properties & Healing Properties

HORNBLENDE

Chemistry: (Ca,Na)2?3(Mg,Fe,Al)5(Al,Si)8O22(OH,F)2.

Class: Solicates

Subclass: Inosilicates

Uses: Decorative material

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    Specimens
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  • Horneblende
  • Horneblende Crystal
  • Horneblende Crystal


Hornblende is a complex in silicate series of minerals (ferrohornblende ? magnesiohornblende). Hornblende is an isomorphous mixture of three molecules; a calcium-iron-magnesium silicate, an aluminum-iron-magnesium silicate, and an iron-magnesium silicate.

Hornblende is actually the name given to a series of minerals that are rather difficult to distinguish by ordinary means. The iron, magnesium and aluminum ions can freely substitute for each other and form what have been distinguished as separate minerals. The minerals are given the names Magnesio-hornblende, Ferrohornblende, Alumino-ferro-hornblende and Alumino-magnesio-hornblende. These minerals are obviously named for their chemistries although there is little to distinguish them in the field. The iron rich members of the series are a darker black and less likely to be translucent.

Hornblende is not often a collection mineral because good crystals are somewhat difficult to find even though the mineral is widespread. It is almost always opaque and black and not very attractive. However a few specimens are extraordinary and make for valuable specimens. Some crystals can grow to a fairly large size of several feet long and nearly a foot across. Other specimens of hornblende can be acicular clusters or needle thin crystal aggregates. Many times a specimen of a more valuable mineral will be accented by the opaque black crystals of hornblende.


Origin Of The Name

The word hornblende is derived from the German horn and blenden, to 'deceive' in allusion to its similarity in appearance to metal bearing ore minerals.



Interesting Facts

Amphibolite was a favourite material for the production of adzes in the central European early Neolithic (Linearbandkeramic and R”ssen cultures). In the VSG, it was used to produce bracelets as well.



Where Is It Found

Anywhere that you may be able to find igneous or metamorphic rocks, you can also find hornblende. It is the mineral that gives these rocks their green or black color.



What Do We Do With It

Horneblende is a common dimension stone used in construction, paving, facing of buildings, etcetera especially because of its attractive textures, dark color, hardness and polishability and its ready availability.



Metaphysical Uses

Hornblende is actually the name given to a series of minerals that are rather difficult to distinguish by ordinary means. The iron, magnesium and aluminum ions can freely substitute for each other and form what have been distinguished as separate minerals. The minerals are given the names Magnesio-hornblende, Ferrohornblende, Alumino-ferro-hornblende and Alumino-magnesio-hornblende. These minerals are obviously named for their chemistries although there is little to distinguish them in the field. The iron rich members of the series are more darker black and less likely to be translucent.

Hornblende is not often a collection mineral because good crystals are somewhat difficult to find even though the mineral is widespread. It is almost always opaque and black and not very attractive. However a few specimens are extraordinary and make for valuable specimens. Some crystals can grow to a fairly large size of several feet long and nearly a foot across. Other specimens of hornblende can be acicular clusters or needle thin crystal aggregates. Many times a specimen of a more valuable mineral will be accented by the opaque black crystals of hornblende.



Physical Characteristics

Color: Black or dark green.

Luster: Dull

Transparency: None

Crystal System: Tetrahedron

Crystal Habits: Hexagonal granular.

Cleavage: Imperfect at 56 and 124 degrees.

Fracture: Uneven

Hardness: 5 to 6

Specific Gravity: 2.9 - 3.4

Streak: Brown to gray

Associated Minerals: Quartz, feldspars, augite, magnetite, micas and many medium grade metamorphic rocks.

Best Field Indicators: Crystal habit, color and cleavage.