Muscovite Mica - Physical Properties & Healing Properties

MUSCOVITE

Chemistry: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(F, OH)2, Potassium aluminum silicate hydroxide fluoride.

Class: Silicates

Subclass: Phyllosilicates

Group: Micas

Uses: heat and electrical insulator for industrial purposes.

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    Specimens
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  • Muscovite Feldspar
  • Muscovite Mica
  • Muscovite Mica


Muscovite is a common rock forming mineral and is found in igneous, metamorphic and detrital sedimentary rocks. Muscovite has a layered structure of aluminum silicate sheets weakly bonded together by layers of potassium ions. These potassium ion layers produce the perfect cleavage of muscovite. Although it has such easy cleavage, the cleavage sheets are quite durable and are often found in sands that have undergone much erosion and transport that would have destroyed most other minerals. The sheets of muscovite also have high heat and electrical insulating properties and are used to make many electrical components. Muscovite sheets were used for kitchen oven windows before synthetic materials replaced them.

Muscovite is not often valuable as a mineral specimen but is often associated with other minerals of extraordinary beauty and value. Some very nice muscovite crystals accompany such valuable minerals as tourmaline, topaz, beryl, almandine and others. A rare twin variety from Brazil forms yellow five pointed stars and is called "Star Muscovite". A deep green variety is called fuchsite and is colored by chromium impurities.


Origin Of The Name

The name Muscovite comes from the English wors ?Muscovy glass,? which is the name of a type of glass used in Russia that is made with Muscovite Mica.



Interesting Facts

Muscovite gets its name from Muscovy state in Russia, where the mineral was used a glass substitute in the 14th century. Muscovite used to be known as isinglass, and it was used on furnaces, so that you could look through the furnace as what tempered glass does today. Muscovite is ground and used to give wallpaper a shiny luster today., and it is used in eye makeup and glitter.



Where Is It Found

Muscovite is the most common mica, found in granites, pegmatites, gneisses, and schists, and as a contact metamorphic rock or as a secondary mineral resulting from the alteration of topaz, feldspar, kyanite, etc. In pegmatites, it is often found in immense sheets that are commercially valuable.

Notable Occurrences include India, Pakistan, Brazil and many USA localities.



What Do We Do With It

Its first known use was in Russia as a glass. It was used as a glass because of its transparent layers that peel off in thin sheets. It was also used in furnace doors. Muscovite is in demand for the manufacture of fireproofing and insulating materials and to some extent as a lubricant. Muscovite is ground up and mixed in with paints to give them a sparkle. It also has electrical and heat resistance properties which make it good for insulating electrical components. It is also ground in to paints, used as a joint cement, dusting agent, in well-drilling muds, and in plastics, roofing, rubber, and welding rods.



Metaphysical Uses

Muscovite is a member of the mica group, an important component of granite and some schist. The composition of these minerals are hydrous potassium aluminium silicate with a lustre that varies from transparent to pearly. Muscovite occurs as tabular, commonly twinned pseudo-hexagonal crystals often with deep striations on the prism faces. It also occurs as foliated, scaly lamellar masses. Muscovite can be pink, colourless, silver-white, yellowish, greenish with a pearly lustre on cleavage faces. It often has a sparkly look. Because of its silvery sheen, Muscovite is sometimes called cat's silver.

Muscovite is great for inspiring reflection and self assessment. It allows you to reflect on the past and the self objectively, and without fear. It can also help in auric cleansing and unblocking the psychic channels. Muscovite encourages clarity in visions and self reflection. It can be used during times of cleansing or fasting to help reduce hunger pangs, provide energy, relieve dehydration and give a general boost. It can help sufferers of insomnia, night sweats, nightmares, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnoea.



Physical Characteristics

Color: White, silver, yellow, green and brown.

Luster: Vitreous to pearly.

Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.

Crystal System: Monoclinic; 2/m

Crystal Habits: Tabular crystals with a prominent pinacoid termination. Muscovites four prism faces form diamond shaped "books" and if modified by another pinacoid they form pseudo-hexagonal crystal "books". The sides of the crystal often tend to tapper. Also as lamellar rock forming masses and small flakes in detrital material. Twinned crystals can form flat five pointed stars.

Cleavage: Perfect in one direction producing thin sheets or flakes.

Fracture: Not readily observed due to cleavage but is uneven.

Hardness: 2 - 2.5

Specific Gravity: Approximately 2.8 (average)

Streak: White

Associated Minerals: Quartz, feldspars, beryl and tourmalines.

Other Characteristics: Cleavage sheets are flexible and elastic, meaning they can be bent and will flex back to original shape.

Best Field Indicators: Crystal habit, cleavage, elastic sheets, color and associations.



Educational Videos

Aquamarine with Muscovite, Pakistan


Muscovite Sheet