aragonite crystal cluster - hand specimen from the Fès-Meknès region of Morocco
Aragonite - CaCO3
Tazouta Mine, near Tazouta, Sefrou Cercle, Sefrou Province, Fès-Meknès Region, Morocco
Aragonite, a polymorph of calcite, has the same composition as calcite but crystallizes in the orthorhombic system, while calcite forms trigonal crystals.
Aragonite has three habits of crystallization, either forming radiating groups of fine to coarse crystals, as tabular crystals or as pseudohexagonal twins as in these examples. Single crystals are usually tabular plates or long slender needles.The crystals in these clusters are formed by an intergrowth of three individuals twinned on the prism face and are not true hexagonal forms. They radiate from a common center.
The aragonite clusters at this mine are found in a layer of reddish clay and come out as mudballs. Since the area of the mine is dry, the mudballs are taken to a local river and washed. The reddish color is a hematite stain.
Aragonite was named in 1797 by Abraham Gottlob Werner for the type locality, the village of Molina de Aragón, Spain, and not the province of Aragón, as has been reported in error.
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