talc - light green soapstone - teaching student specimens - UNIT OF 5 SPECIMENS
Talc's hardness is 1 on the Mohs scale, and its perfect cleavage in one direction (like mica except more loosely attached) allows tiny flakes of talc to easily slip past each other, giving it a smooth or greasy feel. Talc is usually white, slightly green, gray, brown or colorless. It has multiple industrial uses as an ingredient in paints, insecticides, rubber, paper, plastics, ceramics, roofing and baby powder. By far the greatest amount used in the U.S. is in the manufacture of paper.
Talc varies from black to white with a number of shades in between. This light green talc was collected at the Talc City Mine in Inyo County, California, which produced the greatest amount of steatite talc, a strategic mineral, for the war effort in WW II. The mine is no longer active.
When powdered by being scratched by a coin the powdered talc is white, a surprise to students. Ask them if they have ever seen light green baby powder.
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