February 24, 2014
Gypsum is a mineral with no original discoverer, though the ancient egyptians were the first to take advantage of its wide range of uses. Even though the average american has never even heard of gypsum, every year over 15 million tons of gypsum are used. Gypsum is around you basically at all times, from the plastic cups in your kitchen, to the toothpaste in your bathroom, to the plaster on your walls. It is used in plaster(also known as drywall) because it is fire resistant and also comfortable, all the while looking good. Gypsum is connected with almost everything you do, for example, as you drive to school, gypsum can be found in the windows of the car, the road your car drives on, and the chalk on the road you drive on.
Construction workers have occasionally deemed gypsum as wonderstone because of its many uses.
Gypsum is commonly found in
Araripina and Grajau; in Brazil,
Pakistan,Iran, Jamaica, Spain, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Ireland, England,
Canada, and the United States, but is most commonly found in China. In the mines in these countries, crystals as long as 11 meters have been found, weighing as much as 55 tons.
Gypsum is a mineral that is very identifiable, if you have the correct knowledge to separate it from other minerals. It is the defining mineral for a hardness of 2 on the Mohs Scale. It is a very soft mineral, and will break very easily. The color of Gypsum is between colorless and white, but can sometimes vary to blue, pink, brown, tan, yellow, reddish brown, or gray.
This mineral has a streak—the powder color—of white, similar to its most common appearance color. Gypsum has a luster that is vitreous, pearly, or also silky. A vitreous or pearly or silky luster means that the mineral does not reflect more than 30% of the light that hits it. This mineral has a density of 2.312 g/cm³. The cleavage of gypsum is perfect. Some special properties of gypsum are that it has a specific gravity of 2.3, and that it has a monoclinic crystal symmetry.
Though gypsum may not be the flashiest mineral there is, it still has many interesting characteristics. For example, the chemical formula for gypsum is
O. This chemical formula stands for: one calcium
2 atom, four sodium atoms, and two “H₂
O” molecules. The crystal structure of this mineral is monoclinic. Gypsum is generally found in thick beds of sedimentary rock. It does not commonly form as salt, except for the…