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Roger Weller, geology instructor

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kyanite
by Darryl Thompson
Physical Geology
Spring 2012
        
 

Kyanite – The Oddball

  

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photo courtesy of gemselect.com


            Out of the many minerals that we have on Earth, there are a few odd ones. Whether it is their color, how they come about, or what they are commonly mistaken for, Kyanite is one of these oddball minerals. In earlier years, Kyanite was mistaken for Sapphire. Kyanite is easier to scratch on one side than the other. It is even considered a healing mineral that can cure any sickness. Kyanite deserved an investigation when these claims proved to be quite intriguing.
 

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Photo courtesy of adventuresintheocult.com
 

            First, Kyanite is a metamorphic mineral often found in the midst of sedimentary rocks. It most commonly is a blue color, but can also be white, green, gray, orange, or even colorless. Its streak is white and its luster is pearly. While it may shine in the sun, it does not shine as if a diamond would. Kyanite is a semiprecious stone. It can be transparent, but is more commonly translucent. So far, this mineral seems interesting, but one factor changes everything. Kyanite has dual hardness. Along the length of the crystal, it has a hardness of four on Mohs scale of hardness. Kyanite is fairly easy to scratch along the length of it, but very difficult to scratch on the width of it. Along the width of the crystal, it has a hardness of seven.  With this in mind, it is no question that it is very difficult to cut and fasten. It would require very experienced hands and much patience to make Kyanite jewelry. Very few minerals have dual hardness, which makes Kyanite stick out from the many other minerals on our planet. But one factor is not enough to call a mineral odd. There are a few other attributes of Kyanite that distinguish it from every single other mineral.
 

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photo courtesy of stylehive.com
 

            Kyanite also has an odd attribute apart from many other minerals. It can expand when heated. It can gain double its original size after a proper heating with certain specific conditions met. This attribute becomes very useful with certain industrial uses. It is used in the furnaces that produce bricks, mortars, and kiln. They use it because the furnaces have to reach a very high temperature to do their job, and the Kyanite keeps it intact and can expand slightly if needed. Kyanite is also used in car parts such as sparkplugs where the temperature in these parts is very hot. Thanks to Kyanite’s odd hardness, it works well to be a binding agent in cutting wheels and saws. Anything that can reach high temperatures and can be scrapping up against things is where Kyanite works best. However, Kyanite is also used in something we use every day, porcelain. Since porcelain needs to be capable to stand high temperatures, Kyanite is used to keep it strong and retain its shape. Your sink, bathroom fixtures, and even some pottery are made with Kyanite to keep it safe from powerful heat. Both used in cutting and keeping things strong, Kyanite is sticking out even more. But another attribute this mineral has is a habit that cannot be broken.
 

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Photo courtesy of Roger Weller


            Kyanite has an odd habit in its crystallization.  Up close, a Kyanite crystal can look quite different from what one would expect from a mineral with a seven on the hardness scale. It is fibrous, or basically looks like Mica. Each little piece can be easily broken off because of the thinness of each piece. A fingernail is basically all one needs to strip a piece of the crystal apart, and this little strip still maintains the color of the Kyanite. Not only is it fibrous, Kyanite crystallizes only in columns. While many other minerals form their crystals in different ways, Kyanite expresses itself by only forming columns of crystal. After all of these mostly original attributes and characteristics of Kyanite, people had to make it stand out even more, by giving it powers.
 

Description: http://imgs.tootoo.com/55/ea/55ea60920babfde9b8c80939ca99ad78.jpg
photo courtesy of tootoo.com
 

            Of all the claims and facts about Kyanite, these powers that man has given it would set it apart from all other minerals, if they were true. Kyanite does not just have one power, but many. Each color of Kyanite has its own respective powers. Starting with the normal color of Kyanite, which is blue, it is given the powers of increasing physical ability, healing, telepathic communication, and even assists in lucid dreaming. If each of us had a piece of blue Kyanite on us, supposedly we would be better athletes, heal faster, be able to understand unspoken words, and understand all of our dreams. Green Kyanite has been given the powers of opening ones heart to nature. It also can help one to dream more often.   You can imagine what we could know with both colors of Kyanite with you at one time. But, there are still two colors left. Black Kyanite assists in freeing blocked energy within our bodies and helps in balance. Not just physical balance, but balance in life and thoughts. Sports would be even more entertaining now would they not? Finally, orange Kyanite has been labeled to giving us more creativity and unlocking the imagination barrier. It also has been given powers to help ones sex drive. Now, imagine how life would be if you had better physical potential, could remember and interpret your dreams at night, could understand nature better, had better balance in life, and be even more creative. That would be pretty cool now would it not? As if Kyanite could not be even odder, its powers separate it from all others.
 

Description: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~up5s-andu/SUISHO/Kyanite-1.jpg
photo courtesy of susanweed.com
 

            After all these facts and claims about this odd mineral, it is safe to say that Kyanite is just simply an oddball. It has dual hardness. It has been mistaken for Sapphire because of its color. It can expand double its original size when heated. It is used in the porcelain that we see and use every day. It has a hardness of seven, but can be separated into little flecks with a fingernail like Mica. It only crystallizes in columns. It has a wide range of powers from healing to improving our dreams. Kyanite is one of the weird ones of the metamorphic mineral family, but every family needs an oddball or life would be boring. Throwing a few curve balls at geologists, Kyanite has caused problems and has been a puzzling one. It only makes it more entertaining to find.
 

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