Home > American Minerals – January 11 > MS1993 Cryolite


Cryolite is a sodium aluminum fluoride. The mineral has a low refractive index, nearly that of liquid water, so when immersed in water cryolite seems to disappear. The mineral named combines Greek roots crios for frost and lithos for stone (Abildgaard, 1799).

One side of this cryolite mass apparently spent time on the surface, where it partially dissolved on its surface. Its etching texture shows cleavage in the mineral. The backside has a fresh break, so this piece was likely broken off a large mass in the field. From the collection of Eugene B. Gross, a geologist with United States Geological Survey. Gross liked collected the specimen; an undesignated note accompanying the piece gives a detailed locality; there is also a label from Mineralogical Research Company.

Price: $100

Item code: MS1993

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