03-12. Muscovite #1.
The geometry of Muscovite will be this week’s theme for the 52 grains of sand project. Before glass, Muscovite was used all over Europe and in India for homes, churches and public buildings windows. Apparently, there was a huge trade going between Elizabethan England and Russia as far back as the sixteen century.
Muscovite is a transparent monoclinic crystal in which two vectors are perpendicular to each other, and the third vector meets the other two at an angle other than 90°. The crystal builds up from individual layers stacked along a crystallographic direction. The layer structure repeats itself and can into enormous crystal groupings that can weigh several hundred pounds.
Today it is still used as an insulator for various electrical products and semiconductors. Muscovite powder is also used to create sparkles in paint, Christmas decorations or glitters for many cosmetic products – nail polish, lipstick and other.