09-03. Sapphirine #1.

I’ve always found Cubism a little unsettling, maybe because of its lack of any apparent symmetry. A little like sapphirine it seems (the double p came at the end of the 1800’s), the mineral of week 36.

All this mineral has in common with Sapphire (a variety of corundum) is its dark blue color. Where the Sapphire is trigonal, the sapphirine is triclinic – meaning three unequal axes all intersecting at oblique angles while crystals in the trigonal system are symmetrically triangular.

The sapphirine P1 symmetry is called periodic by mathematicians. It is far from obvious and hard to find at a glance. It will be interesting to explore for a week these tightly packed, busy little atoms and find beauty in their apparent chaos.


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