09-16 Chiolite #7.

What an intriguing and inspirational little mineral! All I could do was to go back to this perfect octahedron hiding in the midst of a cluster of atoms. Maybe it’ll take another few 1000 years, but this mineral is on its way to producing a beautiful crystal someday09-16!



09-15 – Chiolite #6.

This mineral’s geometry is so unusual and complex in graphic terms, I decided to go and visit the place where chiolite was first identified. The background is a Google Earth street view of the Ilmen mountains, a mineralogical reserve near the town of Miass, in southern Russia. This view was taken from one of the frozen lakes nearby at 3:34 am. 55°00’50.15″ N  60°10’24.67″ E

The octahedron that constitutes the core of the crystal fits well against the starry sky. So does Orion in the background – a good reminder of the chiolite challenging geometry.



09-14 – Chiolite #5.

Modern art chiolite crystal.

The binding between the atoms has built a surprising but interesting geometry09-14


09-13 – Chiolite #4.

There has to be a way out – but I didn’t find it. I just got lost in a chiolite crystal’s tessellation pattern.

Sometimes it’s just as good to let the geometry take over than fight to make sense of odd and confusing shapes. Maybe I’ll revisit it someday and understand better what happened.

From a generic resource made of 157 atoms, 222 bonds, and 35 polyhedra.



09-12 – Chiolite #3.

Humor or surrealism – the geometry of Nature sometimes lends itself to strange visualization: this could be the original octahedra factory – chiolite creates octahedra, collect them in its structured drawer/cubes and delivers them to the world as beautiful geometry figures.

Of course, this is not true – but the geometry of this chiolite carries some disconcerting and beautiful mathematical poetry.

From a resource by Jacoboni, Leble, and Rousseau




09-11. Chiolite #2.

The structure of this crystal of chiolite takes on the look of an ethnic folk dance performance on a stage somewhere in the Ural mountains. Busy mineral indeed!

From a resource by Jacoboni, Leble, and Rousseau



09-10. Chiolite #1.

Some say it’s a useless mineral. The industry has not found yet a way to exploit it; Gemologists finds it too difficult to cut. Maybe art can redeem chiolite, this tiny, rare, snow-like mineral first identified in the Ilmen Mountains, Russia in 1846.

It belongs to the tetragonal group and is of symmetry P 4/mnc. The VESTA 3D model shows some beautifully well-formed octahedra for such a small crystal – almost like little gems within its crystal structure.

Chiolite will be the mineral of week 37 of this short tour of the Geometry of Nature. Maybe it will reveal some other hidden surprises art and art lovers can be inspired from.