Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Microscope notes - The Hard Core of Beauty: Spinel in Reflected Light

Chrome spinels are so deceiving. In plain light, they are huge black euhedral to amorphous masses; one would never think they are actually much more complex than this. Then in reflected light, what is revealed is a tiny eaten-up core of the true spinel, beautifully honey-colored, and an enormous corona of symplectite, that blends in with the colors of the surrounding minerals. The actual spinel cores have such a lovely color, kind of like if butter were to be metallic. It's quite incredible actually. I'll take a picture once I get better on the reflected light scope.