Directory of Gems - Gem Dictionary - reference guide to Iceland Spar
Iceland spar, formerly known as Iceland crystal, is a transparent variety of calcite, crystallized calcium carbonate, originally brought from Iceland, and used in demonstrating the polarization of light. Calcite is a very common mineral. Found in many different geologic settings. It makes up most limestone and marble, and it forms most cave stone formations like stalactites. Often calcite is the worthless part of ore rocks. Clear pieces are less common. Iceland spar is named after classic occurrences in Iceland, where fine calcite specimens can be found as big as coconuts.
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