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The Mineral stishovite

Stishovite is an extremely rare mineral forming only from the impact of a meteorite through the metamorphism of Quartz at extremely high temperatures. It is interesting to note that Stishovite is scientifically classified as an oxide and not as a silicate, even though it is polymorphous with Quartz. This is because its crystal structure is identical to some of the oxide minerals, such as Rutile. In fact, Stishovite is isomorphous with Rutile. Stishovite is named after Sergei Mikhailovich Stishov (b. 1937), a crystallographer in the Academy of Sciences, Moscow, who synthesized Stishovite prior to its discovery.

Chemical Formula

SiO2

Color

Colorless to white

Crystal System

Tetragonal

Properties

Streak
White
Hardness
7.5 - 8
Transparency
Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity
4.3
Luster
Vitreous
Cleavage
2,2 ; 3,3
Fracture
Conchoidal to uneven
Tenacity
Brittle

Crystal Habits

Occurs only in microscopic platy grains.
Click here for a detailed explanation on the crystal structure of Stishovite and other forms of silica.

Additional Information

Composition
Silicon dioxide
In Group
Oxides; Simple Oxides
Striking Features
Occurrence, hardness
Environment
Found only at crater sites from the impact of a meteorite.
Rock Type
Meteoric

Noteworthy Localities

The only localities are a few meteor impact sites, such as the Barringer Crater (also known as Meteor Crater) in Coconino Co., Arizona.

Common Mineral Associations

Iron-Nickel, Coesite


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