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Dolomite is a carbonated mineral containing calcium and magnesium in the same chemical compound i.e, calcium magnesium carbonate CaMg(CO3)2. It was first studied by a French mineralogist Deodat de Dolomieu in 1791. Within a rock, he discovered, it was a mineral widely found in sedimentary rocks, most of which are very similar to limestone. The most common rock it is found in is the dolostone, which is named after the mineral itself.


The physical properties of dolomite, includes a wide variety of colours, namely, pink, grey, white, yellow and even brown, but the most common colours are pink, grey and white. Its pinkish colour is majorly known as its differentiating factor. Dolomite has transparent crystals, which could also, be translucent within some of its crystals. Its crystal system is trigonal and are either saddled shape rhombohedral shapes or simple rhombohedral shapes. They invariably have conchoidal fractures with hardness of about 3.5-4 with a 2.86 specific gravity.

Dolomite is a mineral that belongs to a group of minerals called the dolomite group and its most common and closest member are ankerite. Ankerite could be close to dolomite, but the most similar mineral compound to dolomite is the calcite CaCO3. Calcite is so similar to dolomite that it will only take a chemical differentiation to distinguish both minerals except in the case of the pink coloured dolomites. The chemical difference between the two minerals is as a result of the addition of magnesium to the calcite-similar chemical compound of dolomite. Other basic differences include texture of both minerals with dolomite proving to be harder than calcite also dolomite doesn't form scalenohendrons as it is a common habit of calcite.

Dolomites are found in many locations and environment throughout the world. It is found largely in some parts of the mid-western quarry of USA, in parts of Canada, Switzerland, Mexico and Spain. Dolomite has over time been misunderstood and misrepresented as dolostone, but lately mineralogist and geologists have placed a chasm of difference between the two. Its uses are, therefore, similar to that of dolostones, which is basically as filler in the mixture of asphalt and concrete due to its extra toughness. Other notable uses include a major source of magnesium, as a soil pH value control and sparingly within the pharmaceutical industry.


Additional Resources

Diphosphorus Pentoxide   Dolostone   Elgin Marbles

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