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An ore deposit is any geological or nonrenewable material that can be mined at a profit The feldspars are the most abundant and widespread minerals of the crust or outermost part of the Earth Because of their abundance feldspars are used in the classification of IGNEOUS ROCKSFeldspars are used in the manufacture of ceramics and ceramic glazes and as mild abrasives A few varieties including labradorite and orthoclase are occasionally used as gems because they show an iridescent play of colors or a milky translucence Milky varieties are termed moonstone Feldspars are aluminosilicates containing silicon and aluminum ions bound together by oxygen ions to form a three-dimensional framework of atomFeldspars are generally light-colored minerals white or buff to gray in color One species microcline may also be light brick-red or even the green to blue green variety called amazonite Feldspars are slightly translucent and have a glassy or vitreous luster rather like that of glazed porcelain Because their atomic framework has planes of weakness feldspars exhibit good cleavage breaking readily into blocky pieces with smooth sides On the Mohs mineral hardness scale feldspars are 6--slightly harder than a steel knife blade and about as hard as porcelain The three different but closely related species of alkali feldspar are sanidine orthoclase and microcline The differences among these feldspars result from details of their atomic structures principally the different ways in which aluminum is distributed or ordered in the aluminosilicate frameworks of each Alkali feldspars occur in many rocks They are abundant in GRANITES a family of intrusive igneous rocks composed chiefly of alkali feldspars and quartz Granites constitute the cores of mountain ranges they are formed by the melting of the Earths crust as mountains are built Sanidine is found chiefly in some lavas where it is preserved by rapid chilling When cooled slowly sanidine changes to orthoclaseAlkali feldspars are also common in many metamorphic rocks that have crystallized at high temperatures Micas and other
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