Calamine

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Description

1) A natural admixture mineral of zinc carbonate and hydrous zinc silicate. Because the two ores are very similar and often occur together, the name calamine was given to the mixture but also incorrectly used for the separate minerals. To differentiate the minerals, they were given new names of smithsonite(zinc carbonate) and hemimorphite (hydrous zinc silicate). However, the name calamine is still sometimes used incorrectly.

2) A commercial product name for a pink lotion containing zinc oxide, red iron oxide (0.5%) and mineral oil. Calamine lotion is used as a skin protectant and salve.

3) A copper alloyed with zinc. See calamine brass.

Synonyms and Related Terms

zinc carbonate; zinc silicate; zinc oxide; zinc spar; hemimorphite; smithsonite

Density 4.1-4.5

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Henry Hodges, Artifacts: An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology, Ronald P. Frye, Kingston, Canada, 1988
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=4.1-4.5

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