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A magnesium sulfate mineral commonly found as an efflorescence on mine and cave walls. Epsomite was discovered at Epsom (Surrey England) in 1695 where it formed from the evaporation of mineral waters. The colorless or white salt often contains trace minerals, such as iron or calcium. Epsomite is purified and sold as Epsom salts for mineral baths.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Epsom salts; bitter salts;



Other Properties

Soluble in water. Orthorhombic crystals. Bitter to salty taste.

Fracture = conchoidal. Luster = vitreous to earthy. Streak = white

Composition MgSO4 - 7H2O
Mohs Hardness 2.0 - 2.5
Density 1.68

Additional Information

Mineralogy Database: Epsomite

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "epsomite" Encyclopædia Britannica [Accessed December 4, 2001](B/W photo)
  • 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

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