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Cubic weights
MFA3 36.2297



An opaque, white to light-gray, fine-grain stone containing microcrystalline Quartz particles. Chert is similar in composition to Flint, but has a lighter color. It was used in Paleolithic and Neolithic times for tools, weapons, and vessels. Currently, chert is used as an Abrasive, a semiprecious Stone, and as an Aggregate for the construction of buildings and roads.

Exposed chert

Synonyms and Related Terms

hearthstone; firestone; malmstone; jasper; prase; cherte (Port.); Chert (Deut.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Fracture = conchoidal
  • Mohs Hardness = 7.0
Chert near Eureka Lake spillway


Properties of Common Abrasives

Resources and Citations

  • B.Aston, J.Harrell, I.Shaw, "Stone" in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, P.Nicholson, I.Shaw (eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Mineralogy Database: Quartz
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 690
  • 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