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Iranian bowl
MFA# 1972.1014


A group of green silicate minerals containing Aluminum, Iron, and Magnesium. Members of the chlorite group include chamosite, clinochlore, nimite, alushtite, and penninite. Chlorite is a soft, mica type mineral that occurs in irregular foliated masses. It has been found in Egypt, Middle East, western Asia, and the U.S. (New York, California). The opaque, flaky mineral was used in antiquity for seals and small decorative items.


Synonyms and Related Terms

osudite; greenstone; vermiculite; green earth; clinochlore (Mg-rich chlorite); chamosite (Fe-rich chlorite); nimite (Ni-rich chlorite); pennintite (Mn-rich chlorite); alushtite (Al-rich chlorite); chlorite (Fr.); clorita (Esp.); clorite (Port.); Chlorit (Deut.); chloriet (Ned.)





Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Luster = vitreous to pearly.
  • Streak = colorless to pale green.
  • Perfect cleavage in one direction.
  • Flakes are flexible.
Composition (Mg,Fe,Al)6(Si,Al)4O10(OH)8
Mohs Hardness 2.0 - 2.5
Density 2.6 - 3.3 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.57 - 1.64

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • Jack Odgen, Jewellery of the Ancient World, Rizzoli International Publications Inc., New York City, 1982
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • 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