Iceland spar

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Iceland Spar


Crystalline clear Calcite (calcium carbonate). Iceland spar has been commercially mined from the east coast of Iceland since the 17th century. Its double refraction and perfect cleavage was described by E.Bartholin in 1669. Because of its refracting ability, Iceland spar is used in polarizers (Nicol and Ahrens prisms), polarizing microscopes, and other optical instruments.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Iceland crystal; calcite; espato de Islandia (Esp.); espato de Islândia (Port.); Islandspat (Deut.)

Composition CaCO3

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 131
  • 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
  • Jack Odgen, Jewellery of the Ancient World, Rizzoli International Publications Inc., New York City, 1982
  • 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
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, Comment: "Iceland Spar." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 25 Apr. 2004 .

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