Moonstone Its name is derived from a visual effect, sheen or schiller (adularescence), caused by light diffraction within a microstructure consisting of regular exsolution layers (lamellae) of different alkali feldspars (orthoclase and sodium-rich plagioclase).
Moonstone has been used in jewelry for millennia, including ancient civilizations. The Romans admired moonstone, as they believed it was derived from solidified rays of the Moon. Both the Romans and Greeks associated moonstone with their lunar deities. In more recent history, moonstone became popular during the Art Nouveau period; French goldsmith René Lalique and many others created a large quantity of jewelry using this stone.
The most common moonstone is of the orthoclase feldspar mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Modular in Switzerland, now the town of St. Gotthard. Solid solution of the plagioclase feldspar oligoclase +/- the potassium feldspar orthoclase also produces moonstone specimens
Moon rock or lunar rock is the rock that is found on the Earth’s Moon including lunar material collected during human exploration of the Moon, or rock that has been ejected naturally from the Moon’s surface (and which has then landed on the Earth as meteorites).
Is a chemical element with the symbol Na (from Latin natrium) and atomic number 11? It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal. Sodium is an alkali metal, being in group 1 of the periodic table, because it has a single electron in its outer shell, which it readily donates, creating a positively charged ion—the Na+ cation. Its only stable isotope is 23Na. The free metal does not occur in nature and must be prepared from compounds. Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and exists in numerous minerals such as feldspars, sodalite, and rock salt (NaCl). Many salts of sodium are highly water-soluble: sodium ions have been leached by the action of water from the Earth’s minerals over eons, and thus sodium and chlorine are the most common dissolved elements by weight in the oceans.
Sodium was first isolated by Humphry Davy in 1807 by the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide. Among many other useful sodium compounds, sodium hydroxide (lye) is used in soap manufacture, and sodium chloride (edible salt) is a de-icing agent and a nutrient for animals including humans.
Sodium is an essential element for all animals and some plants. Sodium ions are the major cation in the extracellular fluid (ECF) and as such are the major contributor to the ECF osmotic pressure and ECF compartment volume. Loss of water from the ECF compartment increases the sodium concentration, a condition called hypernatremia. Isotonic loss of water and sodium from the ECF compartment decreases the size of that compartment in a condition called ECF hypovolemia.
By means of the sodium-potassium pump, living human cells pump three sodium ions out of the cell in exchange for two potassium ions pumped in; comparing ion concentrations across the cell membrane, inside to outside, potassium measures about 40:1, and sodium, about 1:10. In nerve cells, the electrical charge across the cell membrane enables transmission of the nerve impulse—an action potential—when the charge is dissipated; sodium plays a key role in that activity.
Potassium is a chemical element with the symbol K (from Neo-Latin kalium) and atomic number 19. Potassium is a silvery-white metal that is soft enough to be cut with a knife with little force. Potassium metal reacts rapidly with atmospheric oxygen to form flaky white potassium peroxide in only seconds of exposure. It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, from which its name derives. In the periodic table, potassium is one of the alkali metals, all of which have a single valence electron in the outer electron shell, that is easily removed to create an ion with a positive charge – a cation, that combines with anions to form salts. Potassium in nature occurs only in ionic salts. Elemental potassium reacts vigorously with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction, and burning with a lilac-colored flame. It is found dissolved in seawater (which is 0.04% potassium by weight and occurs in many minerals such as orthoclase, a common constituent of granites and other igneous rocks.
Potassium is chemically very similar to sodium, the previous element in group 1 of the periodic table. They have similar first ionization energy, which allows for each atom to give up its sole outer electron. That they are different elements that combine with the same anions to make similar salts was suspected in 1702 and was proven in 1807 using electrolysis. Naturally occurring potassium is composed of three isotopes, of which 40K is radioactive. Traces of 40K are found in all potassium, and it is the most common radioisotope in the human body.
Potassium ions are vital for the functioning of all living cells. The transfer of potassium ions across nerve cell membranes is necessary for normal nerve transmission; potassium deficiency and excess can each result in numerous signs and symptoms, including abnormal heart rhythm and various electrocardiographic abnormalities. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources of potassium. The body responds to the influx of dietary potassium, which raises serum potassium levels, with a shift of potassium from outside to inside cells and an increase in potassium excretion by the kidneys.
Most industrial applications of potassium exploit the high solubility in water of potassium compounds, such as potassium soaps. Heavy crop production rapidly depletes the soil of potassium, and this can be remedied with agricultural fertilizers containing potassium, accounting for 95% of global potassium chemical production.
Aluminum (aluminum in American and Canadian English) is a chemical element with the symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, non-magnetic and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminum makes up about 8% of the Earth’s crust ,it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and the most abundant metal in the crust, though it is less common in the mantle below. The chief ore of aluminum is bauxite. Aluminum metal is highly reactive, such that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.
Despite its prevalence in the environment, no known form of life uses aluminum salts metabolically, but aluminum is well tolerated by plants and animals. Because of these salts’ abundance, the potential for a biological role for them is of continuing interest, and studies continue.
Silicate minerals are rock-forming minerals made up of silicate groups. They are the largest and most important class of minerals and makeup approximately 90 percent of the Earth’s crust.
In mineralogy, silica (silicon dioxide) SiO2 is usually considered a silicate mineral. Silica is found in nature as the mineral quartz, and its polymorphs.
On Earth, a wide variety of silicate minerals occur in an even wider range of combinations as a result of the processes that have been forming and re-working the crust for billions of years. These processes include partial melting, crystallization, fractionation, metamorphism, weathering, and diagenesis.
Living organisms also contribute to this geologic cycle. For example, a type of plankton known as diatoms constructs their exoskeletons (“frustules”) from silica extracted from seawater. The frustules of dead diatoms are a major constituent of deep ocean sediment, and diatomaceous earth.