Research on Aragonite

SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM VISIT TO GEOLOGY, GEMS AND MINERALS

  • Plan your visit by virtual tour: http://www.mnh.si.edu/panoramas/
  • Visit as many exhibits or halls as your time allows however you need to concentrate your time in the Geology, Gems and Minerals Hall on the Second Floor.

PART 1: DESCRIPTION OF YOUR EXHIBIT

  • Select an exhibit in the Geology, Gems and Minerals Hall that sparks your interest.
  • ****You cannot do your project on the Hope Diamond****
  • Take a picture of yourself in front of the exhibit that you chose.
  • Discuss why you choose this exhibit. What sparked your interest?
  • Provide a thorough overview of the exhibit. This can be more pictures than words or more words than pictures but it must include both.
  • Include the most interesting piece of information or something fascinating that you learned from the exhibit.
  • Describe how the exhibit relates to physical geology.

PART 2: RESEARCH PAPER

  • Identify something within your exhibit that you would like to research further.
  • Write a two-page research paper on this topic.
  • Double spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-font
  • Three different references minimum
  • Research paper MUST be in a format accepted by SafeAssign
  • Submit to the Drop Box by due date. (10% reduction immediately if late and an additional 10% for each 24 hours late).

Research on Aragonite

Aragonite is one of the most attractive minerals which is interestingly said to be a ‘poor cousin’ of calcite. During the visit, one of the aspects or attributes which compelled me to choose it is its general appearance. It is generally attractive and this attracted me in addition to the need to know more about the mineral due to my passion to increase my knowledge on a number or minerals and rocks. When I develop an interest or once I am attracted towards a certain mineral, I always find comfort when I study and establish the physical and chemical properties of the mineral. The same thing compelled me towards Aragonite during the Smithsonian Museum visit to Geology, Gems, and minerals. Also, I had some earlier information that aragonite despite its physical properties, it can be used in making jewelry and glass something which created a lot of anxiety in me.

As stated earlier, I selected Aragonite which chemically is composed of calcium carbonate. This mineral is in the class of carbonates and in the group of Aragonite. It is similar to calcite (the more stable form of Calcium Carbonate) with the only difference being their crystallization. Since aragonite is the unstable form of Calcium Carbonate, with time, it is converted into the stable form of Calcium carbonate which is Calcite.

History has it that this mineral was named by Abraham Gottlieb Werner after Molina de Aragon. On a physical perspective, most of the large crystals of Aragonite are normally twinned growths of up to three individual crystals which form what is commonly known as pseudo-hexagonal trilling. From the identified exhibit, it can be stated that to the inside, the mineral is white (white prismatic crystals) while to the outside it is grey. Apart from the white color exhibited by the exhibit, there are also other colors which aragonite can poses. These colors are yellow, red, pink, purple, orange, blue and also green. Below is a number of pictures representing aragonite as it was in the museum during my visit earlier today (Panchuk, 2000).

Aragonite representation at the museum

There are some interesting facts about this mineral which I learned about this exhibit. Are there any scientific relationship between this mineral and relieve of negative emotions such as anxiety and stress? No. However, it is interesting and fascinating that this mineral has the capacity to alter the moods of an individual. I also learnt that the mineral has the power to heal individuals who have symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. How all this happens is still a mystery making this exhibit a fascinating one (Vox, 2017).

Looking at how aragonite relates to the physical geology, studies have revealed that aragonite forms the major components of multiple organic substances which are part of the geology. Some of these substances are pear and also coral. It is important to appreciate that the iridescent surface of pearl is a layer of Aragonite. Also, the exhibit relates to physical geology through its capacity to replicate reef conditions. It has also been stated that Aragonite is one of the constituents of limestone although its traces are minor and are found in traces.

References

Mineral Galleries. (2014). Mineral Gallery. The Mineral Aragonite, 1-7. Retrieved from www.galleries.com/Aragonite

Panchuk, K. (2000). Physical Geology. Chemical and Biochemical Sedimentary Rocks, 3-9. Retrieved from https://physicalgeology.pressbooks.com/chapter/9-2-chemical-and-biochemical-sedimentary-rocks/

Vox, V. (2017). Hunker. Is it used for?, 1-2. Retrieved from https://www.hunker.com/13413608/what-is-aragonite-what-is-it-used-for