Silicates

Silicates are minerals composed of metal elements combined with a tetrahedral group consisting of a central silicon atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms (Sio4). Silicates are the most numerous minerals (about one third of the minerals), and form more than 90% by weight of the Earth’s crust. In the crystallochemical classification, the silicates are divided into six classes, depending on the layout of the tetrahedrons: nésosilicates, sorosilicates (of which the most important group is cyclosilicates), inosilicates, phyllosilicates, tectosilicates, heterosilicates. Silica is composed only of silicon and oxygen. Silicates generally have a high hardness and a vitreous sheen. They represent 24% of the mineral species.
The most representative minerals are: Andalusite, Datolite, Dumortierite, Euclase, Grandidierite, Garnet, Uvarovite, Kyanite, Olivine, Olmiite, Titanite, Topaz, Zircon, Axinite, Epidote, Hemimorphite, Zoïsite, Benitoite, Béryl, Aquamarine, Emerald, Heliodor, Morganite, Bixbite, Cordierite, Dioptase, Eudialyte, Pezzotaïte, Tourmaline, Aegirine, Neptunite, Okenite, Rhodonite, Shattuckite, Kunzite, Triphane, Hiddenite, Cavansite, Chrysocolle, Clinochlore, Prehnite, Muscovite, Afghanite, Chalcedony, Albite, Sanidine, Helvine, Opal, Quartz, Amethyst, Scapolite, Sodalite and Zeolites.

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