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Archive for the ‘Mineral’ Category

dissolve mineral and crystalized the minerals is another way to prepare the specimen for polarized light microscope examination.  Yesterday, I dissolve several common ingredients for food seasonings and put a few drops on the slides to allow them to dry: table salt (Sodium Chloride), Sugar and Alum hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate.  I also drop a few drops of methylene blue.  Today they are all pretty much dried out – The sugar is still somewhat sticky but I can clearly see the sugar crystals in snow flake shape.

White Sugar Crystal under Polarized Light Microscope

White Sugar Crystal under Polarized Light Microscope

White Sugar Crystal under Polarized Light

White Sugar Crystal under Polarized Light (This is the first photo with some post processing by adjusting the gamma to 0.6 from 1.0)

 The color of the sugar crystal shows richer color when I adjust the gamma correction.  The loss of color must have been caused by the manual shooting mode. 

White sugar crystal under polarized light microscope

White sugar crystal under polarized light microscope

White sugar crystal under polarized light microscope

White sugar crystal under polarized light microscope

Alum crystal under polarized light microscope

Alum crystal under polarized light microscope

Table salt under polarized light microscope

Table salt under polarized light microscope

Methylene blue under polarized light microscope

Methylene blue under polarized light microscope

The photos are taken with Canon EOS T1i with Manual mode (ISO 400, exposure 4 sec, auto white balance).  Nexcope CM701 converted polarized light microscope was used for observation.

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The beach sands collected from Clearwater beach contains many transparent crystals.  These crystals are very hard.  Rather than being grinded and polished into rounded shape.  They seems to maintain the original shape.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach contains sparkling quartz

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water Beach Contains many different types of Sands

I put them in the homemade polarized light microscope.   The color of the crystal turns into brilliant colors due to the deflection of light by the irregular shape of the sand.  The color pattern is very much like the color of the lace agate’s quartz under the polarized light microscope.

 (The analyzer polarized film is removed)

The above picture was taken with Canon EOS T1i camera in manual mode.  The camera was attached to the microscope with a 0.5 X reduction adapter.

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The beach sand of Gulf Mexico: the beaches on the gulf of mexico are famous for their sparkling water and sugar white sand. On my spring camping trip, I collected some beach sand on several beaches, including Siesta Beach which ranked #1 on Dr. Beach’s top 10 beach in the US.

Sand from Henderson State Park, FL

 

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Beach sand is the most beautiful thing to look at under a stereo microscope.   The sparkling beach sand are formed by the erosion and weathering of rocks by tidal waves and winds. The rocks eroded by streams and rivers might be carried and settled in the beach.  Aside from the elements from the rocks of the inland, the beach sand might also contains the deposits of the marine lives, such as coral and sea shells.  Polished by the tidal waves, they are just pretty to look at.

I found a thin layer of sand settled on the bottom of the bucket which we used to collect sea shells on the trip to Clearwater Beach last summer.  I just learned a simple method to collect sand specimens using a piece of paper and adhesive tape.  I was able to recover some from the bucket and put it under the microscope for observation. 

The Beach Sand Collected from the Florida Beach Contains many different types of Sands. The harder materials seems to maintain their shapes. The softer sands seems to be more rounded. 

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach. The sand shows different color, shapes and composition.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water Beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water Beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach.

The Beach Sand Collected from the Clear Water beach. The harder crystals seem to maintain their shapes.

There are plenty of marine life around the beach.  No surprise to see the pieces of sea shell here.

There are plenty of marine life around the beach. No surprise to see the pieces of sea shell here.

A piece of sea shell becomes very porous after years of erosion.

A piece of sea shell becomes very porous after years of erosion.

Another piece of sea shell

Another piece of sea shell

This one seems to be a sand dollar that has been eroded the wave

This one seems to be a sand dollar that has been eroded by the wave.

A piece of coral was found in the sand specimen

A piece of coral was found in the sand specimen

Not sure what's this

Not sure what's this

The specimen is either observed at 20X or 40X using Ample Scientific SM-Plus-13 stereo microscope.  The pictures were taken with Tucsen 3.0 MP CMOS microscope camera.

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Previously, I found some bubbles in the Ruby.  I am not sure what they are but I turned the rubby over and look at the culet of the ruby. Those bubbles seems to run from the crack of the under side and extended to the interior the ruby.

I turned the ruby over to show the underside of the stone.

I turned the ruby over to show the underside of the stone.

The bubbles in the ruby seems to run in lines

The bubbles in the ruby seems to run in lines

The cracks of the ruby seems to come from the surface of the edge and the bottom

The cracks of the ruby seems to come from the surface of the edge and the bottom

Some Backgound about the rubies:

The ruby is pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium.  The ruby is considered one of the four precious stones, together with the sapphire, the emerald, and the diamond.  Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0. 

This particular ruby is a Burmese ruby.  It came from northern Myanmar.  some of the world’s finest sapphires, rubies and spinels have been found in the region.

Related post:

https://microscopetalk.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/gemstones-under-microscope/

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Last weekend, we visited our first rock, gem and rossil show at Cartersville, Georgia.   It was an eye opener for us.  They were many dealers in the expo.  We have a chance to see various kind of rocks, minerals and fossils from around the world.  Some rocks displayed in their natural forms while others are polished.  They are both pretty.  At the end, we decided to bought each other some souveniers.  I choose the Ammonites and Nautilus fossils from Madagarsca and a bag of mineral specimen, mom and megan choosed a ruby and topaz from the bargen pile.  Alan seem to be more interested in bigger crystal clear Quartz. 

Mom and Megan let me borrow the gem stone they received.  I look at them under my stereo microscope (Ample Scientific SM Plus Stereo Microscope).  Here are mom’s fiery red colored Burmese Ruby.  It was measured at 0.25 ct. 

Burmese Ruby

Burmese Ruby in Round Cut

Burmese Ruby

Burmese Ruby in Round Cut from Another Angle

 Try to adjust the illumination with top light, bottom light and both: 

Burmese Ruby Top Illumination

Burmese Ruby at 4X with Top Illumination (The defective edge shows very clearly in this picture)

Burmese Ruby with Bottom Illumination

Burmese Ruby at 4X with Bottom Illumination

Burmese Ruby with Top and Bottom Illumination

Burmese Ruby at 4X with Top and Bottom Illumination

 With the bottom illumination, the reflection was gone.  The ruby displayed the beautiful deap red color. 

 Here is Megan’s light blue Topaz in Oval Shape.  It was measured at 3.64 ct. 

Topaz

Topaz Macro Shot

Topaz

Topaz in Oval Cut

Topaz Side Edge

Topaz Side Edge

Scratches on the Topaz

Scratches on the Topaz

Topaz with Top Illumination

Topaz with Top Illumination

Topaz with Bottom Illumination

Topaz with Bottom Illumination

Topaz with both Top and Bottom Illumination

Topaz with both Top and Bottom Illumination

Overall, we are very enjoying our trip to the show.  We have learns so much from the show for things like: different kinds of gems, minerals, rocks and fossils around the world, how the they are formed, how gemstones are collected, processed and presented etc.  We were a little bit disappointed about the scratches on the gemstones when we look at it from the microscope but they are still very pretty to look at.  We will certainly bring our microscope next time.

The above photos was taken with Tucsen 3.0 MP CMOS Microscope Camera with the 30 mm adapter ring attachment.

Related post:

https://microscopetalk.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/ruby-under-microscope/

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