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Promoted item:lepidolite - teaching student specimens of lithium mica UNIT OF 5 SPECIMENS

lepidolite - teaching student specimens of lithium mica UNIT OF 5 SPECIMENS

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About Mica

The mineral 'Mica' is located in abundance in the lands of Asia, Africa, North and South America. Referring to the brilliant appearance of this mineral, its name is derived from the Latin word 'micare' which means 'to shine'. The mineral belongs to the mica group of minerals, is characterized by perfect hexagonal sheet-like collections of atoms. Mica displays a high dielectric strength and chemical stability; a necessity for the manufacture of capacitors for radio frequency applications. It is used as an insulator in high voltage electrical equipment. Mica, being birefringent in nature, is resistant to heat due to which it is often used in place of glass for stoves and kerosene heaters. Mica sheers can vary in appearance from being transparent to being opaque. Mica is also resilient, reflective, refractive, chemically inert, insulating, lightweight and hydrophilic. It is highly stable upon exposure to electricity, light, moisture and extreme temperatures. Mica is known to man since the ancient era of Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations including the New World Aztec civilization. Cave paintings dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period (40,000 BC to 10,000 BC) incorporate the use of mica. The white color used occasionally was derived from kaolin or mostly mica. Mica was quite rare and expensive in Europe until the 19th century due to the limited production and supply. After larger reserves were discovered and mined in Africa and South America, prices reduced substantially. Finer powders of mica have been used for various purposes including decoration. In North India, the Hindus use a colored material called Gulal or Abeer during their festival of colors, Holi. The Gulal uses small crystals of mica. The majestic palace of Padmanabhapuram in Trivandrum, India, is said to have windows made out of colored mica.