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November/December 2008

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Word to the Wise: Greenstone

An Update on the Jacksons Crossroads Amethyst Mine
Wilkes County, Georgia

Iron is the most abundant chromophore (an element that imparts color to a mineral by its presence in the structure) in the earth. When iron is in its divalent oxidation state (Fe2+), as is found in such minerals as olivine, pyroxenes, amphiboles, chlorites, and epidote, it typically imparts a green color. Exceptions to this do exist and include, for example, almandine, which is colored red by the presence of divalent iron.
Dr. John Rakovan, an executive editor of Rocks & Minerals, is a professor of mineralogy and geochemistry at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

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