FLINT, a variety of chalcedony known for making blades

VARIETY INFORMATION:

  • VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline Quartz , SiO2
  • USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
  • COLOR: usually black, dark gray, or brown, but may be other colors
  • HARDNESS: 7
  • CLEAVAGE: none
  • CRYSTAL SYSTEM: none visible (actual crystals are microscopic)
  • For natural Flint mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists

Flint is a variety of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) known for its ease of forming blades (including spear tips and arrowheads). It is a fine-grained quartz whose crystals are too small to see.

Flint may be black, gray, brown, and occasionally dark green or even white. It is found in nodules, often with a white coating. The microscopic crystals of flint have a fibrous habit, which results in a notable behavior when chipped: the pieces are sharp, thin splinters called blades (if large) or flakes (if small).

Repeated chipping (knapping) a piece of flint can result in a carefully shaped arrowhead with an extremely sharp edge.

Another use of flint is in a "flintlock", a device where a small piece of flint is struck against a steel plate, releasing sparks to ignite gunpowder or start a fire.

Amethyst Galleries' Mineral Gallery

Flint is only one of several chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) varieties. The primary varieties are as follows:

  • Agate is a banded variety (sometimes with translucent bands)
  • Bloodstone is green with red speckles
  • Carnelian is yellow to orange
  • Chrysoprase is green
  • Flint is generally black with a fibrous microscopic structure
  • Jasper is any colorful agate
  • Onyx is black, white, or alternating black and white
  • Sard is yellow to brown
  • Sardonyx is banded, alternating sard and (usually white) onyx

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