Crystal habit

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Crystal habit is the term used to identify the shape, size and appearance of a crystal's unique growth characteristics.

Standard terms

  • Acicular
    • Needle-like, slender and/or tapered
  • Anhedral
    • Poorly formed and distorted
  • Banded
    • Narrow bands of differing colors
  • Bladed
    • Slender, flattened and blade-like
  • Columnar
    • Long, slender prisms and parallel growth
  • Dendritic
    • Tree-like multi-directional branching from central point
  • Dodecahedral
    • 12-sided dodecahedron
  • Drusy (also called Encrusted)
    • Aggregate of minute crystals coating a surface
  • Enantiomorphic
    • Mirror-image (left/right) habit and optical characteristics
  • Equant (also called Stubby)
    • Squashed, pinnacoids dominant over prisms
  • Euhedral
    • Well-formed and undistorted
  • Foliated
    • Easily separated into plates
  • Geode
    • Rock cavities with internal crystals & encrustation
  • Granular Mass
    • Anhedral crystals in lumpy mass with no crystal form
  • Mamillary
    • Intersecting large rounded contours
  • Massive
    • Shapeless with no distinct external crystal shape
  • Octahedral
    • 8-sided octahedron - two pyramids, base to base
  • Pincoid
    • Terminated by multiple pyramidal faces
  • Prismatic
    • Elongated and prism-Like, all faces are parallel to c-axis
  • Pseudomorphous
    • Occurring in the shape of another mineral
  • Striated
    • Surface growth lines parallel or perpendicular to c-axis
  • Tabular (also called Lamellar)
    • Flat, tablet-shaped, prominent pinnacoid
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