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The carbonates are compounds of one or more metallic elements or semimetals with the carbonate radical. One member of this class, calcite, is sufficiently common to form large bodies of limestone, a sedimentary rock. The carbonates are brittle minerals , and many of them break easily along crystal directions to develop the characteristic rhombohedral cleavage. A few carbonate minerals are in bright colors, but many of them are white, colorless, or transparent. Chesterman, p. 431


  • Chesterman, Charles W. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf: New York (1987)