Sunday, June 5, 2016

Calcite - Medical Properties?!??

I suppose there are two major reasons why we volunteers take the time to respond to Ask-a-Geologist queries. One is to encourage young people to become inquirers - scientists. However, we also hope to mitigate some of the damage from the unedited junk that self-anointed people unload on the internet. 

Q: Hi! My Name Is Faris And I am 16. I am Doing a Research On Cancer And I Need To Answer The Question Does Calcite Iceland Spar Fluoresce When It Exposed To UV Light Or Any Kind Of light? Please I Want To Know The Answer And Thank You.

- Faris T

A: What you are talking about is a transparent variety of calcite, or crystallized calcium carbonate. It is known to polarize light and exhibits double refraction.



Calcite fluoresces in blue, green, and red depending on the wavelength of the exciting UV radiation. Please refer to the following website for more detail: 



Crystalline calcite was apparently used to ascertain the direction of the Sun when obscured by clouds by navigators in the past 1,300 or so years (the so-called “Viking Sunstone”). Polarization of sunlight in the Arctic can be measured, and the direction of the Sun may be identified to within several degrees in cloudy and twilight conditions using crystalline calcite and the human eye (See: Ropars, G. et al., 2011. A depolarizer as a possible precise sunstone for Viking navigation by polarized skylight. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Available at: http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2011/10/28/rspa.2011.0369.abstract)



Calcite has no healing properties that can be documented or verified by a scientific study, as far as I can ascertain, beyond providing elemental calcium if ingested.



As an aside: if you are interested in studying cancer scientifically, I would suggest that you carefully avoid self-anointed "experts" who promote the healing qualities of crystals, stones, pyramids, mud baths, etc. There is no editing of fantastic claims that one can find on the internet. If instead you apply yourself diligently in school, eventually you will accumulate the fact-based knowledge that will allow you to dismiss most of these claims from your own knowledge and experience.

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