SATIN-SPAR, a name given to certain fibrous minerals which exhibit, especially when polished, a soft satiny or silky lustre, and are therefore sometimes used as ornamental stones. Such fibrous minerals occur usually in the form of veins or bands, having the fibres disposed transversely. The most common kind of satin-spar is a white finely-fibrous gypsum not infrequently found in the Keuper marls cf Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and used for beads, etc. Other kinds of satin-spar consist of calcium carbonate, in the form of either aragonite or calcite, these being distinguished from the fibrous gypsum by greater hardness, and from each other by specific gravity and optical characters. The satin-spar of Alston, Cumberland, is a finely-fibrous calcite occurring in veins in a black shale of the Carboniferous series. Fibrous calcite is known sometimes to German mineralogists as AUasspath.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)