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Acicular, in mineralogy, refers to a crystal habit composed of slender, needle-like crystals. Crystals with this habit tend to be fragile. Complete, undamaged acicular specimens are uncommon. The term "acicular" derives from the Late Latin "acicula" meaning "little needle". Strictly speaking, the word refers to a growth habit that is slender and tapering to a point. Prismatic crystals are not acicular; however, colloquial usage has altered the commonly understood meaning of the word. When writing for mineralogical publications, authors should restrict their usage of "acicular" to crystals with the tapering growth habit.

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  • Acicular (crystal habit)
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  • Acicular, in mineralogy, refers to a crystal habit composed of slender, needle-like crystals. Crystals with this habit tend to be fragile. Complete, undamaged acicular specimens are uncommon. The term "acicular" derives from the Late Latin "acicula" meaning "little needle". Strictly speaking, the word refers to a growth habit that is slender and tapering to a point. Prismatic crystals are not acicular; however, colloquial usage has altered the commonly understood meaning of the word. When writing for mineralogical publications, authors should restrict their usage of "acicular" to crystals with the tapering growth habit.
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  • Acicular, in mineralogy, refers to a crystal habit composed of slender, needle-like crystals. Crystals with this habit tend to be fragile. Complete, undamaged acicular specimens are uncommon. The term "acicular" derives from the Late Latin "acicula" meaning "little needle". Strictly speaking, the word refers to a growth habit that is slender and tapering to a point. Prismatic crystals are not acicular; however, colloquial usage has altered the commonly understood meaning of the word. When writing for mineralogical publications, authors should restrict their usage of "acicular" to crystals with the tapering growth habit. To add to the confusion, some minerals are described with various morphological terms. For example, natrolite is often described as slender prismatic and millerite is often described as filiform or capillary.
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