What is Halite?
• Chemistry: NaCl, Sodium Chloride • Class: Halides • Uses: Major source of salt and as mineral specimens. Halite, better known as rock salt, can easily be distinguished by its taste. Since taste is an important property of salt, there is a right way to taste a specimen of halite (or an unknown mineral that is similar to halite) and a wrong way. The right way is to first lick your index finger, rub it against the specimen and then taste the finger. This limits the amount of the mineral that actually gets in your mouth, an important consideration when you consider that there are poisonous minerals that resemble halite. Halite is found in many current evaporative deposits. It is also found in ancient bedrock all over the world where large extinct salt lakes and seas have evaporated millions of years ago, leaving thick deposits of salt behind. Perfectly formed cubes of halite are typical of the habit of this mineral. However it does form some unusual interesting habits that are much sough