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Calcite, also known as Iceland Spar, is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. Calcite is a common constituent of sedimentary rocks, limestone in particular, much of which is formed from the shells of dead marine organisms. Approximately 10% of sedimentary rock is limestone.
Calcite is a widely used material in optics because of its birefringence. This means that when a polished (unrough) translucent piece of calcite crystal is placed over a word on a page it will reveal two distinct images of that word through the mineral.