1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hypersthene

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HYPERSTHENE, a rock-forming mineral belonging to the group of orthorhombic pyroxenes. It differs from the other members (enstatite [q.v.] and bronzite) of this group in containing a considerable amount of iron replacing magnesium: the chemical formula is (Mg, Fe)SiO3. Distinctly developed crystals are rare, the mineral being usually found as foliated masses embedded in those igneous rocks—norite, hypersthene-andesite, &c.—of which it forms an essential constituent. The coarsely grained labradorite-hypersthene-rock (norite) of the island of St Paul off the coast of Labrador has furnished the most typical material; and for this reason the mineral has been known as “Labrador hornblende” or paulite. The colour is brownish-black, and the pleochrism strong; the hardness is 6, and the specific gravity 3.4-3.5. On certain surfaces it displays a brilliant copper-red metallic sheen or schiller, which has the same origin as the bronzy sheen of bronzite (q.v.), but is even more pronounced. Like bronzite, it is sometimes cut and polished for ornamental purposes.  (L. J. S.)