Muscovite is a silicate in the family of micas, and it gets its name for its early use as Russian window-glass called "Muscovy-glass." It is known for its transparency, and it's used in many products, from mineral make-ups and household paints to electrical insulation.
Muscovite's earliest known use was as a substitute for window glass because when a sheet of mica is cleaved carefully, it is transparent and smooth. While not commonly used in household windows, it is still used as viewing windows for many furnaces and microwave ovens. It is also highly resistant to heat and electrical transference, so it is often used in electrical liners and insulators. Muscovite is also used as sound insulation.
When ground into a fine powder, muscovite can be added to both mineral make-ups and lotions to create a fine sheen or natural glittery luster in cosmetics. Because mica comes in an array of colors, muscovite can be used as cosmetic colorants, too. To be considered cosmetic grade and thus safe for the skin, however, muscovite must be micronized to less than 50 microns.
Muscovite can also be ground up and used in wallpapers to create a glossy sheen and added to household paints to produce a sparkle. When added to paint, it serves as a binder to keep it from becoming too chalky. In addition to decorative applications, muscovite can be used to create heat-proof bricks.
Muscovite can be cut and used as inlaid lettering in fancy signs, as a photograph enamel, and as the sparkly diamond glow in scenic play backdrops. Ground muscovite can be added to soaps in home-soapmaking as a natural colorant or simply to add a marbelized or sparkly swirl to the bar. Muscovite can be used as a natural alternative to plasticized craft glitter, and it can be used as a decorative accent in terrariums and doll houses.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
- "American Library Edition of Workshop Receipts V4"; C.G. Warnford Lock; 1903
Most Interesting Facts on Muscovite Mica
The mica classification of rock includes silicates that contain aluminum and peel off in thin, flexible sheets. There are a number of...