Stibnite: A Mineral Used for Ancient Body Art, Cosmetics and Modern Day Pryotechnics
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Stibnite: A Mineral Used for Ancient Body Art, Cosmetics and Modern Day Pryotechnics

Stibnite is a sulfide mineral and is commonly referred to as Antimonite which is a soft gray mineral that crystallizes in an orthorhombic space group. Dating back 5000 years ago, Stibnite was used as an eye cosmetic in the Middle East among other, farther reaching geographical locations. It was used to darken eyebrows and eyelashes to enhance the darker shades of natural browns and blacks. It is also used in modern day Pyrotechnics.

Stibnite is a sulfide mineral and is commonly referred to as Antimonite which is a soft gray mineral that crystallizes in an orthorhombic space group. Dating back 5000 years ago, Stibnite was used as an eye cosmetic in the Middle East among other, farther reaching geographical locations. It was used to darken eyebrows and eyelashes to enhance the darker shades of natural browns and blacks. It was also used as a traditional eyeliner by being used to line the perimeter of the lower eyelid.

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When Stibnite is fresh, it has a soft gray shade of color in appearance but as oxidation occurs, it develops a very deep dark black color. When we take a snap shot at ancient Middle Eastern cultures, we find that body art was just as common there as it was in other cultural times and locations such as ancient Egypt in which many of the women and men alike used minerals for cosmetic purposes to enhance their facial appearance, beauty and cultural expressions in this form of body art.

Similar to how Micca is appreciated for it's luster and metallic appeal for uses in cosmetics currently, by applying it as body art with products such as paints that include Micca. Other cosmetics that contain Micca are eye powders and body powders that produce a metallic luster. Stibnite has a similar attractive quality. It produces a glitter-like quality and enhances features and appearances. In Biblical times, it was even prescribed and used as a medication during Pre-Islamic times as a cosmetic to enhance vision and even promote hair growth. Eirenaeus Philalethes, a 17th century Alchemist, whom was also known as George Starkey, experimented with Stibnite and used it as a precursor to Mercury which was theorized as an early version of the Philosopher's Stone.

Stibnite is found in hydrothermal deposits and is associated with many other minerals and crystals such as Calcite, which is also found in the Pineal Gland inside the human brain. Other minerals associated with Stibnite include Marcasite, Pyrite, Ankerite, Barite and Chalcedony. Most of the deposits of Stibnite appear in very small quantities so large quantities are much more rare to locate. The geographical locations in which Stibnite are found are Japan, China, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Romania, France, Italy, Algeria, England, the U.S., Borneo, and Canada. The largest specimen on display ever found weighs a staggering 1000 pounds and is on display at the American Museum of Natural History.

Stibnite has also been used in modern day Pyrotechnics which is also known as Pyrotechnic Compositions mainly for its glittering effects. The needle-like crystals which are also known as "Chinese Needles" are specifically used in Pyrotechnic Stars and glitter compositions. They are also used in what is known as "Dark Pyro" which is used in flash powders, although, it was considered toxic and sensitive with Static Electricity.

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Other types of stones and minerals to explore in previous artices I've published are phosphorescent minerals, unique and bizzarre fossils, and rock crystal quartz.

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Comments (12)

Impressive and well researched presentation. Thanks for sharing

I learned something new here, no Vs left, promoted +.

Well done! A very interesting read.

Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate the support and I'm glad I was able to share something new :)

Wow, what a really great article.

Thank you Martin :)

I've never heard of it before, but it looks good on the women.

It's interesting how many minerals there are in the world that we don't know about. A book I bought recently, The Crystal Bible 2, is where I first saw Stibnite and then when I researched it further, I discovered the fascinating history it has. Thank you for your vote and comment!

Fascinating info.

Thank you Valli :)

Gave you my last vote.  I am one of those freaks that likes eye make up on guys too.

Thanks Brenda!

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