Epidote is a calcium aluminium iron sorosilicate mineral commonly prismatic in habit, the direction of elongation being perpendicular to the single plane of symmetry. The faces are often deeply striated and crystals are often twinned. Many of the characters of the mineral vary with the amount of iron present for instance, the color, the optical constants, and the specific gravity. The color is green, grey, brown or nearly black, but usually a characteristic shade of yellowish-green or pistachio-green. It displays strong pleochroism, the pleochroic colors being usually green, yellow and brown. Clinozoisite is green, white or pale rose-red group species containing very little iron, having the same chemical composition as the orthorhombic mineral zoisite. The name is derived from the Greek word "epidosis" (ἐπίδοσις) which means "addition" in allusion to one side of the ideal prism being longer than the other.
Epidote is an abundant rock-forming mineral, but one of secondary origin. It occurs in marble and schistose rocks of metamorphic origin. It is also a product of hydrothermal alteration of various minerals (feldspars, micas, pyroxenes, amphiboles, garnets, and others) composing igneous rocks. A rock composed of quartz and epidote is known as epidosite.
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