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Syn.: Al2K2(Si3O8)2, Bolus alba, Kaolinum
German: Aluminiumsilikat, Kaolinit
English: Chinese Clay, Porcelain Clay
Minerals; Inorganic; Column Three
Hering: Guid. Symptoms, V. 6. Macfarlan: High Pot. Provings.
Macfarlan: Hom. Phys., V. 12, p. 52; V. 13, pp. 386, 434, 533.
Description of the substance
Kaolin is one of several types of clay, and is commonly referred to as China Clay or Paper Clay. It is a hydrated silica of alumina with a composition of approximately 46% SiO2; 40% Al2O3, and 14% H2O. It occurs in hexigonal plates, often in worm-like bunches. Geologically, kaolin comes from decomposition of feldspar in soft, disintegrating granite, gneiss, and porphyritic rocks—granite rich in soda-feldspar yielding it in greatest abundance.
The term kaolin is derived from the Chinese word "Kau-ling", meaning high ridge, having reference to the locality from which the richest supplies were obtained. In Georgia, kaolin was first mined in Colonial days and shipped to England. The famous Wedgwood Pottery there used considerable amounts of clay from the colonies until the English mines were opened. This ended the mining in Georgia for over a century. In 1876, mining here was resumed, and at present continues as the major mineral production of the state. Indeed, Georgia produces about 72% of the total kaolin production of the United States.