One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mineral consisting of a silicate of calcium, magnesium, and aluminium, occurring typically as dark-green to brown prisms in metamorphosed limestone.
- ‘In fact idocrase is one stone that is sometimes mistaken for jade by jewelers and consumers alike.’
- ‘In 1960 we had idocrase, whereas the change in nomenclature preference is reflected in the 1996 edition as vesuvianite (idocrase).’
Early 19th century: from Greek eidos ‘form’ + krasis ‘mixture’.
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