n.1.(Min.) A variety of native Epsom salt occurring in silky fibers.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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Melanterite and epsomite were easily identified (especially after some exquisite microcrystals disintegrated to an opaque white powder), and the hair-salt series of minerals (pickeringite/apjohnite/halotrichite) was not difficult to recognize, but the identity of a tiny greenish smear on one sample was not at all obvious.
However, the "hair-salt" series, which is abundantly present, can be used to perform the traditional functions of alum (a mordant in home dyeing, and an astringent in home medicine).
Epsomite and melanterite and their dehydration products are fairly easily found, and the hair-salt series is very common.
Apjohnite occurs commonly as clear needles and silky masses of typical hair-salt appearance; most specimens of hair salt were identified as magnesian apjohnite by semiquantitative analysis with SEM/XRF (most analyses higher in Mn than Mg, with little or no Fe).