Flint - useful, beautiful
Flint is a rock that the North American Indians used for tools.
Ancient mankind has been using flint for approximately 2-million years. These ancient people were not the same species that we are today.
However, their tools and weapons were chipped from flint.
Flint is known to geologists as Chert or Chalcedony or Novaculite. This mineral is composed of the elements silicon and oxygen or SiO2.
Flint is generally found associated with limestone beds. The Indians and others mined the flint from ledges within the limestone beds or in some cases the mining was carried on within rock shelters or shallow caves. Some locations provided just loose stream gravels with flint.
The Texas Hill Country has some very good flint beds within the Edwards Formation. These flint beds were highly prized and traded well beyond the vague borders of the Hill Country.
Chert associated with water or SiO2-H20 is known as the precious mineral Opal.
Silica is the second most abundant element on the surface of the Earth and the seventh most abundant element in the Universe. The most abundant element within the Earth is Iron.
Flint is sometimes polished and utilized as decorative jewelry or gem stones.
Flint was also used as a source of fire. Flint will spark as one piece is pounded on the other.
Flint can be shaped into very sharp edges since it is the same chemical molecule as glass.
Flint is often black or gray, deriving its color from imbedded very fine grained organic matter or very small microscopic bubbles of air and sometime filled with ancient sea water. Some rare flints derive their orange color from imbedded iron.
Green colored glass bottles derive their color from copper.
Flint has been used as a durable construction material. It is often found as decorative gravel in restaurant gravel entrance gardens around San Antonio.