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I use single, euhedral, natural crystals of minerals extensively when teaching basic concepts of crystallogtaphy. Wooden or paper models, showy museum-quality crystal clusters, colorful pictures in a book, or even computer images simply cannot compete with the beauty and awe-inspiring mystery and educational value of genuine, individual mineral crystals when held in your (or your students') hands. In my Mineralogy course, I use single, well-formed crystals in all aspects of basic crystallography inlcuding measurement of interfacial angles, determination of symmetry elements, recognition of crystal system and class, determination of forms, stereographic projections and stereograms, recognition of common twins and pseudomorphs, and even SHAPE plots - these are just some of the possibilities.
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