color photo of calcite sample

Hardness: 3

Calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3) is the primary constituent of limestone and is therefore one of the most common minerals in Kansas. Generally it is white or colorless, but it may be tinted gray, red, green, or blue. It can be scratched with a knife but not with a fingernail. Among the finest calcite crystals in Kansas are those from the lead and zinc mines of Cherokee County. Most of these are pale yellow and some are very large.

Read more about calcite in Rocks and Minerals of the Ozark Plateau.

small drawing of Kansas map with Cherokee County highlighted in red

The sample pictured above is from Cherokee County, Kansas


Buchanan, Rex C., Tolsted, Laura L., and Swineford, Ada, 1986, Kansas Rocks and Minerals: Kansas Geological Survey, Educational Series 2, 60 p.

Klein, Cornelis, 1993, Manual of Mineralogy (after James D. Dana), 21st Edition: New York, Wiley, 681 p.

Unless noted otherwise, illustrations by Jennifer Sims, Kansas Geological Survey; photographs by John Charlton, Kansas Geological Survey; text by Liz Brosius, Kansas Geological Survey.

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