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Any member of the series of abundant feldspar minerals that usually occur as light- to medium-grey-coloured, transparent to translucent grains or crystals. Plagioclase ranges in composition from albite to anorthite. It is used in the manufacture of glass and ceramics; iridescent varieties are valued as gemstones. The primary importance of plagioclase, however, derives from its role as a rock-forming mineral.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on plagioclase, visit Britannica.com.