Earth Treasures: Flint Stone
By Chisom Ibemere
Flint, a hard sedimentary rock comprises mostly of silica and has been used by humans since prehistoric times and was a critical material during the Stone Age.
It has been used to create sharp-edged tools, such as arrowheads, spear points, and scrapers.
Its deposits are found in various locations world wide and they are often associated with ancient limestone formations.
Some notable locations include England (chalk cliffs of southern England, particularly in the White Cliffs of Dover), France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Egypt, and the United States.
Over the years, flint had been used extensively for making tools and weapons. It was prominent for its ability to fracture and produce a sharp edge when struck against a harder material.
In modern times, flint still finds uses in certain industries, such as in the production of spark plugs and flint glass.
Flint is characterized by a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, conchoidal fracture with varieties of colours such as gray, black, or brown color.
It has a tendency to fracture with a glassy or splintery appearance. Flint is a type of microcrystalline quartz and not found in the pure state.
Flint value is dependent on various factors such as quality, size, and location. Some flint varieties with high-quality mostly those with unique colors or patterns, can be sought after by collectors and artisans.
It is relatively abundant and its industrial uses have declined over time, it is not considered a highly valuable material in the global market.