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The name Cassiterite is derived from the Greek word kassiteros, meaning “tin.” There are very few tin minerals, and cassiterite is the best known one. Gemstones fashioned from cassiterite are quite striking. This is due in part to its high dispersion, which is nearly double that of diamond. It is especially prized by gemologists and mineralogists for its unusual, twinned crystal formations. Durable and dense, it has been used as the chief ore of tin throughout the ages. Cassiterite often exists in placer stream deposits where it collects as rounded, water-worn pebbles.
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