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Talc is a mineral composed of magnesium silicate[?] with the formula H2Mg2(SiO3)4. It occurs as foliated to fibrous masses, its monoclinic crystals being so rare as to be almost unknown. It has a perfect basal cleavage, the folia non-elastic although slightly flexible. It is sectile and very soft, with a hardness of 1. It has a specific gravity of 2.5-2.8, a waxlike or pearly lustre, and is translucent to opaque. Its color ranges from white to gray or green and it has a distinctly greasy feel.

Talc is a metamorphic mineral resulting from the alteration of silicates of magnesium such as pyroxenes, amphiboles, olivine and other similar minerals. It is usually found in metamorphic rocks, often of a basic type due to the alteration of the minerals mentioned above.

A coarse grayish-green talc has been called soapstone or steatite and has been used for stoves, sinks, electrical switchboards, etc. Talc finds use as a cosmetic (talcum powder), as a lubricant, and as a filler in paper manufacture. Most tailor's chalk is talc.

The origin of the name is not known.

See also: List of minerals

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