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Argillite

Pictures of Metamorphic Rock Types

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This is the rock name to remember when you find a hard, nondescript rock that looks like it could be slate but doesn't have slate's trademark cleavage. Argillite is a low-grade metamorphosed claystone that was subjected to mild heat and pressure without strong directionality. Argillite does have a glamorous side that slate can't match: it is also known as pipestone when it lends itself to carving. The American Indians favored it for tobacco pipes and other small ceremonial or decorative objects.
Metaclaystone
Photo (c) 2013 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
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