In the article Crystallography the nature and behaviour of twinned crystals receives full treatment; here it is sufficient to say that when the planes and axes of twinning are planes and axes of symmetry, a twin would exhibit higher symmetry (but remain in the same crystal system) than the primary crystal; and, also, if a crystal approximates in its axial constants to 'a higher system, mimetic twinning would increase the approximation, and the crystal would be pseudo-symmetric.
Again, the pyroxenes, RS103 (R=Fe, Mg, Mn, &c.), assume the forms (I) monoclinic, sometimes twinned so as to become pseudo-rhombic; (2) rhombic, resulting from the pseudo-rhombic structure of (I) becoming ultramicroscopic; and (3) triclinic, distinctly different from (I) and (2); (I) and (2) are polysymmetric modifications, while (3) and the pair (I) and (2) are polymorphs.
When crystallized from water, crystals belonging to the orthorhombic system, and having a prism angle of 61 0 10', are obtained; they are often twinned on the prism planes, giving rise to pseudo-hexagonal groups resembling aragonite.
Usually they are twinned on a prism plane, M, producing pentagonal stellate groups of five crystals; twinning on the plain g, in which the crystals intercross at angles of nearly 60°, is less common.
In the Chalk of the south-east of England nodules of marcasite with a fibrous radiated structure are abundant, and in the Chalk Marl between Dover and Folkestone fine twinned groups of "spear pyrites" are common.
Twinned crystals are not common, but the presence of polysynthetic twinning is sometimes shown by fine striations running diagonally or obliquely across the cleavage surfaces.
Crystals are usually twinned, and are often complex and difficult to decipher.
Distinct crystals are rarely met with; these are rhombohedral and isomorphous with arsenic and bismuth; they have a perfect cleavage parallel to the basal plane, c (111), and are sometimes twinned on a rhombohedral plane, e (1 ro).
Twinned crystals of quartz are extremely common, but are complex in character and can only be deciphered when the faces s and x are present, which is not often the case.
A few magnificent specimens of rock-crystal twinned according to this law have been found at La Gardette in Isere, and in Japan they are somewhat abundant.
Superimposed sections of rightand left-handed quartz, as may sometimes be present in sections of twinned crystals, exhibit Airy's spirals in the polariscope.
Distinctly developed crystals are, however, of rare occurrence; they are usually acicular with acute pyramid-planes and are repeatedly twinned on the prism.