Silica

Silica is composed of 21.3 parts of silicon with 24 of oxygen, it is that earth which constitutes a great part of almost every soil, and forms sand, sandstone, and flint, it enters largely also into the formation of granite and the other primitive rocks; when pure it is called "quartz" or "rock-crystal" and is often found in large and beautiful masses. Silica, in different forms, contaminated and coloured by different metallic oxides, &c., forms that class of stones  known as "agate," "Scotch pebble," "carnelian," &c., and in the form of flint is found nearly pure, forming "nodules" or rounded masses lying in layers in the chalk cliffs on our coasts, the origin of these nodules of flint is very obscure, but they are by many attributed to the petrifaction of sponges, &c., the general form of which they often retain as well as their internal structure, which may be seen when viewed in thin slices by means of the microscope. Pure silica is a white insoluble powder, and is much used by the makers of porcelain to mix with their other ingredients.