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Euhedral crystals are those that are well-formed with sharp, easily-recognized faces. Normally, crystals do not form smooth faces or sharp crystal outlines. Many crystals grow from cooling liquid magma. As magma cools, the crystals grow and eventually touch each other, preventing crystal faces from forming properly or at all.

However, when snowflakes crystallize, they do not touch each other. Thus, snowflakes form euhedral, six-sided twinned crystals. In rocks, the presence of euhedral crystals may signify that they formed early in the crystallization of a magma or perhaps crystallized in a cavity or vug, without hindrance from other crystals.

By contrast, a rock with an anhedral texture is composed of mineral grains that have no well formed crystal faces or cross-section shape in thin section. Anhedral crystal growth occurs in a competitive environment with no free space for the formation of crystal faces. An intermediate texture with some crystal face formation is termed subhedral.

Etymology: Euhedral is derived from the Greek hedron meaning shape.


  • Hurlbut, Cornelius S.; Klein, Cornelis, 1985, Manual of Mineralogy, 20th ed., Wiley, p. 15 ISBN 0-471-80580-7

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Euhedral". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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