What is Pyroxene?

   A scientist selected the name pyroxene from the Greek, pyr meaning "fire" and xenos, "stranger;" thus the name means "stranger to fire." This is not characteristic, however, for the various pyroxenes are typically minerals of the igneous or melted rock group.
   Pyroxene belongs to a group of minerals which show a cleavage angle of 87 degrees to 93 degrees parallel to the fundamental prism. Chemically the pyroxenes are metasilicates.
   Pyroxene crystals are generally short, stout, complex prisms. They are common in the more basic igneous rocks, and may be developed in the earth by pressure and moderate heat, as in gneisses, schists, and marble.