This mineral is a natural fiber optic and so is frequently referred to as the "TV rock” or "television stone" for its ability to transmit images. It was named after George Ludwig Ulex, a German chemist, who first correctly analyzed the species. It was discovered in 1850 and is found in arid regions such as salt playas and desiccated saline lakes.

This mineral is named after Kern County, California, where it was first discovered in 1927. It occurs in sedimentary borate deposits and is associated with other borate minerals: borax and ulexite.

The type locality for this mineral is the Furnace Creek District, Inyo County, California. It is named after William Tell Coleman, a founder of the California borax industry and the owner of the mine where the mineral was first found in 1884. It forms in arid and alkali lacustrine (lake) environments.

Commonly found in evaporite deposits, salt lakes, playas and in solution in hot springs. Its name comes from the Arabic bauraq, meaning "white." It was first discovered in 1546 in India.

The minerals that make up the borates have similarities with the silicates. Borates have:

  • they have a structure to the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron (BO3)
  • they are capable of forming chains, sheet, or isolated groups

The tendency of the borates is to form disordered networks of BO3 triangles instead of the framework network of the silicates. This makes borate minerals useful in the preparation of special glasses of lightweight and high transparency to energetic radiation.