What is the X in X-mas?
a sulfate mineral containing aluminum and iron [FeAl2(SO4)422H2O]. If more than 50 percent of the iron has been replaced by magnesium, the mineral is called pickeringite. These minerals are usually weathering products of sedimentary rocks that contain aluminum and metallic sulfides and usually occur as efflorescences. They also occur in volcanic fumarole deposits, in the gossan (weathered capping) of sulfide ore veins, and, recently deposited, in lignite and coal seams. They are sometimes grouped in older literature with other salts having a hairlike habit as Haarsalz ("hair salts"). For detailed physical properties, see sulfate mineral (table)