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What Are Minerals?



Minerals are materials that meet five requirements. They are: 1) naturally occurring, 2) inorganic, 3) solids, 4) with a definite chemical composition, and, 5) an ordered internal structure.

Mineral Menu

Andalusite
Anhydrite
Apatite
Arsenopyrite
Augite
Azurite
Barite
Bauxite
Benitoite
Beryl
Biotite
Bornite
Calcite
Cassiterite
Chalcopyrite
Chlorite
Chromite
Chrysoberyl
Cinnabar
Clinozoisite
Copper
Cordierite
Corundum
Diamond
Diopside
Dolomite
Epidote
Euclase
Feldspar
Fluorite
Fuchsite
Galena
Garnet
Gaspeite
Gold
Graphite
Gypsum
Halite
Hematite
Hornblende
Ilmenite
Jadeite
Kyanite
Lepidolite
Limonite
Magnesite
Magnetite
Malachite
Marcasite
Molybdenite
Monazite
Muscovite
Nephrite
Olivine
Orpiment
Orthoclase
Phlogopite
Plagioclase
Pyrite
Quartz
Realgar
Rhodochrosite
Rhodonite
Rutile
Scapolite
Serpentine
Silver
Sodalite
Sphalerite
Spinel
Spodumene
Staurolite
Sulfur
Talc
Titanite
Topaz
Tourmaline
Turquoise
Uraninite
Vanadinite
Variscite
Zircon
Zoisite
Corundum
Corundum is the third hardest mineral. It is also the mineral of ruby and sapphire.Diamond: The Mineral
Diamond is a mineral with unique properties and many gem and industrial uses!Gifts That Rock
Gifts That Rock - What are the most popular gift items in the store?Garnet
Garnet is best known as a red gemstone. It occurs in any color and has many industrial uses.Topaz
Topaz is a mineral best known as a durable gemstone and its use in Mohs Hardness Scale.Fool*s Gold
Fool*s Gold is a name used for pyrite when its brassy color fools people looking for gold.Fluorescent Minerals
Fluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors under ultraviolet light.Benitoite
Benitoite - discovery of the State Gem of California - USGS report from 1911.Diopside
Diopside - Gem material, ornamental stone, diamond indicator, industrial mineral.Calcite
Calcite is a carbonate mineral with industrial, agricultural, medical and many other uses.Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite - a manganese mineral used as an ore, a pink gem and an ornamental stone.Mineral Hardness
Mohs Hardness Scale is a set of reference minerals used for classroom hardness testing.Quartz
Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the crust. It has many useful properties.Azurite
Azurite - Used as an ore of copper, a pigment, ornamental stone and gem material.Vanadinite
Vanadinite is an important ore of vanadium and a minor source of lead.Olivine
Olivine - Abundant in Earth*s mantle. A constituent of meteorites. The gem peridot.Lepidolite
Lepidolite is a pink to purple mica used as an ore of lithium and as a gem material.Rock and Mineral Kits
Rock and Mineral Kits The most effective way to learn about rocks and minerals.Diamonds from Coal?
Diamonds Do Not Form From Coal That is one of the biggest misconceptions in science.Magnesite
Magnesite is a carbonate mineral used for chemicals, fire bricks, magnesium metal and more.Variscite
Variscite is a yellowish green to bluish green mineral. It is similar to turquoise and cut as a gem.Kyanite
Kyanite is a metamorphic mineral used to make porcelain, abrasive products and gems.Tourmaline
Tourmaline - the most colorful mineral and natural gem material on Earth.Rhodonite
Rhodonite - a manganese silicate used as a minor ore of manganese and as a gemstone.U.S. Gemstones
United States Gemstones Small mines in the U.S. produce a diversity of gemstones.Don*t Go To Jail
Mineral collectors must know the rules for removing specimens from public and private property.Mineral Identification
Mineral Identification Chart Printable mineral ID chart by Art Crossman in MS Excel format.Tucson Mineral Show
Tucson Gem & Mineral Show Photos from the largest gem and mineral show.Uses of Gold
Gold has unique properties that make it one of the most useful minerals.Hematite
Hematite - the most important source of iron ore and mineral pigment since prehistory.Spodumene
Spodumene is a pegmatite mineral, an ore of lithium and sometimes a gemstone.Chalcopyrite
Chalcopyrite - The most important ore of copper for over five thousand years.Serpentine
Serpentine - metamorphic rocks used in construction, architecture and lapidary work.Herkimer Diamonds
Herkimer Diamonds Doubly-terminated quartz crystals used as specimens and gems.Ilmenite
Ilmenite - The primary ore of titanium and source of most titanium dioxide.Zircon
Zircon is the primary ore of zirconium and a gemstone that is available in many colors.Molybdenite
Molybdenite is the primary ore of molybdenum which is used in superalloys and as a lubricant.Cinnabar
Cinnabar - the only important ore of mercury. Used in pigments until its toxicity was realized.Uses of Silver
Uses of Silver Most people think of jewelry and coins, but silver's primary use is industrial.Geology Dictionary
Geology Dictionary - contains thousands of geological terms with their definitions.Mineraloids
Mineraloids are amorphous naturally-occurring inorganic solids that lack crystallinity.Rutile
Rutile - an ore of titanium; a source of titanium oxide; causes stars and eyes in gems.Denver Mineral Show
Denver Gem and Mineral Show - Photos and comments about this incredible show.Olivine Rain
Olivine Rain Spitzer Telescope discovered a rain of olivine crystals on protostar HOPS-68.Crystal Habit
Crystal Habit is the external shape displayed by a crystal or an aggregate of crystals.Is Water a Mineral?
Are Water and Ice Minerals? Comparing their properties with the definition of a mineral.Streak Test
The Streak Test is a method to determine the color of a mineral in powdered form.Rock-Forming Minerals
Rock-Forming Minerals - most of Earth*s crust is made-up of a small number of minerals.What Are Minerals?
Minerals are the building blocks of our society. We use items made with them every day.Tumbled Stones
Tumbled Stones are rocks that have been rounded, smoothed and polished in a rock tumbler.The Acid Test
The Acid Test Geologists use dilute hydrochloric acid to identify carbonate minerals.Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Elements are used in cell phones, DVDs, batteries, magnets & many other products.Uses of Talc
Talc is a soft mineral used in cosmetics, paper, paint, ceramics and many other products.Mineral Rights
Mineral Rights - Who owns the minerals under your land? Who wants to buy them?Snowflakes
How Do Snowflakes Form? They start as tiny crystals. Some grow on the way down.Colored Glass
Minerals in Colored Glass - Minerals are what produce the color in colored glass.Hardness Picks
Hardness Picks - Test for hardness with precise and easy-to-use hardness picks.Dangerous Mines
Abandoned Mine Accidents kill several people every year. Education can prevent deaths.Fireworks & Minerals
The Science of Fireworks Learn how the colors and shapes are created.Rock Tumbling
Rock Tumblers - All about rock tumblers and rock tumbling. Read before you buy a tumbler.Limonite
Limonite - an amorphous iron oxide. An ore of iron and a pigment since prehistory.Geology Tools
Geology Tools - Hammers, field bags, hand lenses, maps, hardness picks, gold pans.Hand Lens
Hand Lens A 10-power folding magnifier in a metal case. A frequently used lab and field tool.Triboluminescence
Triboluminescence is flash produced when a mineral is rubbed, scratched or broken.Gold Panning Kits
Gold Pans and Panning Kits - classifiers, snuffer bottles. Learn how to pan for gold!