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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.

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