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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.


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