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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.


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