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