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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.
Mineral Hardness
Mohs Hardness Test
Mohs Hardness Scale is a set of reference minerals used for classroom hardness testing.
Mineral Luster
luster
What Is Luster? Luster is the light-reflecting characteristics of a mineral specimen.
What Are Minerals?
What Are Minerals?
Minerals are the building blocks of our society. We use items made with them every day.
Diopside
Diopside
Diopside - Gem material, ornamental stone, diamond indicator, industrial mineral.
Streak Test
Streak
The Streak Test is a method to determine the color of a mineral in powdered form.
Grape Agate
Grape Agate
Grape Agate is a popular mineral specimen with the color and the shape of a bunch of grapes.
Hardness Picks
Hardness Picks
Hardness Picks - Test for hardness with precise and easy-to-use hardness picks.
Rock and Mineral Kits
Rock and Mineral Kits
Rock and Mineral Kits The most effective way to learn about rocks and minerals.
Quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the most abundant mineral in the crust. It has many useful properties.
Benitoite
Benitoite
What Is Benitoite? A rare mineral and the State Gem of California - USGS report from 1911.
Topaz
Topaz
Topaz is a mineral best known as a durable gemstone and its use in Mohs Hardness Scale.
Crystal Habit
Crystal Habit
Crystal Habit is the external shape displayed by a crystal or an aggregate of crystals.
Fool*s Gold
Fool*s Gold
Fool*s Gold is a name used for pyrite when its brassy color fools people looking for gold.
The Acid Test
Mineral Acid Test
The Acid Test Geologists use dilute hydrochloric acid to identify carbonate minerals.
Hemimorphite
Hemimorphite
Hemimorphite is an ore of zinc that can often be cut into gems with spectacular blue color.
Calcite
Calcite
Calcite is a carbonate mineral with industrial, agricultural, medical and many other uses.
Diamond: The Mineral
Diamond
Diamond is a mineral with unique properties and many gem and industrial uses!
Garnet
Garnet
Garnet is best known as a red gemstone. It occurs in any color and has many industrial uses.
Fluorescent Minerals
Fluorescent Minerals
Fluorescent Minerals glow with spectacular colors under ultraviolet light.
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.
Uses of Talc
Uses of Talc
Talc is a soft mineral used in cosmetics, paper, paint, ceramics and many other products.
Copper vs COVID-19
Copper vs COVID-19
Copper Kills COVID-19 and many other pathogens to limit the spread of disease.
Chalcopyrite
chalcopyrite
Chalcopyrite - The most important ore of copper for over five thousand years.
Fireworks & Minerals
Minerals and Fireworks
The Science of Fireworks Learn how the colors and shapes are created.
Magnesite
magnesite
Magnesite is a carbonate mineral used for chemicals, fire bricks, magnesium metal and more.
Olivine
Olivine
Olivine - Abundant in Earth*s mantle. A constituent of meteorites. The gem peridot.
Is Water a Mineral?
Is Water a Mineral?
Are Water and Ice Minerals? Comparing their properties with the definition of a mineral.
Kyanite
Kyanite
Kyanite is a metamorphic mineral used to make porcelain, abrasive products and gems.
Smithsonite
Smithsonite
Smithsonite is a zinc carbonate mineral, an ore of zinc, and a minor gemstone.
Mineraloids
Mineraloids
Mineraloids are amorphous naturally-occurring inorganic solids that lack crystallinity.
Corundum
Corundum
Corundum is the third hardest mineral. It is also the mineral of ruby and sapphire.
Don*t Go To Jail
Don't Go To Jail
Mineral collectors must know the rules for removing specimens from public and private property.
Sugilite
Sugilite
Sugilite is a rare mineral and a gemstone best known for its vibrant pink to purple color.
Hematite
hematite on Mars
Hematite - the most important source of iron ore and mineral pigment since prehistory.
Charoite
Charoite
Charoite is a purple silicate mineral, found only in Russia, used as a gem material.
Serpentine
Serpentine
Serpentine - metamorphic rocks used in construction, architecture and lapidary work.
Vanadinite
Vanadinite
Vanadinite is an important ore of vanadium and a minor source of lead.
Spodumene
Spodumene
Spodumene is a pegmatite mineral, an ore of lithium and sometimes a gemstone.
Herkimer Diamonds
Herkimer Diamonds
Herkimer Diamonds Doubly-terminated quartz crystals used as specimens and gems.
Limonite
limonite
Limonite - an amorphous iron oxide. An ore of iron and a pigment since prehistory.
Tourmaline
Tourmaline
Tourmaline - the most colorful mineral and natural gem material on Earth.
Zircon
Zircon
Zircon is the primary ore of zirconium and a gemstone that is available in many colors.
Uses of Gold
Uses of Gold
Gold has unique properties that make it one of the most useful minerals.
Lepidolite
Lepidolite
Lepidolite is a pink to purple mica used as an ore of lithium and as a 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.
Rhodonite
Rhodonite
Rhodonite - a manganese silicate used as a minor ore of manganese and as a gemstone.
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.
Ilmenite
Ilmenite
Ilmenite - The primary ore of titanium and source of most titanium dioxide.
Molybdenite
Molybdenite
Molybdenite is the primary ore of molybdenum which is used in superalloys and as a lubricant.
Cinnabar
cinnabar
Cinnabar - the only important ore of mercury. Used in pigments until its toxicity was realized.
Rock Tumbling
rock tumblers
Rock Tumblers - All about rock tumblers and rock tumbling. Read before you buy a tumbler.
Tumbled Stones
Tumbled Stones
Tumbled Stones are rocks that have been rounded, smoothed and polished in a rock tumbler.
Geology Tools
Geology Tools
Geology Tools - Hammers, field bags, hand lenses, maps, hardness picks, gold pans.
Azurite
azurite
Azurite - Used as an ore of copper, a pigment, ornamental stone and gem material.
Mineral Rights
Mineral Rights
Mineral Rights - Who owns the minerals under your land? Who wants to buy them?
Hand Lens
Hand Lens
Hand Lens A 10-power folding magnifier in a metal case. A frequently used lab and field tool.
Gold Panning Kits
Gold Pans
Gold Pans and Panning Kits - classifiers, snuffer bottles. Learn how to pan for gold!
Variscite
Variscite
Variscite is a yellowish green to bluish green mineral. It is similar to turquoise and cut as a gem.
Uses of Silver
Uses of silver
Uses of Silver Most people think of jewelry and coins, but silver\'s primary use is industrial.
Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Elements
Rare Earth Elements are used in cell phones, DVDs, batteries, magnets & many other products.
Colored Glass
colored glass
Minerals in Colored Glass - Minerals are what produce the color in colored glass.
Dangerous Mines
Abandoned Mine Accidents
Abandoned Mine Accidents kill several people every year. Education can prevent deaths.
U.S. Gemstones
United States Gemstones
United States Gemstones Small mines in the U.S. produce a diversity of gemstones.
Snowflakes
How Do Snowflakes Form?
How Do Snowflakes Form? They start as tiny crystals. Some grow on the way down.
Denver Mineral Show
Denver Mineral Show
Denver Gem and Mineral Show - Photos and comments about this incredible show.
Olivine Rain
Olivine Rain
Olivine Rain Spitzer Telescope discovered a rain of olivine crystals on protostar HOPS-68.
Rutile
Rutilated Quartz
Rutile - an ore of titanium; a source of titanium oxide; causes stars and eyes in gems.
Triboluminescence
Triboluminescence
Triboluminescence is flash produced when a mineral is rubbed, scratched or broken.
Gifts That Rock
Gifts That Rock
Gifts That Rock - What are the most popular gift items in the Geology.com store?
Pyroxene Minerals
Pyroxene Minerals
Pyroxenes are a group of chain silicate minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks.