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.


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