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Identifying Minerals. Rock-Forming Minerals Over 2000 known minerals, many are rare Common minerals are rock-forming minerals Most R-F minerals are silicate The minerals are identified by their physical properties The study of minerals is mineralogy. Identification by Inspection.

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identifying minerals
Identifying Minerals
  • Rock-Forming Minerals
  • Over 2000 known minerals, many are rare
  • Common minerals are rock-forming minerals
  • Most R-F minerals are silicate
  • The minerals are identified by their physical properties
  • The study of minerals is mineralogy
identification by inspection
Identification by Inspection
  • Colour is the first and most easily observed mineral property
  • Colour is the least useful property, because many different minerals have similar colours
  • Traces of impurities can turn colourless minerals into coloured minerals
  • Luster is the way the mineral shines in reflected light
  • Lusters are either metallic or nonmetallic
  • Nonmetallic luster can be vitreous (like glass), pearly, resinous, or glassy.
  • Diamond has adamantine luster.
  • Other terms are greasy,oily, dull, and earthy
identification by tests
Identification by Tests
  • The streak of a mineral is the colour of its powder, obtained by rubbing it on an unglazed white tile called a streak plate.
  • The cleavage of a mineral is its tendency to split easily or separate along flat surfaces
  • Some minerals tend to break along non-cleavage surfaces, called fracture
  • The hardness of a mineral is its resistance to being scratched, diamond is the hardest, talc is the softest
  • Friedrich Mohs devised the hardness scale from one to ten

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/grocha/mineral/cleavage.html

specific gravity
Specific Gravity
  • Specific gravity is the ratio of the weight of a mineral to the weight of an equal volume of water
  • S-G tells you how many times as dense as water the mineral is
  • Nearly all minerals are denser than water
  • Their specific gravities are greater than 1
  • The weight of the mineral is found by weighing it in air
  • Then the mineral is weighed underwater
  • The second weighing indirectly gives the weight of an equal volume of water
  • The sample weighs less underwater due to buoyancy
  • Archimedes’ principle states that this loss in weight is equal to the weight of the displaced water
  • Specific gravity = weight of sample in air weight of equal volume of water
  • = weight of sample in air

loss of weight in water

acid test
Acid Test
  • Calcite is the principle mineral in limestone and marble
  • Calcite is calcium carbonate, and a drop of weak hydrochloric acid will cause it to fizz.
  • The bubbles are carbon dioxide gas
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