Mineral notes
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Mineral Notes. Mineral:. A natural, usually inorganic solid that has a characteristic chemical composition, an orderly internal structure, and a characteristic set of physical properties. Is it inorganic?.

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Mineral Notes

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Mineral notes

Mineral Notes



  • A natural, usually inorganic solid that has a characteristic chemical composition, an orderly internal structure, and a characteristic set of physical properties

Is it inorganic

Is it inorganic?

An inorganic substance is a substance that was not created from living things, thus coal and oil are organic

Does the substance occur naturally

Does the substance occur naturally?

  • Minerals form and exist in nature, things like brass and steel are manufactured as are some gemstones

Is the substance a solid in crystalline form

Is the substance a solid in crystalline form?

  • If a substance does not have a regular, repeating pattern as a solid, it is not a mineral

Does it have a consistent chemical composition

Does it have a consistent chemical composition?

  • If the ratio of ingredients does not remain constant, it is not a mineral

Kinds of minerals

Kinds of Minerals:

  • More than 4,000 minerals, but only 20 are common

  • These 20 are called rock forming minerals because they form the rocks that make up the crust

  • 10 of these twenty are so common that they make up 90% of the mass of the Earth’s crust

Silicate minerals

Silicate Minerals:

  • A mineral that contains a combination of silicon and oxygen, though it may contain one or more metals

Non silicate minerals

Non-Silicate Minerals:

  • A mineral that does not contain the compounds of silicon and oxygen



  • Compounds that contain a carbonate group (CO3)



  • Compound that consists of chlorine or fluorine combined with sodium, potassium, or calcium

Native elements

Native Elements:

  • Elements uncombined with other elements



  • Compounds that contain oxygen and an element other than silicon



  • Compounds that contain a sulfate group (SO4)



  • Compounds that consist of one or more elements combined with sulfur

Physical properties of minerals

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Color – some minerals have very distinct colors that lead to identification, however, most of the time it is a unreliable clue for identifying a sample

Physical properties of minerals1

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Streak – the color of a mineral in powdered form after being drug across a ceramic tile

Physical properties of minerals2

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Luster - The way in which a mineral reflects light

Physical properties of minerals3

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Cleavage – the tendency of a mineral to split along specific points of weakness to form smooth, flat surfaces

Physical properties of minerals4

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Fracture– The manner in which a mineral breaks along either curved or irregular surfaces

Physical properties of minerals5

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Hardness – the measure of the ability of a mineral to resist scratching

  • Mohs Hardness Scale – the standard sclae against which the hardness of minerals is rate; you scratch the unknown minerals against those on the scale, its harder if it can scratch the mineral, its softer if it can’t scratch the mineral, it’s the same hardness if both can scratch each other

Physical properties of minerals6

Physical Properties of Minerals:

  • Crystal Shapes – minerals always form in the same crystalline structures due to their chemical composition

Physical properties of matter

Physical Properties of Matter:

  • Density – the ratio of the mass of a mineral to its volume

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