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Minerals. Feldspar Minerals. Feldspar Minerals: group of silicates; mineral of crust, cleavage at 90 with flat, rectangular, glassy surfaces 1. Albite ( Plagioclase): Plagioclase Feldspar: calcium to sodium rich; example is albite ; has striations (thin parallel grooves)

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Feldspar Minerals

  • Feldspar Minerals: group of silicates; mineral of crust, cleavage at 90 with flat, rectangular, glassy surfaces

  • 1. Albite ( Plagioclase): Plagioclase Feldspar: calcium to sodium rich; example is albite; has striations (thin parallel grooves)

  • 2. Amazonite (Microcline)  

  • 3. Orthoclase Group: Orthoclase Feldspar: Feldspar group; also known as potassium feldspar KAlSi3O8


  • Mica Group: silicate; perfect cleavage; in one direction it splits into sheets; examples are muscovite (colorless or silvery); biotite (black with magnesium and iron); lepidolite (lilac or rose colored)

  • Amphibole group: silicate; two directions of cleavage not at 90; narrow elongated crystals; example is hornblend ( dark contains magnesium and iron)

  • Pyroxene group: two directions of cleavage at 90; typically dark; example is augite( dark with magnesium and iron)

Other Minerals

  • Clay mineral: Silicate; weathered feldspar; very fine grained; earthy luster; smooth; example is Kaolinite

  • Non-Silicate Minerals: 8% of earth’s crust; element, oxides, sulfides, etc.

  • Carbonates: non silicate; example is calcite (CaCO3) with limestone and marble

  • Halides & Sulfides: evaporate minerals

Classes of Silicates

  • Sorosilicates

  • Cyclosilicates

  • Inosilicates

  • Phyllosicates

  • Tectosilicates

Extra Info

  • Quartz or quartz crystal, a nearly pure silicon dioxide specimen occurs in most igneous and practically all metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.

  • Lepidolite, muscovite, and biotite exhibit cleavage with weak bonds in only one direction.

  • Halite is classified as an evaporite due to its having been formed by the evaporation of saline water within partially enclosed basins.

  • Almandine garnet is able to overpower and displace surrounding solid material during its formation so that it almost always develops its characteristic crystal faces.

  • Bornite or chalcopyrite, often associated with the minerals sphalerite and galena, is the main source of copper.

Extra Info

  • Sphalerite is a major source of zinc.

  • Hematite’s streak is always reddish brown in color in spite of its actual color being brown, red or silver.

  • Gold has a specific gravity of 19.3.

  • Feldspar is the most common mineral found in Earth’s crust.

  • Opal is not a crystalline solid and is, instead, classified as a mineraloid.

Extra Info

  • Galena is the primary source of lead.

  • Staurolite consists of a basic silicate of iron and aluminum in prismatic orthorhom- bic crystals often twinned so as to resemble a cross.

  • Fluorite, represented by its more rare octahedral crystal form at this station, occurs naturally in nearly every color of the spectrum.

  • Amazonite is a form of microcline named for a South American rainforest where it is nowhere to be found.

  • Ulexite’s optical effect is created by individual fibers acting as fiber-optic cables, transmitting light from one surface to the other.

Extra Info

  • Sodalite has a pleasant blue color, usually includes white veins or streaking, and is commonly used as a carving stone.

  • Rhodonite, a pink and red specimen, often has black manganese oxide veins running through it, giving it a distinct appearance of pink with black crisscrossing lines.

  • Dolomite’s crystal habits include saddle shaped rhombohedral twins and simple rhombs, some with slightly curved faces.

  • Beryl has several varieties, including the emerald specimen at this station.

What are the two most abundant elements by mass found in Earth's crust?

  • aluminum and iron

    2. sodium and chlorine

    3. calcium and carbon

    4. oxygen and silicon

  • Which mineral is white or colorless, has a hardness of 2.5, and splits with cubic cleavage?


    2. halite


    4. Mica

Common Minerals


  • Used for mining iron ore

  • Has a reddish brown streak because of the iron and oxygen present, making rust

  • Classified as oxide

  • Has higher specific gravity than corundum

  • Streak test would be a good test to identify; by crushing will notice blood red powder

  • Silver or gray in appearance

  • When magnetite reacts with oxygen, hematite will form

  • Rich source of iron

  • Hardeness: 5-6


  • Used for mining iron ore

  • Is classified as a hydroxide


  • Also called brown iron ore or brown hematite


  • Has another form, Asbestos, can be used as a fire retardant


  • Native Element/Mineral

  • Same hardness as bornite

  • Is very conductive

  • Is used to make the alloy, Brass


  • Same hardness as copper

  • Is a copper, iron sulfide

  • Is an ore of copper

  • Used in jewelry


  • Is the 2nd hardest natural mineral known to man

  • Diamond is four times harder

  • Used for abrasive and as a gemstone

  • Classified as oxide

  • Mineral of rubies and sapphires

  • Hexagonal crystal system

  • Hematite family

  • Chemical formula: Al2O3

  • Hardness: 9


  • Carbonate mineral

  • Is unstable at normal temperatures at Earth’s surface

  • Has magnesium in its composition

  • Same chemical formula as calcite and therefore is polymorph of calcite

  • CaCO3

  • Different crystalline structre than calcite; but when heated will form calcite

  • Softer than feldspar

  • Orthorhombic

  • Specific Gravity 2.94


  • Carbonate mineral

  • Transparent variety is called Iceland spar

  • Primary component of cave formation

  • Same chemical formula as aragonite and therefore is polymorph of aragonite

  • Exhibits effervesce

  • Calcite is made by plankton and falls to bottom of sea when plankton die


  • Copper carbonate

  • About same hardness as malachite

  • Classified as carbonate and thus related to calcite and dolomite

  • Classified as copper ores

  • Used as pigments, minor ores of copper, and ornamental

  • Does not effervesce in hydrochloric acid


  • Copper carbonate

  • Can replace azurite over time

  • About same hardness as azurite

  • More common than azurite

  • classified as carbonate and thus related to calcite and dolomite

  • Classified as copper ores

  • Used as pigments, minor ores of copper, and ornamental

  • Will effervesce in diluted hydrochloric acid

  • Crystal System: Monoclinic


  • Is primarily composed of carbon

  • Can conduct electricity on one plane of tetrahedrally bonded carbon atoms

  • Main function is lubricant

  • Also used in pencils, control rods of nuclear reactors, batteries

  • Found in China, Brazil, Canada, Madagascar, Sri Lanka

  • Pure Deposits in Borrowdale, England

  • Hexagonal crystal system


  • Native Element

  • The coating on the spoon

  • Reacts with sulfur and tarnishes

  • Best conductor of electricity

  • Crystal System: Cubic

  • Easily tarnished in air and is therefore rarely found in its pure form


  • Is a zinc, iron sulfide

  • Hardness is a little harder than copper

  • Major ore of zinc

  • Is commonly found in sedimentary environments in evaporate deposits, volcanic activity

  • When mixed with sulfur and water produces hydrogen sulfide gas


  • Native Element

  • When mixed with sphalerite and water produces hydrogen sulfide gas

  • Causes acid rain

  • Used in pesticides, gunpowder, and fungicides

  • Crstal System: Orthorhombic


  • Could be called a Potassium-Aluminum-Silicate

  • Also has a massive form and is often associated with tourmaline


  • Could be called a Potassium-Aluminum-Silicate

  • Elastic


  • Could be called a Potassium-Aluminum-Silicate

  • Elastic


  • CaMg(CO3)2

  • rhombohedral cleavage

  • Also known as dolomite rock

  • Constituent of dolostone

  • Form alternative of limestone with addition of magnesium

  • Is a double carbonate and therefore does not dissolve as rapidly or effervesce as rapidly as calcite


  • Classified with evaporites, CaSO4∙2H2O

  • Also known as rock gypsum

  • Used for plaster

  • Generally soft

  • Varieties include selenite (clear with rhombohedral cleavage), alabaster (fine grain and massive), satin spar (fibrous)

Alabaster Gypsum

  • Could be used to make Plaster of Paris

  • Has the mineral Calcium

  • It could be used as a fertilizer.


  • Classified as Sorosilicate mineral


  • Magnesium Iron Sillicate mineral

  • Crystal System: Orthorhombic

  • It could be used as an abrasive because of its hardness

  • It is found in many iron-nickel meteorites

  • Is a neosilicate

  • Often glassy

  • Exhibits conchoidal fractures

  • Mg and Fe rich

  • Most abundant in earth’s mantle


  • Silicate mineral

  • Second most abundant of crust

  • Constituent in sandstone and quartzite

  • Has conchoidal fracture


  • Major use is for jewelry, mineral

  • A type of quartz


  • Used for medications, paper filler; make pottery

  • Is white and powdery


  • Softer than feldspar

  • It is part of your bone structure and makes up the teeth of all vertebrates

  • Used as plant fertilizers to alter taste

  • Main source of phosphate in world

  • Crystal System: hexagonal


  • Made of hydrous magnesium silicate

  • Used in lubricanys, baby powder,plastics, and rubber, soapstone ornaments

  • Crystal System: monoclinic


  • Belongs to group of minerals containing halogens

  • Harder than halite, but appearance is same

  • Used in iron smelting, added to water to prevent kidney disease, lenses, nonstick coatings

  • Has same isometric crystal system as halite

  • Has fluorescent properties when under UV lights

  • Made of Calcium Fluoride

  • Crystal System: cubic


  • Belongs to a group of minerals containing halogens

  • Would most likely be found where seas or lakes have dried up

  • Same isometric crystal system as fluorite

  • Is necessary for the human body

  • NaCl evaporate

  • Also called rock salt

  • Has cubic cleavage

  • Used to melt ice

  • Can be taken out of sea water or mined

  • Found in Germany, England, Poland and US


  • Has a structure identical to halite

  • An ore of lead

  • Classified as a sulfide

  • Specific gravity is about two times heavier than magnetite

  • Specific gravity is about 7.5 times heavier than that amount of water

  • Is a natural semiconductor and is used in televisions, GPS systems and telephones

  • First used as kohl until found to be poisonous


  • Has structure analogous to galena

  • Can be called Fools gold or Sulfide mineral

  • Golden or black streak

  • Golden yellow in color

  • Grows in shiny cubes

  • Found in Japan, Spain, US

  • Used in jewelry


  • Unlike pyrite, contains copper, and is a copper iron sulfide

  • Leading source of copper because it is found in large quntities and distributed widely

  • Also called fools gold or sulfide

  • Found in igneous rocks


  • Has two forms of iron causing the electrons to transfer between the different ions

  • Specific gravity is about the average for metallic minerals

  • Classifiead as an iron oxide

  • Can be made into magnets

  • Black or metallic

  • Found South Africa, US, Sweden on black sand beaches


  • Black, brown, green, or violet sometimes found colorless and shiny

  • Breaks into smooth thin sheets

  • Used in paints

  • Found in Brazil, India, US, Madagascar

  • Crystal System: monoclinic

  • Comes from Latin word meanining shine

  • Flakes sparkle in schist

  • Very resistant to heat and very flat

  • Silicate

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