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What Are Minerals?. Minerals – a naturally occurring, inorganic solid that has a crystal structure and a definite chemical composition. What 5 Characteristics Does a Mineral Have to Have?. A mineral must be: Naturally Occurring Inorganic Solid Crystal Structure

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What Are Minerals?

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what are minerals
What Are Minerals?
  • Minerals – a naturally occurring, inorganicsolid that has a crystalstructure and a definite chemicalcomposition
what 5 characteristics does a mineral have to have
What 5 Characteristics Does a Mineral Have to Have?

A mineral must be:

  • Naturally Occurring
  • Inorganic
  • Solid
  • Crystal Structure
  • Definite Chemical Composition
what does it mean to be naturally occurring
What Does It Mean to Be Naturally Occurring?
  • A mineral must occurnaturally
  • Cement, brick, steel, and glass all come from substances found in Earth’s crust but they are manufactured by people
how can something be inorganic
How Can Something Be Inorganic?
  • Inorganic – the mineral cannot arise from materials that were once part of a living thing
  • Ex. Coal is NOT a mineral because it is made up the remains of plants and animals
what kind of pattern must a mineral have
What kind of pattern must a mineral have?
  • A mineral must have a crystal structure – a repeating pattern of a mineral’s particles that forms a solid.
  • Faces – a crystal’s flat side that meets at sharp edges and corners
what kind of composition must a mineral have
What kind of composition must a mineral have?
  • A mineral must have a definite chemical composition – it always contains certain elements in definite proportions; most minerals are compounds

Cinnabar – composed of the elements Mercury and Sulfur

what is the difference between an element and a compound
What Is the Difference Between an Element and a Compound?
  • Element – a substance composed of asinglekind ofatom. Ex. Hydrogen
  • Compound –Twoor moreelementscombinedso that the elements no longer have distinctproperties Ex. Water H20

What are the 2 groups of minerals?

  • All minerals can be divided into Silicates and Non-silicates
    • Silicates= Siand O are the two most abundant elements in the earth’s crust.

What are the Non-Silicates?

4% of the Earth’s Crust

Carbonates, Halides, native elements.


Slide 10 cont’d more non-silicates




how do you identify minerals


Crystal Shape

Cleavage and Fracture

Special Properties


Color (this can vary)



How Do You Identify Minerals?
how do you determine a mineral s hardness
How Do You Determine a Mineral’s Hardness?
  • Friedrich Mohs invented a test to describe and compare the hardness of minerals
  • Mohs Hardness Scale
    • Ranks ten minerals from softest to hardest
how does the mohs scale work
How Does the Mohs Scale Work?
  • Gypsum (2) will scratch talc (1), calcite (3) will scratch gypsum (2), fluorite (4) will scratch calcite (3), etc.
to remember the mohs scale try remembering this phrase
To remember the Mohs scale try remembering this phrase:

The Geologist Can Find An Ordinary Quartz, (that) TouristsCall Diamond!

what is a streak test
What Is a Streak Test?
  • The streak of a mineral is the color of its powder
  • The streak color and the mineral color are often different
  • To test: rub a mineral against an unglazed tile (streak plate)
what is the luster of a mineral
What is the Luster of a mineral?
  • Luster – used to describe how a mineralreflectslightfrom itssurface
  • Minerals containing metals are oftenshiny
  • Earthy, waxy, and pearly
what does density have to do with minerals
What does Density have to do with Minerals?
  • Each mineral has a characteristicDensity
  • Density – or mass per unit volume; Density = mass/volume
  • Displacement – the volume of the displaced water equals the volume of the the sample
what kind of shape does a mineral have
What Kind of Shape does a Mineral have?
  • Minerals have a crystal structure
    • Cubic
    • Hexagonal
    • Tetragonal
    • Orthorhombic
    • Monoclinic
    • Triclinic
what is mineral cleavage
What is Mineral Cleavage?
  • Cleavage – A mineral’s ability to split easily along a flat surface
  • The ability to break apart depends on the arrangement of the atoms in the mineral

Cubic Cleavage

Basal Cleavage

what is mineral fracture
What is Mineral Fracture?
  • Fracture – How a mineral looks when it breaks apart in an irregular way
what special properties does a mineral have
What Special Properties does a Mineral have?
  • Fluorescence –minerals that glow under ultraviolet light
  • Magnetism - ex. Loadstone
  • Chemical Reactivity- ex. Calcite gives off carbondioxide
  • Electrical Properties – ex. quartz
how are minerals formed
How are Minerals Formed?
  • Two General Ways:
    • Crystallization of melted materials
      • Minerals fromMagma
    • Crystallization of materials dissolved in water
      • Minerals fromHot watersolutions
      • Minerals formedby evaporation
what is crystallization
What is Crystallization?
  • Crystallization
    • the process by which atoms are arranged to form a material with a crystal structure
how do minerals form from magma
How do Minerals form from Magma?
  • Minerals form as magma cools inside the crust, or as lava hardens on the surface
what effects crystal size
What Effects Crystal Size?
  • Rate at which magma cools
    • Slower cooling forms larger crystals
  • The amount of gas the magma contains
  • The chemical composition of the magma
how do minerals form from hot water solutions
How do Minerals Form from Hot Water Solutions?
  • Magma beneath Earth’s surface has heated the water to a high temperature beneath Earth’s surface causing minerals to dissolve
  • When this solution cools the elements and compounds leave the solution and crystallize as minerals
how are minerals formed by evaporation
How are Minerals Formed by Evaporation?
  • As water turns to vapor it leaves behind the mineral
  • Example: A salt water solution leaves behind large crystals of salt
where are minerals found
Where are Minerals Found?
  • Earth’s crust is made up of a variety of minerals however; rare and less common minerals are usually located near plateboundaries because of volcanic activity and mountain building
how are minerals used
How are Minerals Used?
  • Minerals are the source of
    • Metals ex. Aluminum, Iron
    • Gemstones ex. Rubies and Sapphires
    • Other Useful materials ex. Talc (talcum powder)
ore what
Ore What?
  • Ore - A rock that contains a metal or economically useful mineral
  • Most metals, gemstones, and useful minerals must be separated from their ores