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They occur naturally in the
They are inorganic meaning they have
never been living.
They have a definite chemical composition.
Halite- NaCl
They are always found as a solid.
They are made of elements.
The atoms of the mineral are arranged
in a definite pattern. This repeating
pattern is called a crystal.
Mineral Identification
Color-Look at mineral and see what
color it is.
Streak- rub it on an unglazed
porcelain tile.
 Luster- Look at the mineral under light and
see if it is glassy, pearly, dull. Metallic (also
known as splendent)
Vitreous (also known as glassy)
Adamantine (also known as brilliant or diamondlike)
Resinous (also known as resinlike)
Pearly (also known as mother-of-pearl)
Greasy (also known as oily)
Pitchy (also known as pitchlike)
Waxy (also known as waxlike)
Dull (also known as earthy)
Some Surefire Signs You're a
 The sign on the side of the road says
"Falling Rock" and you pull over to wait.
 Your Internet home page has pictures of
your rocks.
Hardness Test
Was developed by Fredrich Mohs. Called the
Mohs Scale of Hardness.
1. Talc
2. Gypsum Fingernail 2.5
3. Calcite
4. Fluorite Penny 3.0
5. Apatite
6. Feldspar
7. Quartz
Nail 7.0
8. Topaz
9. Corundum
10. Diamond
Crystal Patterns
Minerals have 6 Crystal patterns or
Specific Gravity
 Mass/Volume=Density
 Specific Gravity= Density of
Mineral/Density of Water
 Density of Corundum- 10grams/5ml =
 Specific Gravity of Corundum2g/ml/1g/ml= 2
Three groups of minerals
1. Silicates- The largest group. Made of
Silicon and oxygen
2. Carbonates- Made of Carbon and
3. Oxides- Made of Oxygen and some other
element other than Silicon and Carbon.
A mineral can break two different ways
1. Cleavage- breaking along a plane
2. Fracture- breaking along a jagged edge.
The Hydrochloric Acid test for Calcite.
If the acid is placed on calcite if bubbles.
Uses of Minerals
 Halite – (sodium chloride – salt) – Used in
human and animal diet, food seasoning and
food preservation. To prepare sodium
hydroxide, soda ash, caustic soda,
hydrochloric acid, chlorine, metallic sodium;
used in ceramic glazes; metallurgy, curing of
hides; mineral waters; soap manufacture;
home water softeners; highway deicing;
photography; in scientific equipment for
optical parts.
 Gypsum – Processed and used as a
prefabricated wallboard or an industrial
or building plaster; used in cement
manufacture; agriculture and other
 Mica – Mica commonly occurs as
flakes, scales or shreds. Sheet
muscovite (white) mica is used in
electronic insulators; ground mica in
paints, as joint cement, as a dusting
agent, in well-drilling mud and
lubricants; and in plastics, roofing,
rubber and welding rods.
 Quartz – (silica) – As crystal, quartz is
used as a semiprecious gemstone.
Crystalline varieties include amethyst,
citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, etc.
Because of its piezoelectric properties,
quartz is used for pressure gauges,
oscillators, resonators and wave
stabilizers. Also used in manufacturing
of glass, paints, abrasives, refractories
and precision instruments.
Talc – (Soapstone) –The primary use for talc is
in the production of paper. Ground talc is
used as filler in ceramics, paint, paper,
roofing, plastics, cosmetics, and in
agriculture. You will find talc in many
household products such as baby (talcum)
powder, deodorant, and makeup. Very pure
talc is used in fine arts, and is called
soapstone. It is often used to carve figurines.
 Diamond (Industrial) – (Kimberlite) –
Machinery, mineral services, stone and
ceramic products, abrasives,
construction, drilling, transportation