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The Basic Building Blocks of Earth!
Minerals Video
The BIG Idea!
• Minerals are all around us.
• A mineral is identified by its
• Minerals are valuable resources.
How many different types of minerals are
• Thousands!
• Most are rare-only about 100 occurring in
abundance. Of those 100 minerals, 15-30
make up the common rock-forming
minerals and some of the remainder have
some economic value.
Galena is a mineral used to make paints
Minerals are everywhere and used daily…
• Common salt is made from
a mineral known as Halite.
• Pots and pans are
made from metal –
stainless steel, cast
iron, copper or
aluminum. All of
these come from
Did you know…
• Pencils contain
a mineral called
• Toothpaste is
made with a
Give me light…
• When you switch on a light,
electricity flows through
copper wires and into a
filament made of tungsten
(which comes from a mineral
called wolframite).
• The filament glows and
shines through a light bulb
of glass (made from
quartz)….Mineral teamwork!
What are the five
characteristics of Minerals?
• Forms in nature (by processes that
do not involve living things).
• Is a solid.
• Has a definite chemical makeup.
• Has a 3-D crystal structure.
• They are inorganic
How are minerals identified?
1. Color
1. Color
2. Streak
3. Luster
4. Cleavage
5. Fracture
6. Hardness
Mineral Properties...Color/Appearance
Color and appearance are two obvious
clues that can be used to identify
minerals. Color is one of the least
reliable properties because a mineral
may have a variety of colors.
Mineral properties...Streak
• Streak is the color
of the powder that
a mineral produces.
Mineral properties...Luster
• The way a mineral
reflects light is known as
• Luster can be
metallic (like metal)
nonmetallic (dull,
pearly, silky, and glassy).
Mineral properties...Cleavage
• Minerals that break along smooth,
flat surfaces.
Calcite has
Mineral properties...Fracture
• Minerals that break with uneven,
rough, or jagged edges have
Mineral properties ...Hardness The
Moh’s Scale
A mineral’s
hardness is its
resistance to
Other Properties…
• Light forms two
separate rays when it
passes through calcite,
Some minerals…
causing you to see a
double image.
• Have a magnetic
quality, such as
• React with a weak
acid (bubble/fizz).
• Glow with a black
light: fluoresce
Are minerals and rocks the same?
• Rocks share two characteristics with
They are solids
Form naturally
• Rocks contain one or more minerals
within them.
Can you remember?
Minerals that contain silicon and oxygen
are __________.
A. magma
B. opals
C. silicates
D. solutions
The answer is C. Silicates contain
silicon and oxygen and usually one or
more other elements.
Can you remember?
Which of these is a characteristic of
A. solid
B. formed by life processes
C. indefinite chemical composition
D. organic substances
The answer is A. Minerals are solids.
Only a solid can be a mineral, but not
all solids are minerals.
Can you remember?
Minerals that break easily along smooth,
flat surfaces have __________.
A. cleavage
B. fracture
C. luster
D. Streak
The answer is A. Cleavage is determined
partly by the arrangement of the mineral’s
atoms. Minerals that break with uneven
surfaces have fracture.
Can you remember?
Minerals that break into irregular, jagged
pieces, have __________.
A. cleavage
B. fracture
C. luster
D. streak
The answer is B. Minerals that break with
uneven surfaces have fracture.