To be considered a mineral, the object MUST possess all 5 of the following characteristics…
5 Things Define a Mineral… 1. Occurs naturally 2. It is a solid at room temperature 3. Definite chemical composition (elements are combined in a definite proportion) 4. Crystal structure due to the internal arrangement of atoms (atoms inside are arranged in an orderly pattern) 5. Inorganic (not living and not formed from anything that was once living)
Mineral or Not? Is quartz a mineral? YES! – all 5 things that define a mineral can be applied to quartz. Is a pearl a mineral? NO! - it is ORGANIC. It is made from secretions of living things. Is glass a mineral? NO! – does not occur naturally
What about Diamond? Is diamond a mineral? YES! – Technically. It’s 10 on Moh’s Hardness scale. What could be the debate about this though??? The debate can be made that it comes from coal and coal is ORGANIC, it’s made from the breakdown of living things like plants.
Mineral Groups Group 1 – The Silicates Made up of Si (silicon) and O (oxygen) plus a metal. Most abundant group of minerals in the world! The silica tetrahedron (1 silicon, 4 oxygen) is the building block of ALL silicate minerals! Examples: –Quartz, mica, feldspars
Mineral Groups Group 2 – The Sulfides Made of S (sulfur) plus a metal Examples: Galena, Sphalerite Group 3 – The Sulfates Made of SO 4 (1 sulfur, 4 oxygens) plus a metal Example: Gypsum
Mineral Groups Group 4 – The Oxides Made of O (oxygen) plus a metal. Examples: Hematite, Magnetite Group 5 – The Halides Made of Cl (Chloride) plus a metal. Examples: Halite (salt), Fluorite
Mineral Groups Group 6 – The Carbonates Made of CO 3 (1 carbon, 3 oxygen) plus metal. Examples: Calcite, Dolomite This group has a special property – the minerals will fizz when acid is applied!fizz Group 7 – The Phosphates Made of PO 4 (1 phosphor, 4 oxygens) plus metal. Example: Apatite
Native Minerals Native minerals are minerals that are made of only one element. Examples: Gold (Au), Silver(Ag), Copper(Cu) Other examples?
Mineral Properties There are several properties that minerals have that can be studied and tested in order to identify an unknown mineral.
Mineral Properties Color Luster Streak Hardness Cleavage Fracture Crystal Form/Shape Density Specific Gravity Magnetism Reaction to acid Taste Fluorescence Double Refraction