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Examining Minerals and Rocks

What is a mineral?

A mineral is homogenous, naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes that has a characteristic chemical composition, a highly ordered atomic structure and specific physical properties.

Physical properties citrine rose quartz

prasiolite 1. COLOR agate

milky quartz


smoky quartz


Physical properties
The color of a mineral when it is powdered is called the streak of the mineral.

Physical properties metallic adamantine

glassy The luster of a mineral is the way its surface reflects light. pearly dull


Hardness-Mohs scale

1 talc

2 gypsum

3 calcite

4 fluorite

5 apatite

6 feldspar

7 quartz

8 topaz

9 corundum 10 diamond

Cleavage is the way a mineral breaks.

one direction mica

two directions feldspar

three directions calcite


Fracture is breakage that is not flat. The two main kinds of fracture are conchoidal (shell-shaped, as in quartz) and uneven. conchoidal


Heft is how heavy a mineral feels in the hand, an informal sense of density. Taste is definitive for halite (rock salt), of course, but a few other evaporite minerals also have distinctive tastes.

What is a rock?

A rock is a naturally occurring aggregate of minerals and/or other rock fragments

Rock classification




Igneous rocks

Igneous rocks form when molten rock (magma) cools and solidifies, with or without crystallization,either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks.

Texture refers to the physical appearance or character of a rock, such as grain size, shape, and arrangement.
Igneous rocks that crystallize slowly beneath the Earth s surface, typically have visible individual…...

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