Rocks, Minerals and the Periodic Table

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This is a simple homeschool exercise for my children.

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  • 1. Rocks, Minerals and the Periodic Table Photo credit for all images in this presentation: Brett ProvanceChemical compositions from Joel E. Arem, Color Encyclopedia of Gemstones, second edition (New York: Chapman & Hall, 1977, 1987)
  • 2. Pyrite crystalChemical composition: FeS2List Elements:______________________________________________________________This crystal is a natural perfect cube; itwas not carved by human hands.Pyrite is sometimes called “fool’s gold”because it is mistaken for real gold.What is the chemical symbol for gold?_______________________
  • 3. Lapis Lazuli (Lazurite)Chemical composition:(Na,Ca) 8 (Al,Si)12 O24 (S,SO4)List Elements:______________________________________________________________This is a relatively high quality piece oflapis, that is, it does not contain a lotof impurities.This piece comes fromAfghanistan, where the best lapis islocated.The ancient Sumerians, who foundedthe first civilization, imported thismineral for decorative purposes.
  • 4. Lapis sphereThis is a large (expensive) lapis stonethat has been worked into a sphericalshape and then polished.What do you think it looks like?______________________________
  • 5. RhodochrositeChemical composition: MnCO3 + Fe, CaList Elements:____________________________________________________________Any word that begins with “rh” is likelyGreek in origin. In Greek, rhodonmeans “rose,” and chros means“color.” Why do you think this mineralis called rhodochrosite?________________________
  • 6. MalachiteChemical composition: CuCO3(OH)2List Elements:____________________________________________________________Can you guess which element givesmalachite its green color?________________________
  • 7. Purple OpalChemical composition: SiO2 . nH2OList Elements:____________________________________________________________Basic quartz is SiO2. What has beenadded to quartz to help make thisopal?________________________Opal is said to be “hydrous,” whichmeans having water in it. It is likely foropals that are exposed to air to beginto crack as they dehydrate. What doyou think “dehydrate” means?________________________
  • 8. Dinosaur Fossil (left) and Picture Jasper (right)Does the dinosaur fossil have any ofthe original dinosaur left in it?_______________________Why or why not?______________________________________________________________The picture jasper is mostly made fromquartz. Therefore, what elementsmostly make up the picture jasper?_______________________________