Properties
     Uses
Identification
Definition
1.   Naturally Occurring
2.   Inorganic solid
3.   Chemical Composition (i.e. NaCl, Au)
4.   Physical Propertie...
Property 1:  Color
 The least reliable property of minerals
 Some minerals have more than one color, and many 
  mineral...
Property 2:  Crystal Form 
 Crystal geometry:  cube, pyramid, tetrahedron, etc.
 External property
 Perfect form = RARE
Property 3:  Luster
 Describes light reflection from mineral surface
 Metallic (M): silver, gold, copper, steel
 Nonmet...
Property 4:  Hardness
 Mineralogist Friedrich Mohs
    (1773‐1839)
   Resistance to scratching
   Hard: scratch glass (...
Property 5:  Streak
 Streak: color of a mineral after it 
  is ground to a fine powder
 Use a streak plate
 CAUTION: st...
Property 6, 7:  Cleavage/Fracture
 Cleavage: minerals break (cleave) along surfaces
    Weak chemical bonds
    Cleavag...
Other Important Properties
 Reaction to HCl (calcite, powdered dolomite)
 Magnetism: magnetite
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Mineral Lecture

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Mineral Lecture

  1. 1. Properties Uses Identification
  2. 2. Definition 1. Naturally Occurring 2. Inorganic solid 3. Chemical Composition (i.e. NaCl, Au) 4. Physical Properties 5. Crystalline Structure (3‐D arrangement)
  3. 3. Property 1:  Color  The least reliable property of minerals  Some minerals have more than one color, and many  minerals may have the same color  Clarity: transparent, translucent, opaque
  4. 4. Property 2:  Crystal Form   Crystal geometry:  cube, pyramid, tetrahedron, etc.  External property  Perfect form = RARE
  5. 5. Property 3:  Luster  Describes light reflection from mineral surface  Metallic (M): silver, gold, copper, steel  Nonmetallic (NM): not metallic  Vitreous – glass  Waxy – candle  Pearly   Satiny  Earthy – dull, no reflection  Greasy – oily  Porcelaneous – translucent white
  6. 6. Property 4:  Hardness  Mineralogist Friedrich Mohs (1773‐1839)  Resistance to scratching  Hard: scratch glass (>5.5)  Soft: cannot scratch glass (<5.5)  Streak plate = 6.5
  7. 7. Property 5:  Streak  Streak: color of a mineral after it  is ground to a fine powder  Use a streak plate  CAUTION: streak plate has  hardness = 6.5 (white powder)  If >6.5, crush with hammer
  8. 8. Property 6, 7:  Cleavage/Fracture  Cleavage: minerals break (cleave) along surfaces  Weak chemical bonds  Cleavage direction: parallel surface of break  Fracture: break not along cleavage planes  Not flat, not parallel sets
  9. 9. Other Important Properties  Reaction to HCl (calcite, powdered dolomite)  Magnetism: magnetite

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