Minerals A mineral can be defined as a naturally occurring inorganic solid that possesses an orderly internal structure and a definite chemical composition. Some people, like physicists, might be guilty of picking up a rock and calling it a mineral. The term "rock" is less specific, referring to any solid mass of mineral or mineral-like material. Common rocks are often made up of crystals of several kinds of minerals. There are some substances, like opal, which have the appearance of a mineral but lack any definite internal structure, are sometimes called "mineraloids". Lutgens and Tarbuck give the following list of essential characteristics of a "mineral": It must occur naturally. It must be inorganic It must be a solid It must possess an orderly internal structure, that is, its atoms must be arranged in a definite pattern. It must have a definite chemical composition that may vary within specified limits." The most common minerals are the silicates, as one would guess by looking at the abundances of the elements in the Earth's crust, but there is a great variety of minerals. Minerals are classified in many ways, including hardness, optical properties, crystal structure, etc. Shipman, et al. comment that over 2000 minerals have been found in the Earth's crust, but that about 20 of them are common and fewer than 10 account for over 90% of the crust by mass. Non-silicates constitute less than 10% of the Earth's crust. The most common non-silicates are the carbonates, the oxides, and the sulfides. There are also naturally occuring phosphates and salts. There are a few elements which occur in pure form, including gold, silver, copper, bismuth, arsenic, lead and tellurium. Carbon is found in both graphite and diamond form. Some minerals are valued as gems because of their hardness, color and beauty. A Azurite Aquamarine Almandine Aragonite Artenite Anatase Aeschynite Arsenopyrite Andorite Acanthite Awaruite Alabandite Adamite Anglesite Andradite Anorthite Albite Antigorite Actinolite Aegirine Augite Amphibole Antigorite Actinolite Aegirine B Barite Beryl Bensonite Boracite Brucite Brookite Birnessite Bixbyite Bornite Boulangerite Berthierite Bournonite Betekhtinite Beudantite Bayldonite Buergerite Benitoite Betekhtinite Beudantite Bayldonite C Celestite Copper Calcite Callaghanite Chromite Cassiterite Cylindrite Carrollite Cubanite Clausthalite Chalcocite Chalcopyrite Chalcostibite Cuprite Cerussite Charoite Chrysotile Chondrodite Clintonite Cerussite D Dravite Danburite Diamond Dolomite Delafossite Dufrenoysite Dyscrasite Digenite Diopside Delafossite E Emerald Elbaite Epidote Emplectite Enargite Edenite Enstatite Epidote Emplectite Enargite F Feldspar Fluorite Ferroaxinite Fluorapatite Forsterite Fluorite Ferroaxinite Fluorapatite G Gypsum Gold Galena Garnet Goethite Gersdorffite Gratonite Glaucodot Germanite Grunerite Grossular Glaucophane Glaucodot Germanite Grunerite H Halite Hematite Hulsite Hibonite Hausmannite Hutchinsonite Hessite Hyalophane Hornblende Hedenbergite I Ilmenite J Jamesonite Jordanite Joaquinite K Krennerite Kermesite L Lepidocrocite Linnaeite Ludlockite Labradorite M Mica Malachite Millerite Magnetite Magnesite Montroydite Miargyrite Mimetite Margarite Muscovite Meionite Marialite Mimetite Margarite Muscovite N Nagyagite Neptunite O Olivine Olivenite Orthoclase P Pyrite Powellite Parisite Phosgenite Pyroaurite Plattnerite Pyrochroite Pyrolusite Pseudobrookite Plagionite Pyrargyrite Pyrrhotite Pyroxmangite Penninite Pyrophyllite Plagioclase Pyroxene Pyroxmangite Penninite Pyrophyllite Q Quartz R Rutile Rhodochrosite Ruby Romanechite Ramsdellite Reinerite Riebeckite Rhodonite Romanechite Ramsdellite S Stibnite Sulfur Silver Sapphire Scolecite Smithsonite Strontianite Siderite Szaibelyite Spinel Senarmontite Senaite Stephanite Sphalerite Semseyite Stibarsen Sperrylite Safflorite Scorodite Spessartine Serandite Sulfur Spodumene Scapolite Spessartine T Talc Turquoise Topaz Tetrahedrite Tennantite Tremolite Turquoise Topaz Tetrahedrite Tennantite U Ullmannite Uvite V Vanadinite Vivianite Valentinite Vesuvianite W Wulfenite Weloganite Witherite Wurtzite Willemite Wollastonite Wiluite Witherite Wurtzite Willemite Z Zircon Zinkenite Selection of common minerals Index References Lutgens & Tarbuck Ch 2 Shipman, et al. Ch 21 HyperPhysics*****GeophysicsR Nave Go Back Carbonates The carbonate ion (CO32-) can bond with a variety of other ions to produce the carbonate minerals. The bonding with calcium to form the mineral calcite produces one of the most abundant of the non-silicate minerals. All carbonates have the property of dissolving easily in acidic water. Carbonates Calcite Azurite Malachite Rhodochrosite Dolomite Smithsonite Strontianite Phosgenite Siderite Magnesite Weloganite Aragonite Pyroaurite Bensonite Witherite Callaghanite Artenite Cerussite Bensonite Witherite Minerals Index Reference Lutgens & Tarbuck Ch 2 HyperPhysics*****GeophysicsR Nave Go Back Oxides Oxygen, the most abundant element in the Earth's crust, bonds readily with a number of metallic ions to form the oxides. These oxides form important ores for the metal resources. Oxides Hematite Rutile Powellite Wulfenite Ruby Sapphire Plattnerite Spinel Brookite Anatase Pyrolusite Ilmenite Valentinite Magnetite Montroydite Romanechite Chromite Aeschynite Cassiterite Goethite Haussmanite Ramsdellite Bixbyite Senarmontite Senaite Minerals Index Reference Lutgens & Tarbuck Ch 2 HyperPhysics*****GeophysicsR Nave Go Back Sulfides and Sulfates Sulfur ions (S2- ) bind with a number of positive ions to form the sulfide minerals. Many of them are important ores for the ions to which they bind. Sulfides Galena Millerite Pyrite Emplectite Stibnite Jamesonite Stephanite Zinkenite Tetrahedrite Miargyrite Plagionite Sphalerite Bornite Enargite Pyrargyrite Jordanite Semseyite Cylindrite Nagyagite Boulangerite Gersdorffite Berthierite Bournonite Dufrenoysite Tennantite Arsenopyrite Andorite Betekhtinite Carrollite Gratonite Acanthite Ullmannite Glaucodot Wurtzite Cubanite Hutchinsonite Kermesite Glaucodot Digenite Pyrrhotite Linnaeite Chalcocite Chalcopyrite Chalcostibite Alabandite Germanite Chalcocite Chalcopyrite Chalcostibite Alabandite Sulfates Gypsum Barite Beudantite Celestite Anglesite Minerals Index Reference Lutgens & Tarbuck Ch 2 HyperPhysics*****GeophysicsR Nave Go Back Phosphates Phosphorous in the form of phosphate ions (PO43- ) binds with positive ions to form the phosphate minerals. Phosphates Vivianite Fluorapatite ... ... ... Minerals Index Reference Lutgens & Tarbuck Ch 2 HyperPhysics*****GeophysicsR Nave Go Back