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minerals

Properties of Minerals
Image: iStockphoto.com/Tajarja

Properties of Minerals

Color, shape, and hardness are some physical properties that help identify Earth’s minerals.

Of the thousands of minerals on Earth, only about a dozen are common in its crust. Examine how physical properties reveal a mineral's chemical makeup, and how its luster shines and tells.

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Rocks and Minerals

Rocks and Minerals

What's the difference between a rock and a mineral? How are minerals identified? And why should you care about any of these earthly elements? You'll find out here. More...

Article
GRe Net
Diamond Glow

Diamond Glow

Prized for their beauty and rarity, diamonds are expensive, but hard-to-spot fakes often sell for a lot, too. Discover how a diamond’s wavelength glow helps scientists distinguish the genuine from the phony. More...

Article
Science News for Students
Minerals Close-Up

Minerals Close-Up

From this small pile of rocks come some very common minerals. Take an up-close and careful look at them to discover more about their rocky origins. More...

Images
U.S. Geological Survey
Minerals: Photo Gallery

Minerals: Photo Gallery

Looking like starbursts, flowers, peas, and otherworldly forms, minerals show their variety of shapes and colors. Take a look, and be prepared to be wowed. More...

Images
National Geographic
Will Deep-Sea Mining Yield an Underwater Gold Rush?

Will Deep-Sea Mining Yield an Underwater Gold Rush?

There's gold — and copper, zinc, and other valuable minerals — in them thar...seafloor seams! Take a look at the roadblocks and risks of this fledgling deep-sea mining industry. More...

Interactive
National Geographic
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FYI: What’s the Softest Material on Earth?

FYI: What’s the Softest Material on Earth?

Diamonds are the hardest material on Earth, but what is the softest? It depends on how you define softness, but the Mohs scale of mineral hardness lists the mineral talc. More...

Article
Popular Science
Mineral Madness

Mineral Madness

Glowing green, blue, yellow, and red under ultraviolet light are fluorescent minerals. Watch “Rock Stars” to discover the reasons for the fluorescing. More...

Video
NPR/Science Friday
Minerals

Minerals

Investigate the essential characteristics of what it takes to be a mineral and then learn all about the great variety of many minerals — from acanthite to zunyite. More...

Article
HyperPhysics
Minerals A to Z

Minerals A to Z

More than just pretty pictures, here is where you can get a good look at all sorts of minerals, as well as search for them by their physical properties. More...

Images
Minerals.net
Minerals in Your House

Minerals in Your House

You might like to know that your toilet is made of minerals. Find out which ones go into this essential bathroom fixture and other common items around your house. More...

Interactive
Mineralogy4Kids.org
Minerals Song

Minerals Song

Care for a musical review of the properties of minerals? These beats don’t disappoint. More...

Video
Mr. Parr
The Learning Zone: Minerals

The Learning Zone: Minerals

You’re on your way to becoming a mineral detective once you master some defining characteristics. Look carefully at its properties and before long you’ll be able to identify almost any mineral. More...

Article
Oxford University
What Is the Hardness Scale for Minerals?

What Is the Hardness Scale for Minerals?

Friedrich Mohs selected 10 common minerals for his scale of mineral hardness. This video runs through them all. More...

Video
About.com

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