What are Minerals

Though we realize it or not we are using objects made out of minerals in our daily life and consume mineral as well in the form of salt. Containers we use to eat and drink are made out of minerals. Silver jewelry we use as ornament to give a blend to our outlook is again mineral. Certainly, silver is a mineral and table salt is mineral halite. Transparent glass in which we consume liquids like water or juice is made out of mineral quartz. Scientists have recognized approximately 4000 minerals in Earth’s outer layer.

Defining mineral; it is a solid, inorganic substance occurring in nature. It has a explicit chemical formula and common composition. Some of the common examples for minerals are silver, tungsten, halite and quartz. Minerals vary in chemical composition and hence they differ in physical characteristics such as solid, crystalline structure and color. For example silver glitters and salt is white, rock is hard and glass is delicate. Just the way we describe the physical property of any costume with its texture, color and feel; minerals also possess physical properties. And minerals can be identified from their physical composition. Mineralogists identify minerals by studying its chemical composition and structure; however common people can identify mineral from its color and shape. The color of the powder of mineral is called “STREAK”. Diamond as a mineral has luster mineral property and this is how it stands royal in front of other minerals like gold or silver. Luster illustrates the way light reflects from the mineral surface. Minerals vary in their densities as well.

Minerals can be molded in different shapes and that is how gemstones look elegant with their shapes and shiny nature. And some of the unusual mineral properties are fluorescence, magnetism, radioactivity, reactivity and odor. To summarize minerals can be identified by its outlook and other compositions, color and luster. To identify any substance in nature as mineral should be naturally transpiring, inorganic or lifeless, crystalline solid and possess chemical composition. Arrangement of atoms in minerals are regular and hence this becomes an identification characteristic of mineral. Classifications of mineral groups are based upon their chemical composition. Hence, minerals alike in crystal structures are grouped as one. Otherwise, mineralogists find it typical to identify more than 4000 earthy minerals to classify as groups. Nevertheless, it is quite not possible to have entire list of minerals available in nature. An association that recognizes newly emerging minerals maintains database of minerals. Such an association is “International Mineralogical Association (IMA). IMA has classified mineral groups as silicates and non silicates.

Hence, Charles E Wilson states “Your future is still before you. Your land is a vast storehouse of mineral and agricultural wealth awaiting further development for the benefit of mankind. It potentialities are magnificent. There is no life for mankind without minerals.

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