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Minerals

Allergy relief for children Email Facebook X. The Mineralw on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Health care providers may recommend supplements for people with certain medical conditions.

Mineraks are distinguished by various Minearls and physical properties. Differences in chemical composition and crystal structure Mineralw the various species. Mienrals a mineral species there Minerals be variation Mineralw physical properties or minor amounts of impurities that are recognized by mineralogists or Miinerals society Mineals a mineral variety.

For a more complete listing of all mineral names, see List of minerals recognized by the International Mineralogical Effective weight management. Article Minerals. Read Edit View history. Tools Tools, Minerals. What links here Related changes Upload file Citrus aurantium for energy pages Permanent link Page Minreals Cite this page Get shortened URL Download QR Minsrals Wikidata item.

Download Mango pineapple energy boost PDF Printable version. In other projects. Wikimedia Commons. List of minerals with Wikipedia articles.

Danalite Danburite Datolite Daubréeite Daubréelite Davemaoite Mnerals Dawsonite Delafossite Delvauxite Demesmaekerite Derriksite Descloizite Devilline Diaboleite Diadochite Mineraks Diaspore Dickite Fat loss strategies Dimorphite Diopside Dioptase Mineralz Djurleite Dmitryivanovite Dollaseite- Ce Dolomite Domeykite Donnayite- Y Doyleite Dresserite Drysdallite Duftite Dumortierite Dundasite Healing methods Dyscrasite Dzhalindite.

Mijerals Edingtonite Edscottite Efremovite Allergy relief for children Elaliite Elbaite type of multicoloured tourmaline Elkinstantonite Emmonsite Empressite Enargite Enstatite Eosphorite Mineras Epidote Epsomite Ericssonite Erionite series of Reducing fluid retention Erythrite Eskolaite Munerals Ettringite Ginseng root extract Euchroite Euclase Eucryptite Mjnerals Eudialyte group Euxenite- Y Eveite Evenkite Eveslogite.

Fabianite Farneseite Faujasite subgroup of zeolites Faustite Fayalite olivine Minerwls Feldspar mineral Effective weight management Feldspathoid Munerals group Felsőbányaite Fengchengite eudialyte group Ferberite Fergusonite Mineraals group Effective weight management Ferrierite subgroup of Allergy relief for children minerals IMnerals Ferrimolybdite Ferro-actinolite Ferrogedrite Allergy relief for children Minerala group Ferronigerite-2N1S Mineralw Ferroselite Fettelite Fichtelite Fingerite Fletcherite Fluckite Fluellite Fluoborite Fluocerite Fluor-buergerite Fluor-liddicoatite Fluor-uvite Fluorapatite apatite MMinerals Fluorapophyllite - K Fluorcanasite Fluorcaphite Fluorellestadite Fluorite Fluororichterite Minerqls group Fontarnauite Fornacite Forsterite olivine group Fougèrite layered double hydroxide Fourmarierite Fraipontite Minrrals Franckeite Frankamenite Frankdicksonite Frankhawthorneite Franklinite Minerqls group Franklinphilite Freibergite Freieslebenite Fukuchilite.

Gabrielite Gadolinite mineral group Minerls Ce Gahnite Galaxite Galena Galkhaite Effective weight management Ganophyllite Garnet mineral group Gaspeite Gatehouseite Gaylussite Minrals Geerite Gehlenite Geigerite Minerals Gembone Geocronite Georgerobinsonite Germanite Gersdorffite Getchellite Gibbsite Gilalite Gismondine Glauberite Glaucochroite Glaucodot Carb counting for dietary needs Glaucophane Gmelinite Godovikovite Goethite Gold Goldmanite Gonnardite Gordaite Mineerals Goslarite Graftonite Grandidierite Grandreefite Garlic essential oil Gratonite Minetals Greenockite Gregoryite Greifensteinite Greigite Grossite Grossular Groutite Grunerite Guettardite Gugiaite Guilleminite Gunningite Guyanaite Mineral Gypsum.

Hafnon Hagendorfite Haggertyite Munerals Haiweeite Håleniusite- La Halite Halloysite Halotrichite Hambergite Hanksite Hapkeite Hardystonite Harmotome Hauerite Digestion support catechins Hauyne Hawleyite Haxonite Hazenite Heazlewoodite Hectorite Hedenbergite Mijerals Hematite Hemihedrite Hemimorphite Minerqls Hendricksite Heptasartorite Herbertsmithite Hercynite Herderite Hermannjahnite Hessite Heulandite series of zeolites Hexaferrum Hiärneite Hibonite Hidalgoite Hilgardite Hisingerite Hodgkinsonite Hoelite Hollandite Holmquistite Homilite Hopeite Hornblende series of amphiboles Howlite Hsianghualite Hubeite Hübnerite Huemulite Humite Huntite Hureaulite Hutchinsonite Huttonite Hydroboracite Hydrogrossular series of garnets Hydrohalite Hydrokenoelsmoreite Hydromagnesite Hydrotalcite Hydroxylapatite Hydrozincite.

Ianbruceite Ichnusaite Icosahedrite Idrialite Ikaite Illite Ilmenite Ilsemannite Ilvaite Imogolite Inderite Indite Indium Inesite Inyoite Iodargyrite Iranite Iridium Iron Ixiolite.

Jacobsite Jadarite Jadeite Jaffeite Jalpaite Jamesonite Janggunite Jarosewichite Jarosite Jennite Jeremejevite Jerrygibbsite Jimthompsonite Johannite Johannsenite Jôkokuite Jolliffeite Jonesite Jordanite Julgoldite Junitoite Jurbanite. Kaatialaite Kadyrelite Kaersutite Kainite Kainosite- Y Kalininite Kalinite Kalsilite Kamacite Kambaldaite Kamiokite Kampfite Kaňkite Kanoite Kaolinite Karlite Kasolite Kassite Katayamalite Kazakovite Kegelite Keilite Kenhsuite Kermesite Kernite Kesterite Keyite Khatyrkite Kidwellite Kieserite Kinoite Kleinite Knebelite Knorringite Kobellite Kochite Kogarkoite Kolbeckite Kornerupine Kosmochlor Kostovite Köttigite Kovdorskite Kratochvílite Kremersite Krennerite Krieselite Kröhnkite Krotite Kruťaite Krutovite Kukharenkoite- Ce Kuratite Kurnakovite Kutnohorite Kyanite.

Labradorite Lanarkite Langbeinite Langite Lansfordite Lanthanite group of rare earth carbonates Laplandite- Ce Larnite Laumontite Laurionite Laurite Lautenthalite Lautite Lavendulan Lawsonite Lazulite Lazurite Lead Leadhillite Legrandite Leifite Leightonite Lepidocrocite Lepidolite Letovicite Leucite Leucophanite Leucophoenicite Lévyne series of zeolites Libethenite Liebigite Linarite Lindgrenite Linnaeite Lipscombite Liroconite Litharge Lithiophilite Livingstonite Lizardite Loellingite Lonsdaleite Loparite- Ce Lópezite Lorándite Lorenzenite Loveringite Ludlamite Ludwigite Lulzacite Lyonsite.

Nabalamprophyllite Nabesite Nacrite Nadorite Nagyágite Nahcolite Naldrettite Nambulite Narsarsukite Natrolite Natron Natrophilite Nekrasovite Nelenite Nenadkevichite Nepheline Népouite Neptunite Nichromite Nickel Nickeline Niedermayrite Niningerite Nissonite Niter Nitratine Nobleite Nontronite Norbergite Normandite Northupite Nosean Nsutite Nuragheite Nyerereite.

Okenite Oldhamite Olgite Olivenite Olivine a group of silicate minerals Olmiite Omphacite Oneillite Oosterboschite Oppenheimerite Ordóñezite Oregonite Orpiment Orthoclase Osarizawaite Osmium Osumilite Otavite Ottrelite Otwayite. Qingsongite Quartz Quenstedtite Quetzalcoatlite Quintinite Qusongite.

Rakovanite Rambergite Rameauite Rammelsbergite Rapidcreekite Raslakite Raspite Rastsvetaevite Realgar Reederite- Y Reedmergnerite Reidite Reinerite Renierite Rheniite Rhodium Rhodochrosite Rhodonite Rhodplumsite Rhomboclase Richterite Rickardite Riebeckite Ringwoodite Roaldite Robertsite Rodalquilarite Romanèchite Romeite Rosasite Roscoelite Roselite Rosenbergite Rosickýite Routhierite Rozenite Rubicline Ruizite Russellite Ruthenium Rutherfordine Rutile Rynersonite.

Taaffeite Tachyhydrite Taenite Taikanite Talc Talmessite Talnakhite Tamarugite Tangeite Tantalite Tantite Tapiolite mineral series Taranakite Tarapacaite Tarbuttite Tausonite Teallite Tellurite Tellurium Tellurobismuthite Temagamite Tennantite Tenorite Tephroite Terlinguaite Teruggite Tetradymite Tetrahedrite Tetrataenite Thaumasite Thenardite Thermonatrite Thiospinel group Thomasclarkite- Y Thomsenolite Thomsonite series of zeolites Thorianite Thorite Thortveitite Tiemannite Tienshanite Tilleyite Tin Tinaksite Tincalconite Titanite Titanium Titanowodginite Tobermorite Todorokite Tokyoite Tongbaite Topaz Torbernite Tourmaline group of silicate minerals Tranquillityite Tremolite Trevorite Tridymite Triphylite Triplite Triploidite Tripuhyite Troilite Trona Tschermakite Tschermigite Tsumcorite Tsumebite Tugtupite Tungsten Tungstite Tuperssuatsiaite Turquoise Tusionite Tyrolite Tyrrellite Tyuyamunite.

Uralite alteration actinolite Uchucchacuaite Uklonskovite Ulexite Ullmannite Ulrichite Ulvöspinel Umangite Umbite Umohoite Upalite Uraninite Uranocircite -II Uranophane Uranopilite Urea Uricite Urusovite Ussingite Utahite Uvarovite Uytenbogaardtite.

Vaesite Valentinite Valleriite Vanadinite Vanadiocarpholite Vanadium Vandenbrandeite Vantasselite Vanuralite Variscite Vaterite Vauquelinite Vauxite Veatchite Vermiculite Vesuvianite Villiaumite Violarite Vishnevite Vivianite Vladimirite Vlasovite Volborthite Vuagnatite Vulcanite.

Wadsleyite Wagnerite Wairakite Wakabayashilite Wakefieldite Walfordite Wardite Warikahnite Warwickite Wassonite Water as solid Wattersite Wavellite Weddellite Weeksite Weilite Weissite Weloganite Whewellite Whiteite group of minerals Whitlockite Willemite Wiluite Witherite Wodginite Wolframite Wollastonite Woodhouseite Wöhlerite Wulfenite Wurtzite Wüstite Wyartite.

Xanthiosite Xanthoconite Xanthoxenite Xenophyllite Xenotime Xiangjiangite Xieite Xifengite Xilingolite Ximengite Xingzhongite Xitieshanite Xocolatlite Xocomecatlite Xonotlite. Ye'elimite Yingjiangite Yoshiokaite Yttrialite Yttrogummite Yttropyrochlore- Y obruchevite Yugawaralite Yuksporite.

Zabuyelite Zaccagnaite Zaherite Zaïrite Zakharovite Zanazziite Zaratite Zavaritskite Zektzerite Zellerite Zemannite Zeolite group of silicate minerals Zeunerite Zhanghengite Zhangpeishanite Zharchikhite Zhemchuzhnikovite Ziesite Zimbabweite Zincite Zinclipscombite Zincmelanterite Zincobotryogen Zincochromite Zincolivenite Zinkenite Zinnwaldite Zippeite Zircon Zirconolite Zircophyllite Zirkelite Znucalite Zoisite Zorite Zunyite Zussmanite Zykaite.

Chemical gardening — Demonstration of metallic salts crystallization Pages displaying short descriptions of redirect targets Classification of minerals — method of classifying minerals. Use Q for a particular class or grouping of minerals Pages displaying wikidata descriptions as a fallback Classification of non-silicate minerals — List of IMA recognized minerals and groupings Classification of silicate minerals — List of IMA recognized minerals and groupings Classification of organic minerals — List of IMA recognized minerals and groupings Industrial mineral — Geological materials mined for commercial value in industry Critical mineral raw materials List of decorative stones List of individual gemstones List of meteorite minerals List of minerals named after people List of minerals recognized by the International Mineralogical Association List of mineral tests List of minerals by optical properties Mineral collecting — Hobby of systematically collecting, identifying and displaying mineral specimens Timeline of the discovery and classification of minerals.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Minerals. Categories : Minerals Mineralogy Geology-related lists. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Pages displaying short descriptions of redirect targets via Module:Annotated link Pages displaying wikidata descriptions as a fallback via Module:Annotated link Commons category link is on Wikidata.

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: Minerals

Precious metals and other important minerals for health

Double chain structure Amphiboles are composed of iron, magnesium, aluminum, and other cations bonded with silica tetrahedra. These dark ferromagnesian minerals are commonly found in gabbro, baslt, diorite , and often form the black specks in granite.

Their chemical formula is very complex and generally written as RSi 4 O 11 2 , where R represents many different cations. For example, it can also be written more exactly as AX 2 Z 5 Si,Al,Ti 8 O 22 OH,F,Cl,O 2. In this formula A may be Ca, Na, K, Pb, or blank; X equals Li, Na, Mg, Fe, Mn, or Ca; and Z is Li, Na, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Co, Ni, Al, Cr, Mn, V, Ti, or Zr.

The substitutions create a wide variety of colors such as green, black, colorless, white, yellow, blue, or brown. Amphibole crystals can also include hydroxide ions OH — , which occurs from an interaction between the growing minerals and water dissolved in magma.

Sheet silicates are built from tetrahedra which share all three of their bottom corner oxygens thus forming sheets of tetrahedra with their top corners available for bonding with other atoms. Micas and clays are common types of sheet silicates , also known as phyllosilicates.

Mica minerals are usually found in igneous and metamorphic rocks, while clay minerals are more often found in sedimentary rocks.

Two frequently found micas are dark-colored biotite , frequently found in granite, and light-colored muscovite , found in the metamorphic rock called schist.

Chemically, sheet silicates usually contain silicon and oxygen in a ratio Si 4 O Micas contain mostly silica, aluminum, and potassium.

Biotite mica has more iron and magnesium and is considered a ferromagnesian silicate mineral. Muscovite micas belong to the felsic silicate minerals. Felsic is a contraction formed from feldspar, the dominant mineral in felsic rocks.

The illustration of the crystalline structure of mica shows the corner O atoms bonded with K, Al, Mg, Fe, and Si atoms, forming polymerized sheets of linked tetrahedra, with an octahedral layer of Fe, Mg, or Al, between them.

The yellow potassium ions form Van der Waals bonds attraction and repulsion between atoms, molecules, and surfaces and hold the sheets together. Van der Waals bonds differ from covalent and ionic bonds, and exist here between the sandwiches, holding them together into a stack of sandwiches.

The Van der Waals bonds are weak compared to the bonds within the sheets, allowing the sandwiches to be separated along the potassium layers. This gives mica its characteristic property of easily cleaving into sheets. Clays minerals occur in sediments formed by the weathering of rocks and are another family of silicate minerals with a tetrahedral sheet structure.

Clay minerals form a complex family, and are an important component of many sedimentary rocks. Other sheet silicates include serpentine and chlorite, found in metamorphic rocks.

Clay minerals are composed of hydrous aluminum silicates. One type of clay, kaolinite, has a structure like an open-faced sandwich, with the bread being a single layer of silicon-oxygen tetrahedra and a layer of aluminum as the spread in an octahedral configuration with the top oxygens of the sheets.

Quartz crystals Quartz and feldspar are the two most abundant minerals in the continental crust. There are two types of feldspar, one containing potassium and abundant in felsic rocks of the continental crust , and the other with sodium and calcium abundant in the mafic rocks of oceanic crust.

Together with quartz, these minerals are classified as framework silicates. They are built with a three-dimensional framework of silica tetrahedra in which all four corner oxygens are shared with adjacent tetrahedra. Within these frameworks in feldspar are holes and spaces into which other ions like aluminum, potassium, sodium, and calcium can fit giving rise to a variety of mineral compositions and mineral names.

Feldspars are usually found in igneous rocks, such as granite, rhyolite , and basalt as well as metamorphic rocks and detrital sedimentary rocks. Detrital sedimentary rocks are composed of mechanically weathered rock particles, like sand and gravel.

Quartz is especially abundant in detrital sedimentary rocks because it is very resistant to disintegration by weathering. Pink orthoclase crystals Quartz is composed of pure silica, SiO 2 , with the tetrahedra arranged in a three dimensional framework. Impurities consisting of atoms within this framework give rise to many varieties of quartz among which are gemstones like amethyst, rose quartz , and citrine.

Feldspars are mostly silicon, oxygen, aluminum, potassium, sodium, and calcium. Orthoclase feldspar KAlSi 3 O 8 , also called potassium feldspar or K-spar, is made of silica, aluminum, and potassium. Quartz and orthoclase feldspar are felsic minerals.

Felsic is the compositional term applied to continental igneous minerals and rocks that contain an abundance of silica. Another feldspar is plagioclase with the formula Ca,Na AlSi 3 O 8 , the solid solution Ca,Na indicating a series of minerals, one end of the series with calcium CaAl 2 Si 2 O 8 , called anorthite, and the other end with sodium NaAlSi 3 O 8 , called albite.

Minerals in this solid solution series have different mineral names. Note that aluminum, which has a similar ionic size to silicon, can substitute for silicon inside the tetrahedra see figure.

Framework silicates are called tectosilicates and include the alkali metal-rich feldspathoids and zeolites. Hanksite, Na22K SO4 9 CO3 2Cl, one of the few minerals that is considered a member of two groups: carbonate and sulfate The crystal structure of non-silicate minerals see table does not contain silica-oxygen tetrahedra.

Many non- silicate minerals are economically important and provide metallic resources such as copper, lead, and iron. They also include valuable non-metallic products such as salt, construction materials, and fertilizer.

Common non-silicate mineral groups. Calcite CaCO 3 and dolomite CaMg CO 3 2 are the two most frequently occurring carbonate minerals , and usually occur in sedimentary rocks, such as limestone and dolostone rocks, respectively.

Some carbonate rocks, such calcite and dolomite, are formed via evaporation and precipitation. However, most carbonate -rich rocks, such as limestone, are created by the lithification of fossilized marine organisms. These organisms, including those we can see and many microscopic organisms, have shells or exoskeletons consisting of calcium carbonate CaCO 3.

When these organisms die, their remains accumulate on the floor of the water body in which they live and the soft body parts decompose and dissolve away. The calcium carbonate hard parts become included in the sediments , eventually becoming the sedimentary rock called limestone.

While limestone may contain large, easy to see fossils, most limestones contain the remains of microscopic creatures and thus originate from biological processes. Calcite crystals show an interesting property called birefringence , meaning they polarize light into two wave components vibrating at right angles to each other.

As the two light waves pass through the crystal, they travel at different velocities and are separated by refraction into two different travel paths.

In other words, the crystal produces a double image of objects viewed through it. Because they polarize light, calcite crystals are used in special petrographic microscopes for studying minerals and rocks.

Many non- silicate minerals are referred to as salts. The term salts used here refers to compounds made by replacing the hydrogen in natural acids. The most abundant natural acid is carbonic acid that forms by the solution of carbon dioxide in water.

Calcite and a closely related polymorph aragonite are secreted by organisms to form shells and physical structures like corals. Many such creatures draw both calcium and carbonate from dissolved bicarbonate ions HCO 3 — in ocean water.

As seen in the mineral identification section below, calcite is easily dissolved in acid and thus effervesces in dilute hydrochloric acid HCl. Small dropper bottles of dilute hydrochloric acid are often carried by geologists in the field as well as used in mineral identification labs. Note that some water molecules are also included in the gypsum crystal.

Salts are often formed by evaporation and are called evaporite minerals. The figure shows the crystal structure of calcite CaCO 3. Like silicon, carbon has four valence electrons.

The carbonate unit consists of carbon atoms tiny white dots covalently bonded to three oxygen atoms red , one oxygen sharing two valence electrons with the carbon and the other two sharing one valence electron each with the carbon, thus creating triangular units with a charge of After carbonates, the next most common non-silicate minerals are the oxides , halides, and sulfides.

Oxides consist of metal ions covalently bonded with oxygen. The most familiar oxide is rust, which is a combination of iron oxides Fe 2 O 3 and hydrated oxides. Hydrated oxides form when iron is exposed to oxygen and water.

Iron oxides are important for producing metallic iron. When iron oxide or ore is smelted, it produces carbon dioxide CO 2 and metallic iron. The red color in rocks is usually due to the presence of iron oxides. For example, the red sandstone cliffs in Zion National Park and throughout Southern Utah consist of white or colorless grains of quartz coated with iron oxide which serve as cementing agents holding the grains together.

Oolitic hematite Other iron oxides include limonite, magnetite, and hematite. Hematite occurs in many different crystal forms.

The massive form shows no external structure. Botryoidal hematite shows large concentric blobs. Specular hematite looks like a mass of shiny metallic crystals. Oolitic hematite looks like a mass of dull red fish eggs. These different forms of hematite are polymorphs and all have the same formula, Fe 2 O 3.

The halides consist of halogens in column VII, usually fluorine or chlorine, ionically bonded with sodium or other cations. These include halite or sodium chloride NaCl , common table salt; sylvite or potassium chloride KCl ; and fluorite or calcium fluoride CaF 2.

Halide minerals usually form from the evaporation of sea water or other isolated bodies of water. A well-known example of halide mineral deposits created by evaporation is the Bonneville Salt Flats, located west of the Great Salt Lake in Utah see figure. Cubic crystals of pyrite Many important metal ores are sulfides, in which metals are bonded to sulfur.

Sulfides are well known for being important ore minerals. For example, galena is the main source of lead, sphalerite is the main source of zinc, and chalcopyrite is the main copper ore mineral mined in porphyry deposits like the Bingham mine see chapter The largest sources of nickel, antimony, molybdenum, arsenic, and mercury are also sulfides.

Sulfate minerals contain a metal ion, such as calcium, bonded to a sulfate ion. The sulfate ion is a combination of sulfur and oxygen SO 4 — 2. The sulfate mineral gypsum CaSO 4 ᐧ2H 2 O is used in construction materials such as plaster and drywall.

Gypsum is often formed from evaporating water and usually contains water molecules in its crystalline structure. The ᐧ2H 2 O in the formula indicates the water molecules are whole H 2 O.

The calcium sulfate without water is a different mineral than gypsum called anhydrite CaSO 4. Phosphate minerals have a tetrahedral phosphate unit PO 4 -3 combined with various anions and cations.

In some cases arsenic or vanadium can substitute for phosphorus. Phosphates are an important ingredient of fertilizers as well as detergents, paint, and other products. The best known phosphate mineral is apatite, Ca 5 PO 4 3 F,Cl,OH , variations of which are found in teeth and bones.

The gemstone turquoise [CuAl 6 PO 4 4 OH 8 ·4H2O ] is a copper-rich phosphate mineral that, like gypsum , contains water molecules.

Native element minerals , usually metals, occur in nature in a pure or nearly pure state. Gold is an example of a native element mineral ; it is not very reactive and rarely bonds with other elements so it is usually found in an isolated or pure state. The non- metallic and poorly-reactive mineral carbon is often found as a native element , such as graphite and diamonds.

Mildly reactive metals like silver, copper, platinum, mercury, and sulfur sometimes occur as native element minerals.

Reactive metals such as iron, lead, and aluminum almost always bond to other elements and are rarely found in a native state. Geologists identify minerals by their physical properties. In the field, where geologists may have limited access to advanced technology and powerful machines, they can still identify minerals by testing several physical properties: luster and color, streak , hardness , crystal habit, cleavage and fracture , and some special properties.

Of the several properties used for identifying minerals , it is good to consider which will be most useful for identifying them in small grains surrounded by other minerals. The first thing to notice about a mineral is its surface appearance, specifically luster and color. Luster describes how the mineral looks.

Metallic luster looks like a shiny metal such as chrome, steel, silver, or gold. Submetallic luster has a duller appearance. Pewter, for example, shows submetallic luster. Nonmetallic minerals may be shiny, although their vitreous shine is different from metallic luster.

See the table for descriptions and examples of nonmetallic luster. Kaolin specimen showing dull or earthy luster. Azurite is ALWAYS a dark blue color, and has been used for centuries for blue pigment. Surface color may be helpful in identifying minerals, although it can be quite variable within the same mineral family.

Mineral colors are affected by the main elements as well as impurities in the crystals. These impurities may be rare elements —like manganese, titanium, chromium, or lithium—even other molecules that are not normally part of the mineral formula. For example, the incorporation of water molecules gives quartz , which is normally clear, a milky color.

Some minerals predominantly show a single color. Malachite and azurite are green and blue, respectively, because of their copper content. Other minerals have a predictable range of colors due to elemental substitutions, usually via a solid solution.

Other minerals also come in several colors, influenced by trace amounts of several elements. The same element may show up as different colors, in different minerals. With notable exceptions, color is usually not a definitive property of minerals.

For identifying many minerals. a more reliable indicator is streak, which is the color of the powdered mineral. Streak examines the color of a powdered mineral, and can be seen when a mineral sample is scratched or scraped on an unglazed porcelain streak plate.

A paper page in a field notebook may also be used for the streak of some minerals. Minerals that are harder than the streak plate will not show streak , but will scratch the porcelain.

For these minerals , a streak test can be obtained by powdering the mineral with a hammer and smearing the powder across a streak plate or notebook paper. While mineral surface colors and appearances may vary, their streak colors can be diagnostically useful. An example of this property is seen in the iron-oxide mineral hematite.

Hematite occurs in a variety of forms, colors and lusters, from shiny metallic silver to earthy red-brown, and different physical appearances. A hematite streak is consistently reddish brown, no matter what the original specimen looks like.

Iron sulfide or pyrite, is a brassy metallic yellow. Hardness measures the ability of a mineral to scratch other substances. The Mohs Hardness Scale gives a number showing the relative scratch-resistance of minerals when compared to a standardized set of minerals of increasing hardness.

The Mohs scale was developed by German geologist Fredrick Mohs in the early 20th century, although the idea of identifying minerals by hardness goes back thousands of years. The figure shows the minerals associated with specific hardness values, together with some common items readily available for use in field testing and mineral identification.

The hardness values run from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest; however, the scale is not linear. Diamond defines a hardness of 10 and is actually about four times harder than corundum, which is 9.

A steel pocketknife blade, which has a hardness value of 5. Minerals can be identified by crystal habit , how their crystals grow and appear in rocks. Crystal shapes are determined by the arrangement of the atoms within the crystal structure. For example, a cubic arrangement of atoms gives rise to a cubic-shaped mineral crystal.

Crystal habit refers to typically observed shapes and characteristics; however, they can be affected by other minerals crystallizing in the same rock. When minerals are constrained so they do not develop their typical crystal habit , they are called anhedral. Subhedral crystals are partially formed shapes.

For some minerals characteristic crystal habit is to grow crystal faces even when surrounded by other crystals in rock. An example is garnet. Minerals grown freely where the crystals are unconstrained and can take characteristic shapes often form crystal faces. A euhedral crystal has a perfectly formed, unconstrained shape.

Some minerals crystallize in such tiny crystals, they do not show a specific crystal habit to the naked eye. Other minerals , like pyrite, can have an array of different crystal habits, including cubic, dodecahedral, octahedral, and massive. The table lists typical crystal habits of various minerals.

Cubic crystals of galena. Sheet crystals of muscovite. Hexagonal hanksite. Limonite, a hydrated oxide of iron. Calcite crystal in shape of rhomb. Twinned staurolite Gypsum with striations Another crystal habit that may be used to identify minerals is striations, which are dark and light parallel lines on a crystal face.

Twinning is another, which occurs when the crystal structure replicates in mirror images along certain directions in the crystal. Striations and twinning are related properties in some minerals including plagioclase feldspar.

Striations are optical lines on a cleavage surface. Because of twinning in the crystal, striations show up on one of the two cleavage faces of the plagioclase crystal. Minerals often show characteristic patterns of breaking along specific cleavage planes or show characteristic fracture patterns.

Cleavage planes are smooth, flat, parallel planes within the crystal. The cleavage planes may show as reflective surfaces on the crystal, as parallel cracks that penetrate into the crystal, or show on the edge or side of the crystal as a series of steps like rice terraces.

Cleavage arises in crystals where the atomic bonds between atomic layers are weaker along some directions than others, meaning they will break preferentially along these planes. Because they develop on atomic surfaces in the crystal, cleavage planes are optically smooth and reflect light, although the actual break on the crystal may appear jagged or uneven.

In such cleavages, the cleavage surface may appear like rice terraces on a mountainside that all reflect sunlight from a particular sun angle. Some minerals have a strong cleavage, some minerals only have weak cleavage or do not typically demonstrate cleavage.

The book can be purchased from the Linus Pauling Institute or Thieme Medical Publishers. Donate to the MIC. Get Updates from the Institute. Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State University Linus Pauling Science Center Corvallis, Oregon phone: fax: email: [email protected].

For media contact information. In a way, iron ores are fossils, so all iron and steel we use are made from fossils. Iron is commonly used in different compound with carbon and silicon. Different ratios of the other elements determine its physical properties, which vary between cast iron, as in the frying pan, and steel, as in the reusable coffee cup.

Aluminum is found naturally as bauxite, made of aluminum bonded with water. Purifying bauxite used to be expensive and slow, so aluminum was a rare and valuable metal in the 18th and 19th centuries.

That's why the top of the Washington monument was covered in aluminum -- it was like covering it in silver! Since the late s, aluminum ore has been purified using electricity, and it has become cheap and plentiful. Benjamin Franklin would think we all live like kings if he knew that we casually drink out of aluminum cans and use aluminum foil to save our leftovers.

This shelf features silver and gold, sister elements to copper. On the periodic table they're all in the same column, and that reflects the similar structures of their atoms, which give them similar chemical properties. They're all good conductors of both heat and electricity.

Gold and silver are actually better conductors than copper, which is why they're used in high-end electronic devices, like cell phones and some audio equipment. They're rarer than copper, too, which is why gold and silver jewelry is more valuable and why they're used more often for decoration than for their electrical properties.

Gold is most often found as a pure element in nature, but silver is often found both in its pure form and in ores. This shelf features mercury and lead, two important dense metals.

Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature, which is why it has been used for so long in thermometers. As the metal expands and contracts in response to the temperature, it moves up and down the thin tube, and allowing the temperature to be read.

Elemental mercury is poisonous, producing mental and coordination problems, so people have moved away from mercury thermometers and other everyday uses. Mercury is not found as a pure element in nature. It is mined from mercury ores, such as cinnabar also called vermilion.

Cinnabar is composed of mercury and sulfur and has been used as a red pigment since ancient times. Lead is a very dense, very soft metal and has a low melting point, which allows it to be easily formed.

Its density and easy of forming have made it the most common metal for bullets since the origin of firearms. It has also been used for fishing weights, as illustrated here.

Its density is so great that it is used as a radiation shield. We most often see it in dentists' offices in the lead apron we wear to protect us from X-rays, but it is also used to shield nuclear reactors because it can capture any stray radiation before it enters the environment.

Lead is, like mercury, poisonous, so it is beginning to fall out of everyday use. Its most common use today is in the lead-acid batteries found in automobiles.

Lead is found in nature most often as galena, a compound with sulfur. The concrete that makes up most of the urban landscape is actually an artificial reconstruction of a naturally occurring rock, conglomerate.

To make concrete, we mix sand and gravel, with cement. Cement is created by heating ground limestone with other minerals. When hot enough, the limestone releases carbon dioxide and becomes quicklime, the primary ingredient in cement.

When the quicklime in cement reacts with water, it forms a stable crystal: this is what happens when concrete 'dries'.

The process of making cement from limestone releases carbon dioxide, consequently, the cement industry is second only to power production in the release of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.

When we describe oil and coal as fossil fuels, we mean it: they are produced by the cooking of decomposed plant and animal matter deep in the earth's crust over many millions of years.

Fossil fuels are a form of solar power: they are energy from the sun trapped by plants millions of years ago. Oil is formed in oil shales, but once it becomes liquid it tends to rise until it is trapped in a porous reservoir rock, like the ones shown here. Drilling into the reservoirs releases the oil for human use.

Finding oil is a tricky proposition, combining the science of geology with the art of imagining where the oil would flow within the crust.

Coal is simply the remains of woody plants that died in swampy conditions and was cooked down into a solid mass.

Minerals | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University

Milk and milk products; canned fish with bones salmon, sardines ; fortified tofu and fortified soy beverage; greens broccoli, mustard greens ; legumes.

Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, meats, breads, and vegetables. Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health.

Nuts and seeds, legumes, leafy green vegetables, seafood, chocolate, artichokes, "hard" drinking water. Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance.

Part of a molecule hemoglobin found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism. Organ meats, red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish especially clams , egg yolks, legumes, dried fruits, dark leafy greens, iron-enriched breads and cereals, and fortified cereals.

Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system health.

Works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar glucose levels. Part of many enzymes ; needed for iron metabolism. Other trace minerals known to be essential in tiny amounts include nickel, silicon, vanadium, and cobalt.

Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator. Author: Healthwise Staff. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

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ca Network. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. Main Content Related to Conditions Healthy Eating. Important Phone Numbers. Topic Contents Overview Related Information Credits.

Top of the page. Overview Some minerals are essential to your health. Essential minerals Major minerals Mineral What it does Where it's found Sodium Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.

Calcium Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important for nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure. Chloride Needed for proper fluid balance, stomach acid.

Magnesium Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health. Phosphorus Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance.

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk. But they're more precious for the global economy than for human health. Instead, other metals and minerals metals are one type of mineral are more important for our health see "What essential metals do for us". Indeed, some of them are so important that we can't live without them.

It may take just a very small quantity of a particular mineral, but having too much or too little can upset a delicate balance in the body," says Dr. Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Many metals are used to make strong and durable everyday objects, like copper pipes or iron skillets. But they don't form such strong and durable objects in our bodies. Instead, many essential metals are needed to activate enzymes — molecules with important jobs in the body. And metals have many other essential roles as well.

For example:. Calcium builds bones and teeth; activates enzymes throughout the body; helps regulate blood pressure; and helps muscles to contract, nerves to send messages, and blood to clot.

Chromium helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and helps cells draw energy from blood sugar. Copper assists with metabolizing fuel, making red blood cells, regulating neurotransmitters, and mopping up free radicals. Iron helps make hemoglobin the oxygen-carrying chemical in the body's red blood cells and myoglobin a protein in muscle cells.

Iron is essential for activating certain enzymes and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Magnesium, like calcium, builds bones and teeth. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar and enables muscles to contract, nerves to send messages, blood to clot, and enzymes to work.

Manganese helps form bones and helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Molybdenum activates several enzymes that break down toxins and prevents the buildup of harmful sulfites in the body.

Potassium balances fluids in the body, helps to maintain a steady heartbeat and to make muscles contract, and may benefit bones and blood pressure. Sodium balances fluids in the body, helps send nerve impulses, and helps make muscles contract.

Zinc helps blood clot, helps make proteins and DNA, bolsters the immune system, and helps with wound healing and cell division. Essential minerals — that is, those necessary for human health — are classified into two equally important groups: major minerals and trace minerals.

The major minerals, which are used and stored in large quantities in the body, are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The trace minerals are just as vital to our health as the major minerals, but we don't need large amounts.

Minerals in this category include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.

We don't manufacture essential minerals in the body. We get them from our diet. The minerals come from rocks, soil, and water, and they're absorbed as the plants grow or by animals as the animals eat the plants.

Fresh foods aren't our only source of dietary minerals, however. Some processed foods, like breakfast cereal, may be fortified with minerals. And if you walk into any drugstore or look online, you'll see endless options for mineral supplements in the form of pills, powders, and chewables.

Bistrian says that when you eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, dairy products, and unsaturated fats like olive oil , you're likely consuming all the healthy minerals you need.

You probably don't need to pay attention to your daily intake. For example, adequate intake of manganese is 1. It's fairly easy to meet those goals with half a cup of cooked spinach 0. The same is true for many dietary minerals, like chromium, copper, molybdenum, sodium, and zinc; eating a healthy diet should cover your needs.

Deficiency is common in older adults, especially in women and in people who eat few dairy products. A lack of calcium in the body increases the risk for brittle bones and fractures. Women lose a lot of iron when they pass menstrual blood, and their bodies can become deficient in iron.

Another cause of iron deficiency is less well known. Bistrian says. Low iron levels can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. In this condition, there are too few red blood cells, and the red blood cells are too small.

That makes it harder for the blood to carry oxygen to organs. And magnesium also is commonly lacking in people with diseases that cause diarrhea," Dr.

Most older adults take in only about half to three-quarters of the potassium they should, according to the Department of Agriculture. A low-potassium, high-sodium diet is thought to contribute to high blood pressure.

If you fall into any of those high-risk categories, you may want to make a concerted effort to consume enough healthy minerals see "Gold-medal sources of dietary minerals". These are the recommended targets for the minerals in which people are most likely to be deficient:.

Calcium: Men need 1, mg per day until age 70, and 1, mg after that. Women ages 51 or older need 1, mg of calcium per day. Iron: 8 mg per day for adult men and for women starting at age 50 or whenever menstruation ends. Magnesium: mg per day for men 31 or older, and mg per day for women 31 or older.

Calcium: Yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, sardines, salmon, fortified juices, and leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and kale but not spinach or Swiss chard, which contain binders that lessen absorption.

Iron: Red meat, cooked soybeans, pumpkin seeds, cooked lentils, ground turkey, and fortified bread and breakfast cereals. Magnesium: Almonds, green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, soybeans, peanut butter, sunflower and other seeds, halibut, whole-wheat bread, and milk.

Potassium: Raisins, baked potatoes with the skin , tomatoes, cooked black beans, plain low-fat yogurt, bananas, and spinach. Essential minerals are most potent when they come from food. But if you're struggling with deficiencies, you may need to take supplements.

If so, use caution: ingesting too much of a mineral supplement can be harmful. For example: "If you get too much supplemental iron, you can overwhelm your ability to regulate iron.

Minerals: MedlinePlus

Minerals can be readily identified by several physical properties such as hardness, lustre, streak and cleavage. For example, the mineral talc is very soft and easily scratched whereas the mineral quartz is quite hard and not so easily scratched.

Careful observation of crystal shapes is one of the best ways to classify and distinguish between different minerals. A crystalline solid is made up of an orderly repeating pattern of constituent atoms, molecules or ions extending in all three spatial dimensions.

A limited number of crystal shapes have been found in nature. There are only 7 groups, or crystal systems, into which all naturally occurring crystals can be placed. A rock is an aggregate of minerals and need not have a specific chemical composition.

Some rocks are predominantly composed of just one mineral. For example, limestone is a sedimentary rock composed almost entirely of the mineral calcite. For a more complete listing of all mineral names, see List of minerals recognized by the International Mineralogical Association.

Article Talk. Read Edit View history. Tools Tools. What links here Related changes Upload file Special pages Permanent link Page information Cite this page Get shortened URL Download QR code Wikidata item.

Download as PDF Printable version. In other projects. Wikimedia Commons. List of minerals with Wikipedia articles. Danalite Danburite Datolite Daubréeite Daubréelite Davemaoite Davidite Dawsonite Delafossite Delvauxite Demesmaekerite Derriksite Descloizite Devilline Diaboleite Diadochite Diamond Diaspore Dickite Digenite Dimorphite Diopside Dioptase Djerfisherite Djurleite Dmitryivanovite Dollaseite- Ce Dolomite Domeykite Donnayite- Y Doyleite Dresserite Drysdallite Duftite Dumortierite Dundasite Dypingite Dyscrasite Dzhalindite.

Edenite Edingtonite Edscottite Efremovite Ekanite Elaliite Elbaite type of multicoloured tourmaline Elkinstantonite Emmonsite Empressite Enargite Enstatite Eosphorite Ephesite Epidote Epsomite Ericssonite Erionite series of zeolites Erythrite Eskolaite Esperite Ettringite Euchlorine Euchroite Euclase Eucryptite Eudialyte Eudialyte group Euxenite- Y Eveite Evenkite Eveslogite.

Fabianite Farneseite Faujasite subgroup of zeolites Faustite Fayalite olivine group Feldspar mineral group Feldspathoid mineral group Felsőbányaite Fengchengite eudialyte group Ferberite Fergusonite mineral group Feroxyhyte Ferrierite subgroup of zeolite minerals Ferrihydrite Ferrimolybdite Ferro-actinolite Ferrogedrite Ferrohortonolite olivine group Ferronigerite-2N1S Ferropericlase Ferroselite Fettelite Fichtelite Fingerite Fletcherite Fluckite Fluellite Fluoborite Fluocerite Fluor-buergerite Fluor-liddicoatite Fluor-uvite Fluorapatite apatite group Fluorapophyllite - K Fluorcanasite Fluorcaphite Fluorellestadite Fluorite Fluororichterite amphibole group Fontarnauite Fornacite Forsterite olivine group Fougèrite layered double hydroxide Fourmarierite Fraipontite Francevillite Franckeite Frankamenite Frankdicksonite Frankhawthorneite Franklinite spinel group Franklinphilite Freibergite Freieslebenite Fukuchilite.

Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use.

Learn how we develop our content. To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

ca Network. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. Main Content Related to Conditions Healthy Eating. Important Phone Numbers. Topic Contents Overview Related Information Credits. Top of the page. Overview Some minerals are essential to your health.

Essential minerals Major minerals Mineral What it does Where it's found Sodium Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.

Calcium Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important for nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure. Chloride Needed for proper fluid balance, stomach acid. Magnesium Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health.

Phosphorus Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk. Potassium Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.

Meats, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes. Sulfur Found in protein molecules.

Precious metals and other important minerals for health - Harvard Health

Minerals may also be present in the water we drink, but this varies with geographic locale. Minerals from plant sources may also vary from place to place, because soil mineral content varies geographically. The information from the Linus Pauling Institute's Micronutrient Information Center on vitamins and minerals is now available in a book titled, An Evidence-based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals: Health Benefits and Intake Recommendations.

The book can be purchased from the Linus Pauling Institute or Thieme Medical Publishers. Donate to the MIC. Get Updates from the Institute. Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State University Linus Pauling Science Center Corvallis, Oregon phone: fax: email: [email protected].

For media contact information. Skip to main content. Icy fingers and toes: Poor circulation or Raynaud's phenomenon? Gold, silver, and platinum get all the attention as the world's most precious metals. But they're more precious for the global economy than for human health.

Instead, other metals and minerals metals are one type of mineral are more important for our health see "What essential metals do for us". Indeed, some of them are so important that we can't live without them. It may take just a very small quantity of a particular mineral, but having too much or too little can upset a delicate balance in the body," says Dr.

Bruce Bistrian, chief of clinical nutrition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Many metals are used to make strong and durable everyday objects, like copper pipes or iron skillets.

But they don't form such strong and durable objects in our bodies. Instead, many essential metals are needed to activate enzymes — molecules with important jobs in the body.

And metals have many other essential roles as well. For example:. Calcium builds bones and teeth; activates enzymes throughout the body; helps regulate blood pressure; and helps muscles to contract, nerves to send messages, and blood to clot. Chromium helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and helps cells draw energy from blood sugar.

Copper assists with metabolizing fuel, making red blood cells, regulating neurotransmitters, and mopping up free radicals. Iron helps make hemoglobin the oxygen-carrying chemical in the body's red blood cells and myoglobin a protein in muscle cells.

Iron is essential for activating certain enzymes and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones. Magnesium, like calcium, builds bones and teeth. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar and enables muscles to contract, nerves to send messages, blood to clot, and enzymes to work.

Manganese helps form bones and helps metabolize amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Molybdenum activates several enzymes that break down toxins and prevents the buildup of harmful sulfites in the body.

Potassium balances fluids in the body, helps to maintain a steady heartbeat and to make muscles contract, and may benefit bones and blood pressure.

Sodium balances fluids in the body, helps send nerve impulses, and helps make muscles contract. Zinc helps blood clot, helps make proteins and DNA, bolsters the immune system, and helps with wound healing and cell division.

Essential minerals — that is, those necessary for human health — are classified into two equally important groups: major minerals and trace minerals.

The major minerals, which are used and stored in large quantities in the body, are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The trace minerals are just as vital to our health as the major minerals, but we don't need large amounts. Minerals in this category include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.

We don't manufacture essential minerals in the body. We get them from our diet. The minerals come from rocks, soil, and water, and they're absorbed as the plants grow or by animals as the animals eat the plants. Fresh foods aren't our only source of dietary minerals, however.

Some processed foods, like breakfast cereal, may be fortified with minerals. And if you walk into any drugstore or look online, you'll see endless options for mineral supplements in the form of pills, powders, and chewables.

Bistrian says that when you eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, dairy products, and unsaturated fats like olive oil , you're likely consuming all the healthy minerals you need. You probably don't need to pay attention to your daily intake.

For example, adequate intake of manganese is 1. It's fairly easy to meet those goals with half a cup of cooked spinach 0. The same is true for many dietary minerals, like chromium, copper, molybdenum, sodium, and zinc; eating a healthy diet should cover your needs.

Deficiency is common in older adults, especially in women and in people who eat few dairy products. A lack of calcium in the body increases the risk for brittle bones and fractures. Women lose a lot of iron when they pass menstrual blood, and their bodies can become deficient in iron.

Another cause of iron deficiency is less well known. Bistrian says. Low iron levels can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. In this condition, there are too few red blood cells, and the red blood cells are too small.

That makes it harder for the blood to carry oxygen to organs. And magnesium also is commonly lacking in people with diseases that cause diarrhea," Dr. Most older adults take in only about half to three-quarters of the potassium they should, according to the Department of Agriculture.

A low-potassium, high-sodium diet is thought to contribute to high blood pressure. If you fall into any of those high-risk categories, you may want to make a concerted effort to consume enough healthy minerals see "Gold-medal sources of dietary minerals".

These are the recommended targets for the minerals in which people are most likely to be deficient:. Calcium: Men need 1, mg per day until age 70, and 1, mg after that.

Women ages 51 or older need 1, mg of calcium per day. Iron: 8 mg per day for adult men and for women starting at age 50 or whenever menstruation ends. Magnesium: mg per day for men 31 or older, and mg per day for women 31 or older.

Calcium: Yogurt, cheese, milk, tofu, sardines, salmon, fortified juices, and leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and kale but not spinach or Swiss chard, which contain binders that lessen absorption. Iron: Red meat, cooked soybeans, pumpkin seeds, cooked lentils, ground turkey, and fortified bread and breakfast cereals.

Magnesium: Almonds, green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, soybeans, peanut butter, sunflower and other seeds, halibut, whole-wheat bread, and milk.

Potassium: Raisins, baked potatoes with the skin , tomatoes, cooked black beans, plain low-fat yogurt, bananas, and spinach. Essential minerals are most potent when they come from food.

But if you're struggling with deficiencies, you may need to take supplements.

What are minerals? — Science Learning Hub

Mercury is not found as a pure element in nature. It is mined from mercury ores, such as cinnabar also called vermilion. Cinnabar is composed of mercury and sulfur and has been used as a red pigment since ancient times.

Lead is a very dense, very soft metal and has a low melting point, which allows it to be easily formed. Its density and easy of forming have made it the most common metal for bullets since the origin of firearms. It has also been used for fishing weights, as illustrated here.

Its density is so great that it is used as a radiation shield. We most often see it in dentists' offices in the lead apron we wear to protect us from X-rays, but it is also used to shield nuclear reactors because it can capture any stray radiation before it enters the environment.

Lead is, like mercury, poisonous, so it is beginning to fall out of everyday use. Its most common use today is in the lead-acid batteries found in automobiles. Lead is found in nature most often as galena, a compound with sulfur. The concrete that makes up most of the urban landscape is actually an artificial reconstruction of a naturally occurring rock, conglomerate.

To make concrete, we mix sand and gravel, with cement. Cement is created by heating ground limestone with other minerals. When hot enough, the limestone releases carbon dioxide and becomes quicklime, the primary ingredient in cement.

When the quicklime in cement reacts with water, it forms a stable crystal: this is what happens when concrete 'dries'. The process of making cement from limestone releases carbon dioxide, consequently, the cement industry is second only to power production in the release of carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.

When we describe oil and coal as fossil fuels, we mean it: they are produced by the cooking of decomposed plant and animal matter deep in the earth's crust over many millions of years. Fossil fuels are a form of solar power: they are energy from the sun trapped by plants millions of years ago.

Oil is formed in oil shales, but once it becomes liquid it tends to rise until it is trapped in a porous reservoir rock, like the ones shown here.

Drilling into the reservoirs releases the oil for human use. Finding oil is a tricky proposition, combining the science of geology with the art of imagining where the oil would flow within the crust. Coal is simply the remains of woody plants that died in swampy conditions and was cooked down into a solid mass.

Large amounts of wood accumulated on earth during the Carboniferous period, to million years ago, because plants evolved wood and no organisms on earth evolved the ability to digest wood for 50 to 60 million years!

Think of a world where tree trunks never decompose because there are no microbes that know how to break them down. That's the Carboniferous world that left us with a legacy of coal.

Graphite is elemental carbon, just like diamond. The difference is that diamond forms at extremely high pressures, which cause the carbon atoms to line up in a strong mineral. Graphite is formed under much lower pressures and has a mineral structure that makes it slippery and easy to break.

We use it for the 'lead' in pencils because it makes a good, but erasable, mark. We also use it as a powder for lubrication. Here we see some of the many products made from petroleum, or crude oil. Oil is used as a machine lubricant, as with the 10W oil.

All of the rubber and plastics here are made from oil, including the gas can. The gas can also represents gasoline, the ubiquitous fuel that is refined from crude oil. Diesel fuel is also refined from crude oil. Some scientists have suggested that future generations will be amazed that we burned so much of our oil as fuel, instead of using it for more permanent applications like plastics.

Skip to main content. Visit Programs Calendar Exhibits Collections Research Folklife Museum Online UO Courses Membership Giving Museum Store News Blog Careers. Rocks and Minerals: Everyday Uses. We use things made from rocks and minerals every day.

In contrast, some minerals, such as hematite or pyrite, are opaque even in thin-section. Colour is the most obvious property of a mineral, but it is often non-diagnostic.

In contrast, allochromatic elements in minerals are present in trace amounts as impurities. An example of such a mineral would be the ruby and sapphire varieties of the mineral corundum.

Examples include labradorite and bornite. In addition to simple body colour, minerals can have various other distinctive optical properties, such as play of colours, asterism , chatoyancy , iridescence , tarnish, and pleochroism.

Several of these properties involve variability in colour. Play of colour, such as in opal , results in the sample reflecting different colours as it is turned, while pleochroism describes the change in colour as light passes through a mineral in a different orientation.

Iridescence is a variety of the play of colours where light scatters off a coating on the surface of crystal, cleavage planes, or off layers having minor gradations in chemistry. The latter property is particularly common in gem-quality corundum. The streak of a mineral refers to the colour of a mineral in powdered form, which may or may not be identical to its body colour.

The streak of a mineral is independent of trace elements [73] or any weathering surface. By definition, minerals have a characteristic atomic arrangement. Weakness in this crystalline structure causes planes of weakness, and the breakage of a mineral along such planes is termed cleavage.

The quality of cleavage can be described based on how cleanly and easily the mineral breaks; common descriptors, in order of decreasing quality, are "perfect", "good", "distinct", and "poor". In particularly transparent minerals, or in thin-section, cleavage can be seen as a series of parallel lines marking the planar surfaces when viewed from the side.

Cleavage is not a universal property among minerals; for example, quartz, consisting of extensively interconnected silica tetrahedra, does not have a crystallographic weakness which would allow it to cleave.

In contrast, micas, which have perfect basal cleavage, consist of sheets of silica tetrahedra which are very weakly held together. As cleavage is a function of crystallography, there are a variety of cleavage types. Cleavage occurs typically in either one, two, three, four, or six directions.

Basal cleavage in one direction is a distinctive property of the micas. Two-directional cleavage is described as prismatic, and occurs in minerals such as the amphiboles and pyroxenes.

Minerals such as galena or halite have cubic or isometric cleavage in three directions, at 90°; when three directions of cleavage are present, but not at 90°, such as in calcite or rhodochrosite , it is termed rhombohedral cleavage.

Octahedral cleavage four directions is present in fluorite and diamond, and sphalerite has six-directional dodecahedral cleavage.

Minerals with many cleavages might not break equally well in all of the directions; for example, calcite has good cleavage in three directions, but gypsum has perfect cleavage in one direction, and poor cleavage in two other directions.

Angles between cleavage planes vary between minerals. For example, as the amphiboles are double-chain silicates and the pyroxenes are single-chain silicates, the angle between their cleavage planes is different. The pyroxenes cleave in two directions at approximately 90°, whereas the amphiboles distinctively cleave in two directions separated by approximately ° and 60°.

The cleavage angles can be measured with a contact goniometer, which is similar to a protractor. Parting, sometimes called "false cleavage", is similar in appearance to cleavage but is instead produced by structural defects in the mineral, as opposed to systematic weakness.

Parting varies from crystal to crystal of a mineral, whereas all crystals of a given mineral will cleave if the atomic structure allows for that property.

In general, parting is caused by some stress applied to a crystal. The sources of the stresses include deformation e. an increase in pressure , exsolution, or twinning.

Minerals that often display parting include the pyroxenes, hematite, magnetite, and corundum. When a mineral is broken in a direction that does not correspond to a plane of cleavage, it is termed to have been fractured. There are several types of uneven fracture. The classic example is conchoidal fracture, like that of quartz; rounded surfaces are created, which are marked by smooth curved lines.

This type of fracture occurs only in very homogeneous minerals. Other types of fracture are fibrous, splintery, and hackly. The latter describes a break along a rough, jagged surface; an example of this property is found in native copper.

Tenacity is related to both cleavage and fracture. Whereas fracture and cleavage describes the surfaces that are created when a mineral is broken, tenacity describes how resistant a mineral is to such breaking.

Minerals can be described as brittle, ductile, malleable, sectile, flexible, or elastic. Specific gravity numerically describes the density of a mineral.

Specific gravity is defined as the density of the mineral divided by the density of water at 4 °C and thus is a dimensionless quantity, identical in all unit systems. Among most minerals, this property is not diagnostic. Rock forming minerals — typically silicates or occasionally carbonates — have a specific gravity of 2.

High specific gravity is a diagnostic property of a mineral. A variation in chemistry and consequently, mineral class correlates to a change in specific gravity. Among more common minerals, oxides and sulfides tend to have a higher specific gravity as they include elements with higher atomic mass.

A generalization is that minerals with metallic or adamantine lustre tend to have higher specific gravities than those having a non-metallic to dull lustre. For example, hematite , Fe 2 O 3 , has a specific gravity of 5. A very high specific gravity is characteristic of native metals ; for example, kamacite , an iron-nickel alloy common in iron meteorites has a specific gravity of 7.

Other properties can be used to diagnose minerals. These are less general, and apply to specific minerals. This test can be further expanded to test the mineral in its original crystal form or powdered form. An example of this test is done when distinguishing calcite from dolomite , especially within the rocks limestone and dolomite respectively.

Calcite immediately effervesces in acid, whereas acid must be applied to powdered dolomite often to a scratched surface in a rock , for it to effervesce.

Magnetism is a very conspicuous property of a few minerals. Among common minerals, magnetite exhibits this property strongly, and magnetism is also present, albeit not as strongly, in pyrrhotite and ilmenite. Minerals can also be tested for taste or smell.

Halite , NaCl, is table salt; its potassium-bearing counterpart, sylvite , has a pronounced bitter taste. Sulfides have a characteristic smell, especially as samples are fractured, reacting, or powdered. Radioactivity is a rare property found in minerals containing radioactive elements.

The radioactive elements could be a defining constituent, such as uranium in uraninite , autunite , and carnotite , or present as trace impurities, as in zircon. The decay of a radioactive element damages the mineral crystal structure rendering it locally amorphous metamict state ; the optical result, termed a radioactive halo or pleochroic halo , is observable with various techniques, such as thin-section petrography.

In BCE , Theophrastus presented his classification of minerals in his treatise On Stones. His classification was influenced by the ideas of his teachers Plato and Aristotle.

Theophrastus classified minerals as stones, earths or metals. Georgius Agricola 's classification of minerals in his book De Natura Fossilium , published in , divided minerals into three types of substance: simple stones, earths, metals, and congealed juices , compound intimately mixed and composite separable.

An early classification of minerals was given by Carl Linnaeus in his seminal book Systema Naturae. He divided the natural world into three kingdoms — plants, animals, and minerals — and classified each with the same hierarchy.

However, while his system was justified by Charles Darwin 's theory of species formation and has been largely adopted and expanded by biologists in the following centuries who still use his Greek- and Latin-based binomial naming scheme , it had little success among mineralogists although each distinct mineral is still formally referred to as a mineral species.

Minerals are classified by variety, species, series and group, in order of increasing generality. The basic level of definition is that of mineral species, each of which is distinguished from the others by unique chemical and physical properties. For example, quartz is defined by its formula , SiO 2 , and a specific crystalline structure that distinguishes it from other minerals with the same chemical formula termed polymorphs.

When there exists a range of composition between two minerals species, a mineral series is defined. For example, the biotite series is represented by variable amounts of the endmembers phlogopite , siderophyllite , annite , and eastonite. In contrast, a mineral group is a grouping of mineral species with some common chemical properties that share a crystal structure.

The pyroxene group has a common formula of XY Si,Al 2 O 6 , where X and Y are both cations, with X typically bigger than Y; the pyroxenes are single-chain silicates that crystallize in either the orthorhombic or monoclinic crystal systems.

Finally, a mineral variety is a specific type of mineral species that differs by some physical characteristic, such as colour or crystal habit.

An example is amethyst , which is a purple variety of quartz. Two common classifications, Dana and Strunz, are used for minerals; both rely on composition, specifically with regards to important chemical groups, and structure.

James Dwight Dana , a leading geologist of his time, first published his System of Mineralogy in ; as of , it is in its eighth edition. The Dana classification assigns a four-part number to a mineral species. Its class number is based on important compositional groups; the type gives the ratio of cations to anions in the mineral, and the last two numbers group minerals by structural similarity within a given type or class.

The less commonly used Strunz classification , named for German mineralogist Karl Hugo Strunz , is based on the Dana system, but combines both chemical and structural criteria, the latter with regards to distribution of chemical bonds. As the composition of the Earth's crust is dominated by silicon and oxygen, silicates are by far the most important class of minerals in terms of rock formation and diversity.

However, non-silicate minerals are of great economic importance, especially as ores. There are two major structural styles observed in non-silicates: close-packing and silicate-like linked tetrahedra.

Close-packed structures are a way to densely pack atoms while minimizing interstitial space. Hexagonal close-packing involves stacking layers where every other layer is the same "ababab" , whereas cubic close-packing involves stacking groups of three layers "abcabcabc".

The non-silicates have great economic importance, as they concentrate elements more than the silicate minerals do. Other common elements in silicate minerals correspond to other common elements in the Earth's crust, such as aluminium, magnesium, iron, calcium, sodium, and potassium.

In the vast majority of cases, silicon is in four-fold or tetrahedral coordination with oxygen. In very high-pressure situations, silicon will be in six-fold or octahedral coordination, such as in the perovskite structure or the quartz polymorph stishovite SiO 2.

In the latter case, the mineral no longer has a silicate structure, but that of rutile TiO 2 , and its associated group, which are simple oxides. These silica tetrahedra are then polymerized to some degree to create various structures, such as one-dimensional chains, two-dimensional sheets, and three-dimensional frameworks.

The basic silicate mineral where no polymerization of the tetrahedra has occurred requires other elements to balance out the base 4- charge.

In other silicate structures, different combinations of elements are required to balance out the resultant negative charge. The degree of polymerization can be described by both the structure formed and how many tetrahedral corners or coordinating oxygens are shared for aluminium and silicon in tetrahedral sites : [] [].

Tectosilicates, also known as framework silicates, have the highest degree of polymerization. With all corners of a tetrahedra shared, the silicon:oxygen ratio becomes Examples are quartz, the feldspars , feldspathoids , and the zeolites.

Framework silicates tend to be particularly chemically stable as a result of strong covalent bonds. It is characterized by its high chemical and physical resistivity. Quartz has several polymorphs, including tridymite and cristobalite at high temperatures, high-pressure coesite , and ultra-high pressure stishovite.

The latter mineral can only be formed on Earth by meteorite impacts, and its structure has been compressed so much that it has changed from a silicate structure to that of rutile TiO 2. The silica polymorph that is most stable at the Earth's surface is α-quartz. Its counterpart, β-quartz, is present only at high temperatures and pressures changes to α-quartz below °C at 1 bar.

These two polymorphs differ by a "kinking" of bonds; this change in structure gives β-quartz greater symmetry than α-quartz, and they are thus also called high quartz β and low quartz α.

The alkali feldspars are most commonly in a series between potassium-rich orthoclase and sodium-rich albite ; in the case of plagioclase, the most common series ranges from albite to calcium-rich anorthite.

Crystal twinning is common in feldspars, especially polysynthetic twins in plagioclase and Carlsbad twins in alkali feldspars.

If the latter subgroup cools slowly from a melt, it forms exsolution lamellae because the two components — orthoclase and albite — are unstable in solid solution. Exsolution can be on a scale from microscopic to readily observable in hand-sample; perthitic texture forms when Na-rich feldspar exsolve in a K-rich host.

The opposite texture antiperthitic , where K-rich feldspar exsolves in a Na-rich host, is very rare. As a result, feldspathoids are almost never found in association with quartz. A common example of a feldspathoid is nepheline Na, K AlSiO 4 ; compared to alkali feldspar, nepheline has an Al 2 O 3 :SiO 2 ratio of , as opposed to in alkali feldspar.

They form in the presence of water at low temperatures and pressures, and have channels and voids in their structure. Zeolites have several industrial applications, especially in waste water treatment.

Phyllosilicates consist of sheets of polymerized tetrahedra. They are bound at three oxygen sites, which gives a characteristic silicon:oxygen ratio of Important examples include the mica , chlorite , and the kaolinite - serpentine groups.

In addition to the tetrahedra, phyllosilicates have a sheet of octahedra elements in six-fold coordination by oxygen that balance out the basic tetrahedra, which have a negative charge e. Within an octahedral sheet, there are three octahedral sites in a unit structure; however, not all of the sites may be occupied.

In that case, the mineral is termed dioctahedral, whereas in other case it is termed trioctahedral. The kaolinite-serpentine group consists of T-O stacks the clay minerals ; their hardness ranges from 2 to 4, as the sheets are held by hydrogen bonds. The clay minerals pyrophyllite-talc consist of T-O-T stacks, but they are softer hardness from 1 to 2 , as they are instead held together by van der Waals forces.

These two groups of minerals are subgrouped by octahedral occupation; specifically, kaolinite and pyrophyllite are dioctahedral whereas serpentine and talc trioctahedral. Common examples of micas are muscovite , and the biotite series.

Mica T-O-T layers are bonded together by metal ions, giving them a greater hardness than other phyllosilicate minerals, though they retain perfect basal cleavage. Because of their chemical structure, phyllosilicates typically have flexible, elastic, transparent layers that are electrical insulators and can be split into very thin flakes.

Micas can be used in electronics as insulators, in construction, as optical filler, or even cosmetics. Chrysotile, a species of serpentine, is the most common mineral species in industrial asbestos, as it is less dangerous in terms of health than the amphibole asbestos.

Inosilicates consist of tetrahedra repeatedly bonded in chains. These chains can be single, where a tetrahedron is bound to two others to form a continuous chain; alternatively, two chains can be merged to create double-chain silicates.

Single-chain silicates have a silicon:oxygen ratio of e. Inosilicates contain two important rock-forming mineral groups; single-chain silicates are most commonly pyroxenes , while double-chain silicates are often amphiboles.

three-member, four-member, five-member chains, etc. but they are rare. The pyroxene group consists of 21 mineral species.

Amphiboles have great variability in chemistry, described variously as a "mineralogical garbage can" or a "mineralogical shark swimming a sea of elements". These asbestos minerals form long, thin, flexible, and strong fibres, which are electrical insulators, chemically inert and heat-resistant; as such, they have several applications, especially in construction materials.

However, asbestos are known carcinogens, and cause various other illnesses, such as asbestosis ; amphibole asbestos anthophyllite , tremolite , actinolite , grunerite , and riebeckite are considered more dangerous than chrysotile serpentine asbestos.

Cyclosilicates, or ring silicates, have a ratio of silicon to oxygen of Other ring structures exist, with 3, 4, 8, 9, 12 having been described. Tourmalines have a very complex chemistry that can be described by a general formula XY 3 Z 6 BO 3 3 T 6 O 18 V 3 W.

Tourmalines can be subgrouped by the occupancy of the X site, and from there further subdivided by the chemistry of the W site. The Y and Z sites can accommodate a variety of cations, especially various transition metals; this variability in structural transition metal content gives the tourmaline group greater variability in colour.

Other cyclosilicates include beryl, Al 2 Be 3 Si 6 O 18 , whose varieties include the gemstones emerald green and aquamarine bluish. Cordierite is structurally similar to beryl, and is a common metamorphic mineral. Sorosilicates, also termed disilicates, have tetrahedron-tetrahedron bonding at one oxygen, which results in a ratio of silicon to oxygen.

The most common disilicates by far are members of the epidote group. Epidotes are found in variety of geologic settings, ranging from mid-ocean ridge to granites to metapelites. Other examples of sorosilicates include lawsonite , a metamorphic mineral forming in the blueschist facies subduction zone setting with low temperature and high pressure , vesuvianite , which takes up a significant amount of calcium in its chemical structure.

Orthosilicates consist of isolated tetrahedra that are charge-balanced by other cations. SiO 4. Typical orthosilicates tend to form blocky equant crystals, and are fairly hard. In the olivine structure, the main olivine series of Mg, Fe 2 SiO 4 consist of magnesium-rich forsterite and iron-rich fayalite.

Both iron and magnesium are in octahedral by oxygen. Other mineral species having this structure exist, such as tephroite , Mn 2 SiO 4. There are six ideal endmembers of garnet, split into two group.

While there are two subgroups of garnet, solid solutions exist between all six end-members. Other orthosilicates include zircon , staurolite , and topaz. Staurolite is a common metamorphic intermediate-grade index mineral. It has a particularly complicated crystal structure that was only fully described in Topaz Al 2 SiO 4 F, OH 2 , often found in granitic pegmatites associated with tourmaline , is a common gemstone mineral.

Native elements are those that are not chemically bonded to other elements. This mineral group includes native metals , semi-metals, and non-metals, and various alloys and solid solutions.

The metals are held together by metallic bonding, which confers distinctive physical properties such as their shiny metallic lustre, ductility and malleability, and electrical conductivity. Native elements are subdivided into groups by their structure or chemical attributes.

The gold group, with a cubic close-packed structure, includes metals such as gold, silver, and copper. The platinum group is similar in structure to the gold group.

The iron-nickel group is characterized by several iron-nickel alloy species. Arsenic group minerals consist of semi-metals, which have only some metallic traits; for example, they lack the malleability of metals. Native carbon occurs in two allotropes, graphite and diamond; the latter forms at very high pressure in the mantle, which gives it a much stronger structure than graphite.

Trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts than major minerals. Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, breads, vegetables, and unprocessed meats. Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important for nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure.

Milk and milk products; canned fish with bones salmon, sardines ; fortified tofu and fortified soy beverage; greens broccoli, mustard greens ; legumes. Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, meats, breads, and vegetables.

Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health. Nuts and seeds, legumes, leafy green vegetables, seafood, chocolate, artichokes, "hard" drinking water. Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance.

Part of a molecule hemoglobin found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism. Organ meats, red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish especially clams , egg yolks, legumes, dried fruits, dark leafy greens, iron-enriched breads and cereals, and fortified cereals.

Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system health.

Works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar glucose levels. Part of many enzymes ; needed for iron metabolism. Other trace minerals known to be essential in tiny amounts include nickel, silicon, vanadium, and cobalt. Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator.

Author: Healthwise Staff. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.

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