- Color– minerals are found in a variety of colors due to the chemicals in them. A fresh surface is usually needed to see the true color as weathering may hide it.
- Color- Mineral Properties- http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html#Colour
- Virtual Color Testing Lab– http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/leveson/core/graphics/color/color_sim3.html
- Luster– The amount of light reflected from a mineral’s surface. Luster may be described as glassy, metallic, shiny, dull, waxy, satiny, or greasy.
- More detail: http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html#Luster
- Luster list- http://webmineral.com/help/Luster.shtml
- Virtual Luster and Other Properties Lab– http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/leveson/core/graphics/misc/misc_gallery2.html
- Streak Color– The color of a mark a mineral makes on a white tile. (The color of the mineral’s powder.) The streak may not be the same as the mineral’s color.
- Virtual Streak Lab– http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/leveson/core/graphics/streak/streak_sim3a.html
- Hardness-The ability of a mineral to resist being scratched.
- A mineral can scratch any mineral softer than itself, but can be scratched by any mineral that is harder.
- Scratch tests are often done with common objects.
- Moh’s Hardness Scale– A scale of 1 to 10, ranked from softest (talc) to hardest (diamond).
- Testing for Hardness- http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html#Hardness
- Crystal Shape– The atoms of most minerals are arranged in orderly, repetitive patterns that form in solid chunks with a certain shape called crystals.
- Crystals that grow in an open space can be almost perfectly formed.
- Crystals that grown in a tight space are often incompletely formed.
- In other minerals, crystals are only visible under a microscope.
- Descriptions of crystal forms- http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html#CRYSTAL%20FORM
- Break Patterns
- Cleavage– A type of break in a mineral that has long flat surfaces.
- Fracture– A type of break in a mineral that breaks unevenly and does not leave flat surfaces when they break.
- Descriptions of both- http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html#CLEAVAGE
- Virtual Breakage Testing Lab– http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/leveson/core/graphics/cleavage/cleave_sim1.html
- Odor– Certain minerals have very specific smells.
- The Scent of a Mineral- http://www.galleries.com/minerals/property/parting.htm#odor
Density– how tightly packed the matter in an object is. Density= mass/volume.
- Taste, texture, transparency,
IDENTIFYING MINERALS- Where to go after the testing is done!
GeoMan’s Mineral Identification Charts– http://jersey.uoregon.edu/~mstrick/MinRockID/MinRockIndex.html – Go to the link describing how hard the mineral is and compare your information to that of the GeoMan.
- Mineral Advanced Search- Use the properties of minerals to search- http://www.mindat.org/advanced_search.php
- The Mineral Picture Page– properties, images, and characteristics of over 172 common minerals- http://www.theimage.com/mineral/index.htm
- Rock Hounds Mineral Identification Key– http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/mineral_id/#Key
- Mineral Database– click on a letter of the alphabet and the name of a mineral to see its characteristics- http://www.spaceman.ca/mineral/index.php
- Minerals by Name: includes a description and list of properties– http://www.galleries.com/Minerals_By_Name
- Virtual Mineral Testing Labs– http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/geology/leveson/core/linksa/mineral_invest_intro.html
MINERAL PROPERTIES DESCRIPTION
- The Learning Zone- Identifying Minerals- http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/minerals/detect/index.htm
- Mineralogy 4 Kids, Properties Described- http://www.mineralogy4kids.org/properties.html
- Rocks for Kids- Identifying Minerals- http://www.rocksforkids.com/RFK/identification.html
- Mineral Physical Properties Chart- http://facweb.bhc.edu/academics/science/harwoodr/geol101/labs/minerals/
- Rock Hound, Mineral Properties- http://www.rockhounds.com/rockshop/mineral_id/#Properties
- The Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom- http://www.minerals.net/resource/Mineral_Properties.aspx Excellent description of how to use the different properties to identify minerals.