What makes a mineral a mineral?

Tuesday, March 3, 2020




Need to memorize the characteristics of a mineral? This video will help.

What makes a mineral a mineral? I have asked Sargent Mineral this question. Let's listen to what he has to say
A mineral has 5 characteristics
  • Naturally occurring 
  • Solid
  • Inorganic 
  • Crystalline structure 
  • Same chemical composition throughout
Naturally occurring means it was formed naturally by the Earth, minerals are not made by humans in a lab.

A solid has definite volume and shape. It will not take the shape of a container if it is placed inside.
An inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks carbon-hydrogen bonds,

Typically these compounds were never alive such as salt and water.

A crystalline structure could be described as repeating. The crystal’s shape is determined by the arrangement of the atoms or molecules within the crystal. Each mineral has a definite crystal structure. All minerals can be grouped into crystal classes according to the kind of crystals they form.

The smallest group of particles in the material that constitutes this repeating pattern is the unit cell of the structure. The unit cell completely reflects the symmetry and structure of the entire crystal, which is built up by repetitive translation of the unit.


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