Identifying Minerals Without Chemical Analyses
Minerals are naturally occurring solid substances composed of specific chemical elements. Minerals have a wide variety of uses, from industrial materials to decorations to food supplements. These minerals can be identified without using highly scientific chemical analyses in a lab. Geologists are able to use four mineral properties to identify minerals without chemically analyzing them. The first mineral property used to identify minerals without chemical analysis is color. Minerals can range in color from black to yellow to green to blue to red and more. Examples of minerals that come in different colors include quartz (can be clear, pink, or purple), pyrite (gold-colored), and tourmaline (various colors) (“Minerals,” n.d.; “Mineral Identification,” 2020). The second mineral property geologists use to identify minerals is luster. Luster is the way light reflects off a mineral and can range from metallic to dull. Examples of minerals with metallic luster include pyrite, galena, and gold, and examples of minerals with a dull luster include calcite, mica, and graphite (“Minerals,” n.d.; “). Cont…
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