USE OF CRYSTAL FORMS AND HABITS IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION

The atoms within the crystal of a mineral are arranged in a regular fashion to form a lattice, and the crystal exhibits a shape with surface regularity which reflects its internal symmetry[Ref1]. The shape of a crystal is often typical of a mineral. and often typical the location where found; thus, crystal shape comprised of. . . Read More

USES OF CLEAVAGE, PARTING, AND FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION

CLEAVAGE IN A MINERAL CRYSTAL[Ref1] Cleavage in a mineral is the tendency for the crystal to split along definite  crystallographic planes as exemplified by the rhombohedron cleaved from a calcite crystal shown in Figure 1[Ref1]. These planes of weakness are present within a regular repeating array of atoms and ions within the crystal and are. . . Read More

FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION

Fracture in mineralogy is the texture and shape of the surface formed when the mineral is fractured. Fracture differs from cleavage and parting, which involve clean splitting along a plane surface, as it produces rough irregular surfaces [Ref1]. The appearance of fracture surfaces among minerals is highly varied and is a useful tool in identification.. . . Read More

USES OF CLEAVAGE, PARTING, AND FRACTURE IN MINERAL IDENTIFICATION-I

Structural failure of a mineral crystal can occur by cleavage, by parting, or by fracture.  The characteristics of any of these failure modes exhibited by a mineral can be useful as tools towards its identification. In this Blog I’ll discuss the properties of cleavage and their use in identifying minerals and follow with a second. . . Read More

HARDNESS: A MECHANICAL PROPERTY OF USE IN IDENTIFYING MINERALS

Along with the colors and crystal forms of minerals, their mechanical properties such as the hardness. tenacity, and habits of structural failure can be very useful tools in identifying an unknown mineral. In this first Blog on the use of mechanical properties in identifying minerals I’ll focus on hardness and describe the Moh’s Hardness Scale,. . . Read More

Need Help Identifying These Specimens

What Are You Curious About? I am from Wisconsin, staying in Winslow with girlfriend who is a nurse.. I just became interested in rocks and minerals and need help identifying some specimens…. thank you Your specimens are three forms of quartz, in which the crystals are of microscopic size so you can’t see their shape.. . . Read More

What is the Difference Between a Rock and a Mineral?

According to the USGS website, “A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties”. “A rock is an aggregate of one or more mineral, or a body of undifferentiated mineral matter”. For more information about rocks and minerals, be sure. . . Read More