Mineral Lab

by cedmonds161
Last updated 7 years ago

Earth Sciences

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Mineral Lab

Distinguishing Properties of Minerals Geologists use eight major properties to identify and classify minerals 1. Color - an obvious property of a rock or mineral. In some cases such as galena (grey), azurite (blue), and olivine (green), the color is diagnostic. However, because color varies, depending on composition and the presence of impuritites, it should not be used as a mian identifying characteristic. 2. Streak - the mark or streak that is made as the specimen is pulled across the streak plate3. Hardness - a relative property, and on of the fiest used to identify unknown minerals in the field. If two minerals are rubbed together, the harder one will scratch the softer one. 4. Texture - the size of the grains or crystals in the mineral. For example, the texture may be coarse or fine. 5. Luster - How a sample reflects light. For example, the luster may be dull, metallic, or glossy6. Chemical - the way a specimen reacts to various chemicals. For example, calcium carbonate will bubble in reaction to acid. 7. Cleavage - the way a mineral specimen breaks when struck by a hammer. 8. Density (specific gravity) - the weight of the mineral divided by the weight of an equal volume of water. You can estimate density by comparing two objects with the same volume. The object that feels "heavier" is the one with greater density.

1) Take a look at your minerals. Now use your hand lens to examine them closely.2) Compare and Contrast two specimens using your Ven Diagram. 3) Fill out the data chart for each mineral. Use your streak plate, your hand lens, and your senses to make detailed observations. 4) Try to guess the names of each mineral based on your observations.

Observation Chart

Ven Diagram


Classifying Minerals

Carrie EdmondsEduc. 390




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