Properties of Minerals
Properties of MineralsLusterAppearance of a fresh mineral surface in reflected light
1. Metallic Luster
2. Vitreous Luster- glassy luster
3. Resinous Luster
4. Pearly Luster
5. Silky lusterPyriteQuartzOrpimentMuscoviteSatin Spar GypsumColorThe wavelength of light that is reflected off of a freshly broken surface of a mineral.
HardnessA minerals resistance to abrasion (being scraped)Mohs scale of hardness
CleavageThe tendency of minerals to break along definite planes of weakness that exist in the internal structure of the mineral
GypsumFractureHow a mineral breaks
Conchoidal- Fracture- surface is smooth and has concentric ridgesFibrous-Breaks into long filaments
Obsidian Asbestos StreakThe color of the powder of a mineral after is has been scraped across a hardened ceramic surface
Specific GravityRatio of a minerals weight to the weight of an equivalent volume of water. Higher Specific Gravity= Higher Density
DiaphaneityThe ability of a thin slice of mineral to transmit lightTransparent- allows most light to pass through undistorted
Translucent- light passes through but is bent and you cannot resolve images
Opaque- no light passes through even the thinnest slice
Calcite MuscoviteCinnabar Crystal FormThe assemblage of faces that reflect the internal molecular structure of the mineral
MagnetismIs the mineral attracted to a magnet?Magnetite is the most common mineral that will do this.
Hematite Double RefractionImages appear doubled when viewed through the mineral specimen- Calcite
TasteMost minerals will not have this property. Never taste a sample unless directed to do so.
HaliteOdorA characteristic smell from a mineral- Kaolinite smells musty or dank when moistened.
FeelSurface texture of a mineral. Greasy, slick, smooth, rough, soapy, veined
Graphite- GreasyChemical Reaction
HCl acid on Calcite
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