How do you test for minerals?
By using a simple scratch test, you can determine the relative hardness of an unknown mineral. Select a fresh, clean surface on the specimen to be tested. Hold the specimen firmly and attempt to scratch it with the point of an object of known hardness. In this example, we use a sharp quartz (H=7) crystal .
The most common physical properties are crystal form, color, hardness, cleavage, and specific gravity.
- Cleavage and Fracture.
- Specific Gravity.
- "A mineral is an element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes" (Nickel, E. H., 1995). "Minerals are naturally-occurring inorganic substances with a definite and predictable chemical composition and physical properties."
- Rocks & Minerals. Rocks are made of minerals. Only a few minerals are rock forming and most rock is made from a combination of the commonest of these such as feldspars, quartz, mica, olivine, calcite, pyroxene and amphiboles.
- The following physical properties of minerals can be easily used to identify a mineral:
- Cleavage or Fracture.
- Crystalline Structure.
- Diaphaneity or Amount of Transparency.
Updated: 7th December 2019