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Minerals and Mineralogy

Minerals, mineral identification and mineralogy.

Mineral Pictures
Quickly find more than 100 different minerals, plus 16 special picture galleries.

What's the Most Common Mineral?
This question has several answers, depending on what a mineral is and what part of the Earth we're talking about.

The Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral Hardness
Here are the ten standard minerals in the scale.

Mineral Pictures A to Z
A-to-Z list of all the minerals shown on this site.

This highly unusual bicolored form of quartz—half citrine, half amethyst—is treated in detail by the Caltech Mineral Spectroscopy group.

Amphibole Minerals
A photo gallery of amphibole minerals.

Calcite vs Aragonite
These closely related carbonate minerals are important in the Earth system.

Calcite Clues
This common mineral is being used as a gauge of tectonic stress and strain.

Carbonate Minerals
Two very important minerals and a flock of minor, but popular minerals.

This precious and useful mineral comes to us directly from the base of the lithosphere.

Elemental Minerals
Notable elements that are found in nature in native form.

About Feldspar
Feldspar is the commonest mineral in the Earth's crust, but identifying it can be tricky.

Evaporite Minerals and Halides
Introducing the halides and evaporite minerals.

Gallery of Feldspars
Get to know this family of common minerals.

The Garnet Minerals
Pictures of this important group of accessory minerals (and gemstones).

The Mica Minerals
The micas include several notable mineral species.

A small set of substances that are amorphous (never form crystals).

Minerals with Metallic Luster
This distinctive set of minerals is easy to master.

Native Elements
A few intriguing minerals are actually pure elements: metals and nonmetals.

Oxide Minerals
A diverse group with simple formulas.

Phosphate Minerals
Minerals that include this important element.

The Pyroxene Minerals
The pyroxene minerals are major parts of the crust and mantle.

About Quartz
Quartz is essential to the land as we know it.

Quartz Gallery
Familiarize yourself with this most common mineral.

The Rock-Forming Minerals
A handful of very abundant minerals account for the great majority of the Earth's rocks.

Formulas of Rock-Forming Minerals
Chemical formulas for the minerals that form the majority of rocks.

An introduction to the geology of salt.

The Silicate Minerals
The great majority of rocks are made of silicate minerals.

Sulfate Minerals
Sulfate minerals form near the Earth's surface.

Sulfide Minerals
Pictures of these important ore minerals and collectibles.

An article on this strategic mineral and the scramble for it in central Africa.

A cryptic and important group of low-temperature silicate minerals.

Zircon, Zirconia, Zirconium Minerals
The zirconium minerals zircon, baddeleyite and zirconolite are a close family.

Minerals of the Earth's Surface
The thousands of minerals known in rocks become a mere handful at the Earth's surface.

The Colors of Minerals
The Mineral Spectroscopy Group at Caltech presents a fascinating exploration of exactly which impurities create the colors in minerals. Profusely illustrated.

Minerals Under the Microscope
An excellent introduction to mineral optics and thin-section studies, from the University of Bristol in England.

Fluorescent Mineral Society
For forty years the FMS has worked to satisfy your interest in fluorescent minerals.

Twinned Minerals
This page from the Mineral Gallery site gives basic information on minerals that naturally form pairs (or triplets), with links to each one.

Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules
You need a plug-in to see and manipulate the molecular models of common minerals from the University of Wisconsin, but the results are worth it.

Mindat.org Mineralogy Database
The largest mineral database and mineralogical reference site on the Web, with worldwide data on minerals, mineral localities and other mineralogical information.

Database of Minerals
Created by David Barthelmy, webmineral.com lets you search for thousands of minerals by crystallography, classification, composition, color, or name. Good photos, too.

Quick Assays in Mineral Identification
Prof. Walter Franke of the Freie Universität Berlin produced this thorough guide (PDF) to something they don't teach at college any more: quick tests of minerals using blowpipe and simple chemistry-lab supplies.

Links for Mineralogists
This huge, well-organized list at the University of Würzburg has everything. It should always be your last resort, if not your first.

About Olivine
Olivine, the most abundant mineral in the deep Earth, has several different identities.

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