Mineral exercise
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Mineral Properties

Note to my Earth Science classes!

No, you have NOT done this one before - not exactly, anyway!

This exercise is to be completed during ONE class period. You WILL finish this today.
Make sure you finish ALL the assignment ON TIME, I will deduct large quantities of points unless I know that you didn't goof off and really did work hard on your assignment. If you are absent we'll work it out, but you'll need to see me first!

Should you finish early, you should use the links I've provided to study the different mineral properties (listed below). Either way you should have more than enough to stay busy!


Read on!!!

(Yes, this is similar to last time, but I've switched the properties. You are NOT to write about the same property as last time!)

Go to the following web sites to find minerals that show the properties listed below. The computer at which you are sitting controls the mineral on which your essay is to be written.(computer #1 does #1 only, #2 does only #2, etc.)

1) Explain the property (Define it!)
2) list a mineral which exhibits (shows or has) that property.
3) Write a report/essay about the mineral, and YOU MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
(A)the mineral's distinguishing properties, particularly those properties most useful in identifying the mineral.
(B) it's importance or uses - if it has any
(C) locations where major deposits can be found.

This is a WRITING assignment, and WILL be graded on grammar, punctuation, and spelling as per the school guidelines posted on the NE wall of my room.

Now, you first must understand each mineral property, so you may wish to go to the mineral intro link before you attempt to do any writing. Get a good understanding of the property about which you are to write. Then go to the different web sites via the links from this page, find the property, and go for it!

One site which is particularly good for mineral property descriptions is the Physical Geology page at Blackhawk College:

Physical Geology

When you get to this web site, click on the link for lecture materials in the left margin, then scroll down and click on "Mineral Systems and Physical Properties". Read that material; when you finish, click on the link at the page bottom "Additional information and identification exercises can be found at:
Mineral Physical Properties and Groups ". This will take you to the lab materials which will only help your understanding of mineral properties.

Now go to the different web sites below via the links from this page, find a mineral that shows the specific property you are to find, and go for it!

Introductory material about mineral properties by David J. Leveson

mineral intro links

This is Amethyst Galleries, a commercial web site which has lot's of good information!


A large mineral database with much useful information about minerals and mineral properties.


This is a mineral identification key - which also explains how to identify minerals using their various properties.


This is probably the most detailed database about minerals on the Internet, and can be searched BY PROPERTY.


Another database which lists minerals by name....

Minerals By Name

Here are the mineral properties listed by computer number about which you are to research.

Note: Find a mineral that exhibits the property shown, then write about the mineral; include anything about that mineral (including the specific property which you will need to describe)which would help in it's identification. Include localities where it can be found (especially any famous locations), general occurrence, related minerals, crystal form, any non-crystal forms, what are its uses, etc.

Computer# - mineral property

1. Has a Pearly luster
2. Has a rosette noncrystal form or habit
3. Has a radiating noncrystal form or habit
4. Has dodecahedral cleavage
5. Has octahedral cleavage
6. Has a dendritic noncrystal form or habit
7. Shows flexible tenacity
8. Shows elastic tenacity
9. Is malleable tenacity
10. It fluoresces a green color
11. Is radioactive
12. Is magnetic - exhibits magnetism.(Do a mineral other than magnetite)
13. Shows effervescence (a mineral other than calcite) NOTE: this is NOT the band Evanescence....
14. Has asterism
15. Has a Red streak
16. Crystals are in the Hexagonal crystal system
17. Crystals are in the Cubic (or isometric) crystal system
18. Crystals are in the Triclinic crystal system
19. Crystals are in the Monoclinic crystal system
20. Has a Blue streak
21. Has a Green streak
22. Crystals are in the Tetragonal crystal system.
23. Has a silky luster
24. Has a fibrous luster.
25. Has a conchoidal fracture
26. Has a reddish brown streak.
27. Has a yellow streak
28. Is an ore of mercury
29. Has double refraction
30. Shows dichroism
31. Has a hardness of 1 (some mineral other than talc)
32. Has a Hardness of 8 (some mineral other than topaz)

Lowell Bailey

Bedford-North Lawrence High School
595 N. Star Boulevard
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