Mineral Properties
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Mineral Notes....

Native Element minerals - Minerals composed of only one element.

Gold - Au - derived from latin word aurum which means "shining dawn". Crystals are rare, cubic (isometric) when found, usually dendritic branching masses when found in quantity. Soft, malleable, ductile and sectile. Gold streak, hackly fracture, density 19.3. Color can be many shades, depending on other metals dissolved in the gold. With copper it can be green to red, and whiter if with silver. 20% or more silver and it's called electrum. Insoluble in acids except aqua regia. Distinguished from pyrite by hardness, malleability, and streak.
Found mostly as native element, in quartz veins, and is a common by-product of the mining of other base metals. Found also as small flattened and rounded flakes as placer deposits.


"Welcome Stranger" nugget.
Found 1869 near Victoria, Australia. 2620 ounces.
Used in electronics, jewelry.

Silver - Ag - from "argentum". Properties are similar to gold in many respects. Crystals are rare, cubic (isometric) when found; usually in dendritic branching masses.

Hackly, ductile, malleable, sectile. Density 10.1-11.1 variable due to gold, copper, or other metals dissolved ; silver streak. Silver-white, often gray due to tarnishing. Easily tarnished by sodium sulfide. Color, sectility, hackly fracture identify it. Cour-de-Alene, Idaho - silver sidewalk.

Copper - Cu - from the word cypress (Island where it was first identified) which literally means copper.

Again, rare crystals, cubic (isometric), dendritic, soft, hackly, malleable and ductile. Metal, or copper colored streak. Found in Michigan, Keewenaw peninsula in masses weighing many tons; now mined mostly as carbonate and sulfide deposits in Peru and other countries. Believed to be one of the first metals used by man - bronze.

Platinum - Same basic properties as the other metals; density from 14-19, depending on impurities. It always contains some iron, up to 28%. Pure Pt is 21.46.

Sulfur - Massive; thick tabular orthorhombic crystals when formed, very sensitive to heat - melts at 113 degrees C.
no cleavage, conchoidal fracture, brittle to sectile tenacity. Hardness 1.5-2.5; density 2.07. Yellow to yellowish brown color, white streak, resinous to greasy luster.

Found commonly in areas of volcanic activity. Sulfur domes due to low density. Frasch process.

Carbon - 2 forms (polymorphous), graphite and diamond.
Graphite - hexagonal crystals;

flat platy foliated (layered) masses; extremely soft - H = 1, marks on paper. Black streak, greasy feel, Density 2.23. Many uses, lubricants, pencils, etc.

Diamond - H = 10. Octahedral (cubic or isometric) crystals,

adamantine luster. Density 3.5; brittle tenacity, color varies due to impurities.

Other native elements;
Mercury - (yes, as a liquid!), Iron (rarely, it combines easily with oxygen and sulfur), Antimony (sulfur), Bismuth, and arsenic (sulfur).


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Lowell Bailey

Bedford-North Lawrence High School
595 N. Star Boulevard
Bedford
IN
47421
USA
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