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Minerals

Graphite (named by Abraham Gottlob Werner in 1789, from the Greek γραφειν: "to draw/write", for its use in pencils) is one of the allotropes of carbon. Unlike diamond, graphite is a conductor, and can be used, for instance, as the...

Gypsum is a very soft mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. Chemical structure Heating gypsum above approximately 150°C (302°F) partially dehydrates the mineral by driving off exactly 75% of...

Hafnium is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray tetravalent transition metal, hafnium resembles zirconium chemically and is found in zirconium minerals. Hafnium is used in tungst...

Hematite (AE) or haematite (BE) is the mineral form of Iron (III) oxide, (Fe2O3), one of several iron oxides. The ore sometimes contains slight amounts of titanium. When shaped into ornaments, it is often called black diamond. Hematite is a very com...

Halite is the mineral of sodium chloride, NaCl, commonly known as rock salt. Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is colorless to white, light blue, dark blue, and pink. It commonly occurs with other evaporite deposit minerals such as several o...

Indium is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol In and atomic number 49. This rare, soft, malleable and easily fusible poor metal, is chemically similar to aluminium or gallium but looks more like zinc (zinc ores are also the pri...

There are a number of iron oxides: Iron oxides Iron(II) oxide or ferrous oxide (FeO) The black-coloured powder in particular can cause explosions as it readily ignites. Iron(III) oxide or ferric oxide (Fe2O3) known in its natural state as hema...

Kaolinite is a mineral with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet linked through oxygen molecules to one octahedral sheet of alumina octahedra. It is also known as china clay and kaolin (é...

The mineral kyanite is an aluminium silicate of the sillimanite group (along with andalusite and sillimanite), also called alumino-silicate. It has the formula Al2O3·SiO2 (Al2SiO5). Its hardness varies widely depending on its crystallographic direct...

Lead is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Pb (L. Plumbum) and atomic number 82. A soft, heavy, toxic and malleable poor metal, lead is bluish white when freshly cut but tarnishes to dull gray when exposed to air. Lead is used...

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of the mineral calcite (calcium carbonate). The primary source of this calcite is usually marine organisms. These organisms secrete shells that settle out of the water column and are deposited on ocean floors as...

Limonite Limonite is a ferric hydrate of varying composition, the generic formula is frequently written as FeO(OH)·nH2O, although this is not entirely accurate as Limonite often contains a varying amount of oxide compared to hydroxide. Together w...

Lithium is the chemical element with symbol Li and atomic number 3. In the periodic table, it is located in group 1, among the alkali metals. Lithium in its pure form is a soft, silver white metal, that tarnishes and oxidizes very rapidly in air and wa...

Magnesium is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Mg and atomic number 12. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element and constitutes about 2% of the Earth's crust, and it is the third most plentiful element dissolved in se...

Magnetite is a magnetic mineral form of both iron(II) oxide and iron(III) oxide or (iron(II,III) oxide), with chemical formula Fe3O4, one of several iron oxides and a member of the spinel group. Magnetite is the most magnetic of all the minerals on ...

Malachite is a carbonate mineral, copper(II) carbonate hydroxide Cu2CO3(OH)2. Malachite has a hardness between 3.5 and 4. It crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system, and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagtitic masses. Malachite of...

Manganese is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Mn and atomic number 25. Notable characteristics Manganese is a gray-white metal, resembling iron. It is a hard metal and is very brittle, fusible with difficulty, but easi...

Marble is metamorphosed limestone, composed of fairly pure calcite (a crystalline form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3). It is extensively used for sculpture, as a building material, and in many other applications. Faux marble or faux marbling is a wall...

Mercury (element) Mercury, also called quicksilver, is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Hg (from the Greek hydrargyrum, for watery (or liquid) silver) and atomic number 80. A heavy, silvery, transition metal, mercury is o...

The mica group of minerals includes several closely related materials having highly perfect basal cleavage. All are monoclinic with a tendency towards pseudo-hexagonal crystals and are similar in chemical composition. The highly perfect cleavage, which...