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15 Cards in this Set

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Carbonates
Minerals made of the carbonate ion (one atom of carbon and three atoms of oxygen) in combination
with one or more elements such as calcium, magnesium or iron (ie: calcite CaCO3).
Cleavage
The way a mineral breaks along one or more smooth, flat planes.
Crystal
A geometric mineral shape having an orderly arrangement of plane surfaces that reflects the fixed
pattern of its internal atoms.
Fracture
The breakage of minerals along irregular surfaces. Fracture can be described as uneven, splintered or curved.
Feldspar
A group of aluminum silicate minerals characterized by their hardness and distinct right-angle
cleavage. They are the most abundant of all the rock-forming minerals.
Luster
The visual appearance of a mineral as it absorbs, reflects or refracts light.
Mineral
A solid, naturally occurring inorganic substance composed of an element or compound and having a
fixed chemical composition.
Muscovite
A potassium, aluminum silicate mineral of the mica group that has perfect cleavage in one direction
(breaks into thin sheets) and has a glassy luster.
Native Elements
Metallic (gold, silver, copper) and nonmetallic (graphite, sulfur, diamond) minerals composed
of a single element in its purest uncombined form ( ie: Gold, Au).
Oxides
Minerals that form when oxygen atoms bond with metal atoms such as iron, magnesium or aluminum.
(ie: magnetite Fe3O4).
Quartz (SiO2)
One of the most abundant and stable minerals in the earth's crust, made of one atom of silicon and two
atoms of oxygen.
Silicates
The rock-forming minerals made up of silicon-oxygen molecules either alone or in combination with
one or more other elements.
Specific Gravity
The relative weight of a mineral when compared with the weight of an equal volume of water;
also referred to as "heft". It is similar to a mineral's density.
Streak
The color of the powder left by a mineral when it is rubbed across an unglazed tile.
Sulfides
Metallic minerals that form when a metal element bonds with sulfur. (ie: pyrite FeS2).