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Unit 2: Composition of Earth
Chapter 4: Minerals
p. 76 Minerals

Minerals A Ė Z
Visit this site by The Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom (a private Web site) to find out everything you might want to know about over 150 minerals. You can sort minerals here by their properties, chemistry, or elemental affiliations. There are wonderful images of minerals at this site as well. Under sort method, click on color, then on the color blue to see a list of blue minerals. Then click on corundum to see how this mineral is classified. Click on pictures to see images of minerals in the corundum group.

Minerals Resources Program
At this USGS site you can find out about the quality, quantity, and availability of mineral resources in the United States. Scroll down and click on mineral resources online spatial data and click on any state to find out about the mineral resources located there. You can zoom in and out or use the identify tool to find out what you are looking at. Be patient; zooming in takes a little time to load.

National Museum of Natural History
Visit the Smithsonian Institution for a virtual tour of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals at the National Museum of Natural History. Click on for more information about the hall to begin your tour. Which of the specimens in the Hall do you think was the most expensive? Why?

p. 85 Mineral Identification

Welcome to GeoMania
This is a site by Rogue Community College and Grants Pass High School in Oregon in support of the geology classes given at these two schools. Scroll down to mineral and rock identification and click on index to mineral and rock identification. Then click on for more information about mineral identification, and finally on mineral identification tests: summary of procedures. How can you determine the hardness of a mineral in the field? What object can you use to determine a hardness of 5.5?

The Physical Characteristics of Minerals
Visit this Web site to learn more about the physical characteristics of minerals beyond color, luster, hardness, density, crystal structure, and fracture patterns, including fluorescence, magnetism, and feel. Scroll down and click on odor to find out which mineral is most easily identified by its smell. Is smell a reliable characteristic to use to identify most minerals? Why or why not?

Minerals by Name
Although this is a commercial site that sells mineral specimens, it also contains a wealth of information about each mineral. Explore the information available at this site by picking any mineral and looking for it in the list on the left-hand side of the screen. For example, scroll down and click on amethyst to find out about this variety of quartz. The purple color of amethyst once was reserved for royalty alone, so why isnít amethyst an expensive gemstone?

Mineral Investigations
Suppose you are employed by a mining company and you are given six mineral samples collected from an unknown location. Your task is to identify the samples. How would you go about identifying your samples? At this cool site, you can subject your samples to various tests in a virtual testing lab. Although this site is offered for students in a geology course at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, anyone can play along. Try it, youíll like it. You can choose several mineral samples to subject to every test to determine what each sample is. Begin by printing out the sample forms so you can keep track of the results of each test for each sample. Then choose a test by clicking on that button. For example, you could choose the button for color determination. The next screen explains the test. Then click on the grey bar that says go to the virtual color testing lab. Choose a sample number from the left-hand menu, say #6, and click on it. The #6 mineral sample will appear at the right. Pan over the color chart until you find a color that matches your sample. Enter this color on your form for sample #6. Finally, do the color test for as many samples as you want, then go on to the next test. Good luck!


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