Minerals Essay

1030 words - 5 pages

Introduction
In this lab, eight unidentified mineral samples are the subject of observation and experimentation. The purpose of this lab is to identify the samples based on the observations and experimentation. This paper will identify each of the samples and briefly discuss each one.
Mineral A - Kaolinite
Kaolinite, composed of hydrated aluminum silicate, is the result of “sedimentary rocks whose sediments were derived from weathered igneous and metamorphic rocks” (Schroeder, 2013). Much like talc, it is white in color. It differs from talc in that it has pale yellow coloring. Not quite as soft as talc, kaolinite scratches very easily. The uses for kaolinite include paper, ceramics and cosmetics.
Mineral B - Olivine
Olivine is not a single mineral but rather a mineral series. By definition, a mineral series contains multiple elements that have the ability to substitute for one another but leave the crystal structure intact in the process. “n olivine, iron (Fe) and magnesium (Mg) do this, so the Olivine Series has two end members. Favalite is the iron-rich version, while forsterite is the magnesium-rich version, although any combination of magnesium and iron is possible” (UM, n.d.). This sample much like quartz and its glass-like feel and appearance and difficulty to scratch, was easy to identify as not being quartz. The olive green color of this sample made it stand out from quartz. Gemstones and brick making are among the uses for olivine.
Mineral C - Malachite
Malachite with its green color, light green streak, dull appearance and ease in scratching all helped to identify this sample. The mineral is a copper carbonate mineral “that forms at shallow depths within the Earth, in the oxidizing zone above copper deposits” (King, 2013). Currently mined in the Congo, South Africa and the Middle East, common uses for malachite include gemstone and small sculptures.
Mineral D - Magnetite
Magnetite is a mineral found within all of the rock groups: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock. A black mineral with a microscopic crystalline structure and metallic luster, “Magnetite is a natural magnet, hence its name” (UA, 2005). Identifying this mineral sample was the most fun out of all the samples in this lab. I did not bother with a scratch test or go by color and feel. I grabbed a magnet off my refrigerator door and tested the attraction to one another. When my sample and magnet found one another, my testing and identification of this sample was over. The uses for magnetite include abrasives, toner, paint pigments and fertilizer.
Mineral E- Quartz
Quartz, a mineral that is one part silicon and two parts oxygen otherwise known as silicon dioxide, “is the most abundant mineral found at Earth's surface and its unique properties make it one of the most useful natural substances” (King, 2013). Found among all three rock types, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, its white streak, glass-like feel and appearance and difficulty...

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