Properties of Minerals

Earth Science - Middle School

Properties of Minerals A mineral that breaks apart in flat planes has cleavage. A mineral that breaks unevenly along irregular surfaces has fracture. There are several different types of fracture. Mineral Properties Mineral Properties color streak luster specic gravity hardness crystal system cleavage/ fracture special properties special properties cleavage fracture crystal system hardness color streak luster specic gravity © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 94-4653 Visit for Online Learning Resources. mica cleavage quartz fracture Physical Properties Minerals are identified by their physical properties. There are a number of properties that can be tested, such as hardness and streak color. An unknown mineral can be identified by its physical properties. A mineral’s hardness is determined by comparing it to the minerals in the Mohs Hardness Scale. 2 2-3 3 gypsum halite calcite The color of a mineral is easy to see but is not always the best way to identify it. Many minerals are the same color, and some minerals can change color if they are exposed to different conditions, like air or water. Streak is the color of a mineral when it is crushed to a powder. If you rub a mineral across a piece of unglazed porcelain, a streak is seen. Minerals harder than a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale do not leave a streak. Luster is a description of how light reflects off of a mineral. Some of the luster descriptions are metallic, glassy, greasy and dull. silver metallic glassy greasy dull quartz sulfur barite Luster density = mass volume mass volume displaced Specific gravity is a measure of a mineral’s density. Density is determined by comparing the mass of a mineral to the mass of an equal volume of water. Volume is measured by dropping a mineral sample in water and looking at the amount of displacement. A scale is used to measure mass. streak color streak plate fluorite - color varies
Pause and Review List and describe the mineral properties and also how you would test for each of them. Properties of Minerals © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 94-4653 Visit for Online Learning Resources. Mineral Properties ___________________________ _________________________ ____________________________ ___________________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ _____________________________ ___________________________ _________________________ _______________________ __________________________________ _______________________ _____________________ ____________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________ _________________________ _______________________ _____________________________ ___________________________________ ______________________ ____________________________ ___________________________________ ________________________ _________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ _________________________ ________________________ _______________________________