Mineral Worksheet #1
Answers and Exam Review
1. m The way a mineral reflects or “reacts” to light. a. Native Element
2. j A mineral’s resistance to being scratched. b. Cubic
3. o Magnetic c. Hexagonal
4. k This crystal system has three axes that all intersect at oblique angles. d. Effervesces
5. l The color of a mineral’s powder when rubbed across an unglazed porcelain plate. e. Monoclinic
6. g When minerals don’t break along cleavage lines. f. Crystalline Solid
7. i This crystal system has three axes of different length that intersect at 90 degree angles. g. Fracture
8. a When a mineral exists as a single element. h. Color
9. b This crystal system has 3 axes of equal length that intersect at 90 degree angles. i. Orthorhombic
This crystal system has three horizontal axes that are the same length and intersect at
10 c 60 degree angles, and one longer vertical axis.
This crystal system has three axes, two of which intersect at right angles and one that
11 e intersects the other two a an oblique angle.
12 d This is when a mineral reacts with a weak acid to produce bubbles. l. Streak
13 p This is the plane or planes in which a mineral tends to split. m. Luster
14 n Glows when a black light is shined on a mineral n. Fluorescence
15 h The most misleading property of a mineral, in terms of determining its identity o. Magnetic
16 f This is something that has its atoms arranged in a repeating pattern. p. Cleavage
17. What are four conditions that
define a mineral?
• naturally occurring
• repeating pattern of atoms
• definite chemical composition
18. What is 1 reason that color isn’t a
good method of identifying minerals?
• more than one mineral can have a
• a mineral can exist as more than
• some minerals change color over
19. What are the two types of luster?
20. List as many of the acceptable adjectives for
luster as you can. Next to each adjective, write
a description and give one mineral that can be
used as an example of that type of luster.
• waxy • like a candle • rose quartz
• vitreous • glassy • crystal quartz
• dull • well, dull • red hematite
• earthy • no luster • limonite
• adamantine • most brilliant • diamond
• pearly • like a pearl • muscovite
• silky • like a silk shirt • malachite
• greasy • an oily sheen • talc
• resinous • syrupy-shiny • sulfur
21. List as many of the acceptable adjectives for
fracture as you can. Next to each, write a
description and give one mineral that can be
used as an example of that type of fracture.
• conchoidal • like sea-shell • rose quartz
• even • smooth • kaolinite
• fibrous • stringy • gypsum
• splintery • needles • malachite
• uneven • less smooth • magnetite
• brittle • crumbly • limonite
• sectile • can be carved • sulfur
22. For properties of luster and fracture, we are
restricted in the words we can use. Explain
why do we use a reduced vocabulary?
• a reduced vocabulary increases
the objectivity and improves
23. There are a few minerals that you have
worked with over the past week that are
very distinctive and should be able to be
identified by sight only. Name one
mineral that you can (or should be able
to) identify simply by looking at it.
Explain what is so distinctive about this
mineral, that allows you (or should) to do
24. There are two ways to describe
cleavage, describe what they are and
how they are used.
• quality of the cleavage (how easily it is
seen or detected)
• the planes (& angles) of the cleavage.
25. Name one mineral that has an
easy to see cleavage.
26. List three tests that you could
perform on a mineral to help
- hardness (Moh’s hardness scale)
- streaking (to see the color)
- weak acid test (effervescence)
- black light (fluorescence)
27. Of all the tests that can be
performed on a mineral to help
identify it, which one is the most
28. Write the defining mineral for each level
of the Moh’s Hardness Scale in the table
Moh’s Hardness Number Defining Mineral
6 Orthoclase Feldspar
29. List the tools that are used to determine
hardness. Write the Moh’s hardness
number next to each tool.
Tool Moh’s Hardness Number
Steel Nail 4.5
Glass Plate 5.5
Streak Plate 5-8
30. Why does the hardness of some
minerals have such a large range?
- minerals naturally occurring and
can vary in hardness because of
31. List six of the eight most common
elements in the earth’s crust?
- oxygen (O)
- silicon (Si)
- aluminum (Al)
- iron (Fe)
- calcium (Ca)
- sodium (Na)
- potassium (K)
- magnesium (Mg)
32. Define the word abiotic?
Natural, but not from or of any
biological or living organism.
33. What is one way that minerals
- hot magma or lava cools
- water containing minerals evaporates
- sustained heat and pressure change one
mineral into another
34. Why do we study minerals?
- minerals are the starting point
for understanding ALL geologic
35. You have studied minerals for
approximately two weeks. What
is a rock and how is it different
than a mineral?
Rocks are made of an aggregate
(gathering or mixture bound into one
object) of minerals.