Mineral Physical Properties Chart by MrRail

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									                  Mineral Physical Properties Chart
                     Definition*                             Testing Method
                                         Examine the mineral for areas where the mineral is
               Breakage of a mineral     broken. Look for areas where the light reflects from
 Cleavage      along planes of weakness planar surfaces. This can be easily confused with a
               in the crystal structure. crystal face and is the most difficult properties for
                                         students to master.
               Visible light spectrum
                                            Look at the sample and determine its color - white,
Color          radiation reflected from a
                                            black, green, clear, etc.
                                            Examine and describe the geometric shape of the
               Geometric shape of a
Crystal Form crystal or mineral.            mineral - cubic, hexagonal, etc. Not commonly seen
                                            in most introductory lab samples.
               Breakage of a mineral,
                                            Examine the mineral for areas where the mineral is
               not along planes of
Fracture       weakness in the crystal
                                            broken. Describe the breakage as either irregular or
                                            conchoidal (has the appearance of broken glass)
                                            Use minerals of known hardness from the Mohs
                                            Hardness Kits. Scratch the unknown mineral with a
               Resistance to scratching     known hardness to determine which mineral is
Hardness       or abrasion.                 harder. Continue doing this with harder or softer
                                            minerals from the kit until the hardness is
                                            Look at the sample to determine if the mineral is
               Character of the light
Luster         reflected by a mineral.
                                            metallic in appearance (looks like a chunk of metal)
                                            or non-metallic (doesn't look like a chunk of metal).
               Electromagnetic force
                                         Use a magnet to determine if the magnet is attracted
Magnetism      generated by an object or
                                         to the sample.
               electrical field.
               Chemical interaction of      Place one small drop of HCl on a sample a watch for
Reaction to    hydrochloric acid and        a reaction - effervesces (bubbles).
HCl            calcium carbonate
               Ratio of the mass of a    Generally not determined in an introductory lab. Look
               mineral to the mass of an this information up in your lab manual once the
Gravity        equal volume of water.    mineral has been identified.
                                         Grind a small amount of a mineral into a powder on a
               Color of the mineral when
Streak         it is powdered.
                                         porcelain streak plate and determine the color of the
               Nerve ending reaction in     Lick the mineral. (not recommended in an
Taste          the tongue to different      introductory lab - you don't know who has handled or
               chemicals.                   licked the sample before you).
                                            Requires special equipment such as a UV lamp and
Other          Fluorescence,
                                            geiger counter. These are not commonly tested for in
Properties     Radioactivity
                                            an introductory lab.

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