How Do Geologists Identify Minerals?

Answer

Identifying minerals is not an easy task, even for trained geologists. There are roughly 4,000 known minerals on earth, and only a few hundred are considered common minerals. In order to make an identification, geologists closely study the various physical properties of a mineral, such as color, hardness, and specific gravity. They also examine other physical properties such as whether or not the mineral has a taste, like salt for example, or whether it gives off a distinct odor, like sulfur.
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