Minerals are formed under a variety of conditions, including when molten materials cool, when liquids evaporate or cool and under high temperatures and pressures. Minerals are found in the earth's crust and mantle, and many were created when feldspar and quartz reacted with other materials during the formation of the planet.Know More
Igneous rocks come from magma underneath the surface of the earth. This magma is mostly silicon and contains other elements, such as oxygen, aluminum, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron and magnesium. When magma cools, these rocks harden after water and carbon dioxide are removed from the minerals.
Some sedimentary rocks form after seawater evaporates. Sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt, and calcium sulfate, or gypsum, are two common minerals created after seawater evaporates due to warming by the sun. These minerals are often found in dry, arid places where evaporation temperatures are high.
Diamonds form after coal is superheated and put under intense pressure. Diamonds are created as low as 100 miles below Earth's surface in the mantle. Kimberlites and olivine also form in the mantle and are thrust closer to the surface due to tectonic processes. Other metamorphic rocks and minerals change into gemstones under high heat and pressure, such as jade, emeralds, opal and tourmaline.Learn more about Geology
Rocks are different from minerals in that minerals are single crystalline accumulations of one or more elements, while rocks are solid accumulations of one or more minerals. Rock can either refer to a particular, detached object or, in a general sense, as a synonym for stone, generally referring to a portion of the substance. Individual minerals can be obvious in rocks, as with granite, or microscopic, as with many basalts.Full Answer >
Some important characteristics of minerals are color, hardness, streak, cleavage, fracture and luster. These characteristics do not require any complicated equipment to determine and are useful in identifying specific minerals.Full Answer >
Minerals that contain silicon and oxygen are called silicates. In the Earth's mantle and crust, silicates make up approximately 80 percent of its volume. In nature, silicates are abundant, and they can be classified according to different chemical compositions and crystal structures.Full Answer >
Painite, ruby, diamond, gold, lithium, black opal, blue garnet and jadeite are the most expensive minerals. Painite is one of the rarest minerals on the world, as only 25 crystals have been discovered. As of 2015, it sells for $60,000 per carat.Full Answer >