What are rocks, minerals and crystals made of?
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Q:

What are rocks, minerals and crystals made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Most rocks are made of various types of minerals, but some are made of animal shells or compressed plant parts. Minerals are natural inorganic solids with a specific chemical composition. Crystals are expressions of the atomic structures of minerals.

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Full Answer

Rocks are mainly divided into the categories igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic, depending on how they are formed. Minerals differ from each other based on their chemical and physical properties. Geologists identify minerals by their features, including color, streak, crystal pattern, hardness, luster and specific gravity. The liquid rocks inside the earth cool and harden to form crystals over a period of time. Amethyst is a common quartz crystal.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you grow crystals?

    A:

    The process of growing crystals can take several weeks, depending on the saturation of the solution that is used in the initial phases of the process. To follow these methods, you need water, a solute like salt or sugar, rocks, a coffee filter and a stove.

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  • Q:

    Where do crystals grow?

    A:

    Mineral crystals form at the surface and deep within the Earth. They grow from vapors that contain plenty of mineral components. Many crystals form in volcanic locations where hot gases encounter cool temperatures.

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  • Q:

    How do crystals form?

    A:

    Crystals form by a process called nucleation, which takes place in solutions containing a high concentration of the solute. Once a nucleus is formed, the solute particles bind to it, thereby causing the growth of a crystal.

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  • Q:

    Where do rocks come from?

    A:

    Rocks come from magma, which is the molten material found within the earth. When magma cools, either above or below the earth's surface, it crystallizes and forms the igneous rocks that can later be changed into metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. Magma, which can be considered molten rock, is referred to as lava when it reaches the earth's surface.

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