Photo by 
Patrick Laird ©
Minerals and Mineral Collecting
by
Patrick Laird

Photo by 
Patrick Laird ©



 
Introduction
What is a Mineral?
Crystal Systems
Physical Properties
Where to Find Minerals
Equipment
Storage & Display
References


Introduction

There are a wide variety of reasons for collecting minerals.  You might be working on a merit badge for Boy Scouts, putting together a collection for 4-H or a school project, and maybe you just do it for enjoyment.  Some minerals may be bought and therefore will already be identified. Some minerals may be collected "in the field" and you will need to be able to correctly identify and label these minerals.  "In the field" refers to the places where minerals are found, which is almost everywhere in nature. 

This web site should help explain what a mineral is, as well as information on identifying and storing minerals.  A mineral collection is not only a way to preserve and organize specimens, but an art form in itself. A collection is usually made up of pretty minerals and this site will provide many images of such specimens.  Clicking on any image throughout this website will give you a larger view of that specimen.  This web page was created to inform and share, as well as to fulfill a requirement for GO336 Mineralogy, a course offered through Emporia State University during the fall semester of 2002.

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What is a mineral?

In order for a mineral to be called a mineral, it must consist of the following five characteristics:

Mineral - Pyrite

Photo by 
Patrick Laird ©
Amorphous Mineral - Opal

Photo by 
Patrick Laird ©
 Mineraloid - Amber

Image taken from 
Amethyst Galleries, Inc.

Minerals can be divided into the following classes:

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This web page was created by Patrick Laird for GO336 Mineralogy at Emporia State University, on November 11, 2002.

copyright 2002 Patrick Laird. All rights reserved.