Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences


EPS101 Online Mineral and Rock Identification Kit

Created by Jonathan Evenick

Non-silicate Minerals Silicate Minerals
Apatite Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH) Amphibole Ca2(Mg,Fe)4(Si7Al)O22(OH,F)2
Calcite CaCO3 Biotite K(Mg,Fe)3(Al,Fe)Si3O10(OH,F)2
Corundum Al2O3 Garnet (Mg,Fe,Ca)3Al2(SiO4)3
Fluorite CaF2 Muscovite KAl2(Si3Al)O10(OH,F)2
Galena PbS Olivine (Fe,Mg)2SiO4
Graphite C Orthoclase KAlSi3O8
Gypsum CaSO4.2H2O Plagioclase NaAlSi3O8
Halite NaCl Pyroxene (Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe,Al,Ti)(Si,Al)2O6
Hematite Fe2O3 Quartz SiO2
Limonite Amorphous hydrated Fe oxide Staurolite (Fe,Mg,Zn)2Al9(Si,Al)4O22(OH)2
Magnetite Fe3O4 Talc Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Pyrite FeS2    
Sphalerite ZnS    

Igneous Rocks Metamorphic rocks Sedimentary Rocks Sedimentary Structures
Andesite Gneiss Breccia Cross-bedding
Basalt Marble Chert Graded Bedding
Diorite Phyllite Coal Mud Cracks
Dunite Quartzite Conglomerate Raindrop Imprints
Gabbro Schist Coquina Ripple Marks
Granite Slate Dolomite Salt Crystals
Obsidian   Limestone Trace Fossils
Pumice   Sandstone  
Rhyolite   Shale  
Vesicular Basalt   Siltstone  


Apatite

Apatite

Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)

Color: green

Hardness: 5

Streak: white

Cleavage: 1 (poor)

Luster: vitreous

Other Properties: effervescences with hydrochloric (HCl) acid

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Amphibole (Hornblende)

Amphibole

Ca2(Mg,Fe)4Al(Si7Al)O22(OH,F)2

Color: green to black

Hardness: 5.5

Streak: pale green

Cleavage: 2 (60¡ and 120¡)

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: insoluble

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Calcite

Calcite

CaCO3

Color: various

Hardness: 3

Streak: white to gray

Cleavage: rhombohedral

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: effervescences with hydrochloric (HCL) acid

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Biotite

Biotite

K(Mg,Fe)3(Al,Fe)Si3O10(OH,F)2

Color: brown to black

Hardness: 2.5-3

Streak: gray brown

Cleavage: basal

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: soluble in sulfuric acid

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Corundum

Corundum

Al2O3

Color: various

Hardness: 9

Streak: white

Cleavage: none

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: insoluble

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Garnet

Garnet

(Mg,Fe,Ca)3Al2(SiO4)3

Color: typically dark red to brown

Hardness: 6.5- 7.5

Streak: white

Cleavage: none

Luster: vitreous

Other Properties: can be of gem quality

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Fluorite

Fluorite

CaF2

Color: various

Hardness: 4

Streak: white

Cleavage: octahedral

Luster: vitreous

Other Properties: fluorescent in ultraviolet light

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Muscovite

Muscovite

KAl2(Si3Al)O10(OH,F)2

Color: clear

Hardness: 2-2.5

Streak: white

Cleavage: basal

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: soluble in acids

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Galena

Galena

PbS

Color: silver-gray

Hardness: 2.5

Streak: gray

Cleavage: cubic

Luster: metallic

Other Properties: high specific gravity (7.6) and brittle

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Olivine

Olivine

(Fe,Mg)2SiO4

Color: green

Hardness: 6.5-7

Streak: Colorless

Cleavage: none

Luster: vitreous

Other Properties: soluble in hydrochloric acid

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Graphite

Graphite

C

Color: gray to black

Hardness: 1

Streak: gray to black

Cleavage: basal

Luster: metallic

Other Properties: feels greasy

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Orthoclase

Orthoclase

KAlSi3O8

Color: pink or white

Hardness: 6

Streak: white

Cleavage: 2 (90¡)

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: similar to plagioclase, but with no striations on cleavage surfaces

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Gypsum

Gypsum

CaSO4.2H2O

Color: Colorless, white or gray

Hardness: 2

Streak: white

Cleavage: 1 (2 poor)

Luster: vitreous

Other Properties: soluble in acids

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Plagioclase

Plagioclase

NaAlSi3O8

Color: white to gray

Hardness: 6

Streak: white

Cleavage: 2 (90¡)

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: commonly have parallel striations on cleavage surfaces

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Halite

Halite

NaCl

Color: various

Hardness: 2.5

Streak: white

Cleavage: cubic

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: soluble in water, taste salty

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Pyroxene (Augite)

Pyroxene

(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe,Al,Ti)(Si,Al)2O6

Color: green to black

Hardness: 5.5

Streak: white

Cleavage: 2 (87¡ and 93¡)

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: insoluble

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Hematite

Hematite

Fe2O3

Color: gray-silver

Hardness: 5-6.5

Streak: dark red

Cleavage: none

Luster: metallic

Other Properties: high specific gravity (5.3)

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Quartz

Quartz

SiO2

Color: various

Hardness: 7

Streak: white

Cleavage: none

Luster: vitreous

Other Properties: soluble in hydrofluoric acid

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Limonite

Limonite

amorphous hydrated iron oxide

Color: brown to yellow

Hardness: 5-5.5

Streak: brown to yellow

Cleavage: none

Luster: metallic to dull

Other Properties: occurs commonly in irregular shapes

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Staurolite

Staurolite

(Fe,Mg,Zn)2Al9(Si, Al)4O22(OH)2

Color: brown

Hardness: 7-7.5

Streak:

Colorless to gray

Cleavage: 1

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: crystals typically cross and are coffin-shaped in cross-section

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Magnetite

Magnetite

Fe3O4

Color: black to gray

Hardness: 6

Streak: black

Cleavage: none

Luster: non-metallic

Other Properties: magnetic and high specific gravity (5.2)

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Talc

Talc

Mg3Si4O10(OH)2

Color: white to green

Hardness: 1

Streak: white

Cleavage: 1

Luster: greasy

Other Properties: feels soapy

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Pyrite

Pyrite

FeS2

Color: brassy yellow

Hardness: 6-6.5

Streak: green to black

Cleavage: none

Luster: metallic

Other Properties: high specific gravity (5.0), commonly cubic and brittle

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Sphalerite

Sphalerite

ZnS

Color: yellow, brown or black

Hardness: 3.5-4

Streak: pale yellow-brown

Cleavage: dodecahedral

Luster: metallic

Other Properties: smells like sulfur when broken

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Andesite

Andesite

Class (Color): intermediate

Bulk Composition: plagioclase, orthoclase, amphibole, and biotite

Origin: extrusive

Texture: aphanitic

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Gneiss

Gneiss

Prolith: varies

Temperature: high

Grain Size: coarse

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Breccia

Breccia

Grain Size: coarse

Composition Class: clastic (terrigenous)

Composition: sand to boulders

Other Properties: angular grains

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Cross-bedding

CrossBedding

A series of laminae lying concave up and obliquely to the main bedding planes that are created by wind or water currents.

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Basalt

Basalt

Class (Color): mafic

Bulk Composition: plagioclase, pyroxene, olivine, and amphibole

Origin: extrusive

Texture: aphanitic

Other Properties: black, brown, and green color

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Marble

Marble

Prolith: limestone

Temperature: high

Grain Size: fine to coarse

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Chert

Chert

Grain Size: microcrystalline

Composition Class: chemical (inorganic)

Composition: quartz

Other Properties: conchoidal fracture

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Graded Bedding

GradedBedding

A fining upward succession of stratified sediment caused by the settling of heavier grains or minerals.

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Diorite

Diorite

Class (Color): intermediate

Bulk Composition: plagioclase, orthoclase, amphibole, and biotite

Origin: intrusive

Texture: phaneritic

Other Properties: salt and pepper appearance

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Phyllite

Phyllite

Prolith: shale

Temperature: low

Grain Size: medium

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Coal

Coal

Grain Size: fine

Composition Class: biochemical (organic)

Composition: plant fragments or charcoal

Other Properties: brittle, porous, and sooty

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Mud Cracks

Mud Cracks

Irregular fractures (commonly pentagonal) that are formed by the desiccation of clay-rich sediment or soil.

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Dunite

Dunite

Class (Color): ultramafic

Composition: olivine, pyroxene, and chromite

Origin: intrusive

Texture: phaneritic

Other Properties: usually green color

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Quartzite

Quartzite

Prolith: sandstone

Temperature: high

Grain Size: medium

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Conglomerate

Conglomerate

Grain Size: coarse

Composition Class: clastic (terrigenous)

Composition: sand to boulders

Other Properties: rounded grains

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Raindrop Imprints

Raindrop Imprints

Small, shallow impressions formed in soft sediment caused by the impact of falling rain.

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Gabbro

Gabbro

Class (Color): mafic

Bulk Composition: plagioclase, pyroxene, olivine, and amphibole

Origin: intrusive

Texture: phaneritic

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Schist

Schist

Prolith: varies

Temperature: low to high

Grain Size: fine to coarse

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Coquina

Coquina

Grain Size: coarse

Composition Class: biochemical (organic)

Composition: shells

Other Properties: effervescences with hydrochloric (HCl) acid

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Ripple Marks

Ripple Marks

A wave-like pattern of alternating crest and troughs caused by wind or water currents.

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Granite

Granite

Class (Color): felsic

Bulk Composition: orthoclase, quartz, plagioclase, biotite, and amphibole

Origin: intrusive

Texture: phaneritic

Other Properties: pink, white, and black color

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Slate

Slate

Prolith: shale

Temperature: low

Grain Size: fine

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Dolomite

Dolomite

Grain Size: fine

Composition Class: chemical (inorganic)

Composition: dolomite

Other Properties: does NOT effervescence in hydrochloric (HCl) acid

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Salt Crystals

Salt Crystals

Crystals of salt that form by the evaporation of seawater.

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Obsidian

Obsidian

Class (Color): felsic to mafic

Bulk Composition: varies

Origin: extrusive

Texture: glassy

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Limestone

Limestone

Grain Size: fine to coarse

Composition Class: chemical (inorganic)

Composition: calcite

Other Properties: effervescences with hydrochloric (HCl) acid

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Trace Fossils

Trace Fossils

A trail, track, or burrow made by an organism

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Pumice

Pumice

Class (Color): felsic

Bulk Composition: orthoclase, quartz, plagioclase, biotite, and amphibole

Origin: extrusive

Texture: frothy

Other Properties: floats in water

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Sandstone

Sandstone

Grain Size: medium to coarse

Composition Class: clastic (terrigenous)

Composition: sand

Other Properties: rough texture

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Rhyolite

Rhyolite

Class (Color): felsic

Bulk Composition: orthoclase, quartz, plagioclase, biotite, and amphibole

Origin: extrusive

Texture: aphanitic

Other Properties: pink color

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Shale

Shale

Grain Size: fine

Composition Class: clastic (terrigenous)

Composition: clay minerals

Other Properties: smooth texture

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Vesicular Basalt

Vesicular Basalt

Class (Color): mafic

Bulk Composition: plagioclase, pyroxene, olivine, and amphibole

Origin: extrusive

Texture: frothy

Other Properties: vesicles commonly filled with minerals

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Siltstone

Siltstone

Grain Size: fine to medium

Composition Class: clastic (terrigenous)

Composition: silt and clay minerals

Other Properties: silty texture

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