Minerals Properties Lab Display Stations

Luster

Record and complete the table information in your notes.

Mineral name Chemical formula Describe the luster as metallic or non-metallic
1. galena PbS
 
 
 
2. chalcedony SiO2
 
 
 
3. limonite Fe2O3 · H2O
 
 
 
4. Which two of these have a nonmetallic luster?
 
 

 

Color

Record and complete the table information in your notes.

Mineral name Chemical formula Describe the color
5. fluorite CaF2
 
 
 
6. pyrrhotite FeS
 
 
 
7. amphibole CaNa(Mg or Fe)4(Al or Fe or Ti)3Si6O22(O or OH)2  
 
 
8. Why isn't color a reliable identifier of minerals?
 
 

 

Streak

Record and complete the table information in your notes.

Mineral name Chemical formula Describe the streak color
9. chalcopyrite CuFeS2
 
 
 
10. galena PbS
 
 
 
11. specular hematite Fe2O3
 
 
 
12. What is surprising about the color of one of these streaks?
 
 

 

Hardness

1 talc 5.2 knife blade
2 gypsum 5.8 window glass
2.5 fingernail 6 orthoclase
3 calcite 7 quartz
3.5 copper penny 8 topaz
4 fluorite 9 corundum
5 apatite 10 diamond

Record and complete the table information in your notes.



 
Mineral name Chemical formula Range of Mohs Hardness numbers
13. Al2O3
 
 
 
14. Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
 
 
 
15. KAlSi3O8
 
 
 

 

Heft

Record and complete the table information in your notes. Rather than measure the actual specific gravity of the mineral samples, we will gauge the 'heft' or the relative weight of the samples.

Mineral name Chemical formula Heavier or lighter?
16. gypsum Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
 
 
 
17. magnetite Fe3O4
 
 
 
18. How would looking at the chemical formula help you answer heavier or lighter?
 
 

 

Cleavage / Fracture

Record and complete the table information in your notes. Remember that when glass breaks it shows fracture.

Mineral name Chemical formula Does the mineral exhibit cleavage or fracture?
19. muscovite KAl3Si3O10(OH)2
 
 
 
20. quartz SiO2
 
 
 
21. calcite CaCO3
 
 
 

 

Special Properties

Record and complete the table information in your notes.

Mineral name Chemical formula Describe a special property
22. magnetite FexOy
 
 
 
23. sulfur S
 
 
 
24. Why are there variables (x and y) in the chemical formula for magnetite?
 
 
25. What other minerals in this lab might have the same special property as magnetite? Why do you think this?
 
 

 

Crystal Form

Record and complete the table information in your notes.

Mineral name Chemical formula Does the mineral have regular (repeating pattern) or irregular crystalline shape?
26. halite NaCl
 
 
 
27. malachite Cu2CO3(OH)2