Mineral 1.0Test your knowledge of specific minerals

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  SilicateActinolite
Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2

Other names/forms:
Tremolite

Most distinguishing features:
Habit and colour are best indicators.

  SilicateAntigorite
Mg3Si2O5(OH)4

Other names/forms:
Serpentine

Most distinguishing features:
Lustre, colour and habit are indicative.

  SilicateAugite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe,Al,Ti)(SiAl)2O6

Most distinguishing features:
Colour, cleavage and hardness are indicative of a pyroxene. Augite has 2 cleavage planes at 90.

Industrial/economical uses:
None.

  SilicateBiotite
K(Mg,Fe)3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2

Most distinguishing features:
Colour and habit

Industrial/economical uses:
Altered into vermiculite, biotite is used as an insulation material and as filler in certain building supplies.

  SilicateChalcedony
SiO2

Other names/forms:
Micro/Cryptocrystalline Quartz

Most distinguishing features:
Identified by hardness and texture/habit.

Industrial/economical uses:
Used for making glass and as a source of Silicon.

  SilicateChlorite
(Mg,Fe,Al)3(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2

Most distinguishing features:
Colour and its low hardness are distinguishing characteristics.

Industrial/economical uses:
None, however chlorite schist sometimes does have ornamental uses.

  SilicateChrysotile
Mg3Si2O5(OH)4

Other names/forms:
Serpentine

Most distinguishing features:
Habit and colour and most indicative properties.

Industrial/economical uses:
Used in 98% of world's production of asbestos.

  SilicateEpidote
Ca2(Fe,Al)3(SiO4)3(OH)

Most distinguishing features:
Slight colour difference between this mineral and olivine, but only under magnification (where details in the crystals can be seen). Also indicitive is the presence of a cleavage plane.

Industrial/economical uses:
Semiprecious gemstone

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

Other names/forms:
Pyrope, Grossular, Almandine

Most distinguishing features:
Crystal habit, colour and hardness.

Industrial/economical uses:
Abrasives (particularly sandpaper), semi-precious gemstone.

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

Most distinguishing features:
Prominent striations, prismatic crystals and angle on cleavages is distinguishing.

Industrial/economical uses:
Ornamental.

  SilicateKaolinite
Al2Si2O5(OH)4

Most distinguishing features:
Distinctive "clayey" smell, hardness and colour are indicative.

Industrial/economical uses:
Paper coating/filler, drilling mud additive, ceramics, cosmetics, building supplies, cement, pharmaceuticals and even food.

  SilicateKyanite
Al2SiO5

Most distinguishing features:
Bladed habit, colour, and difference of hardness along and across cleavages

  SilicateMuscovite
KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2

Most distinguishing features:
Colour and habit are best indicators.

Industrial/economical uses:
Used in the electronics industry in the manufacture of capacitors, transistors, insulators and certain window types. Also used as a filler in building materials.

  SilicateNepheline
(Na,K)AlSiO4

Most distinguishing features:
Resembles quartz but instead is softer.

Industrial/economical uses:
Used in the manufacture of ceramics and glass.

  SilicateOlivine
Mg2SiO4 - Fe2SiO4

Other names/forms:
Forsterite (Mg) and Fayalite (Fe)

Most distinguishing features:
Pistachio-green colour and granular habit.

Industrial/economical uses:
Peridote (a translucent variety of olivine) is considered a 'gem' mineral. Also used as a refractory sand and infrequently as an abrasive.

  SilicateOrthoclase
KAlSi3O8

Other names/forms:
Kspar

Most distinguishing features:
Colour and evidence of exsolution with plagioclase.

  SilicatePlagioclase
CaAl2Si2O8

Other names/forms:
Anothite (Ca), Albite (Na)

Most distinguishing features:
Parallel striations and white-gray colour separates this mineral from orthoclase (Kspar).

Industrial/economical uses:
Concrete, filler, sand, gravel, etc.

  SilicateQuartz (crystal)
SiO2

Most distinguishing features:
Hardness, translucency and colour are indicators.

  SilicateQuartz (massive)
SiO2

Most distinguishing features:
Hardness and fracture.

  SilicateQuartz (smoky)
SiO2

Most distinguishing features:
Hardness, colour and translucency are indicative.

  SilicateStaurolite
Fe2Al9O6(SiO4)4(O,OH)2

Most distinguishing features:
The "staurolite cross" and colour are indicative.

Industrial/economical uses:
Used as an abrasive due to its high hardness.

  SilicateTalc
Mg3Si4O10(OH)2

Most distinguishing features:
Mineral is very soft and are often compact masses. Colour is typical and varies to brown, green or gray.

  SilicateTopaz
Al2SiO4(F,OH)2

Most distinguishing features:
Resembles quartz, but harder.

Industrial/economical uses:
Gemstone

  SilicateTourmaline
Na(Mg,Fe,Li,Mn,Al)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH,F)4

Most distinguishing features:
Columnar crystals and vertical striations are characteristic, also has poor cleavage.

Industrial/economical uses:
Gemstone. Due to piezoelectric properties, it is also used in the manufacture of pressure gauges and other electronic components.

  SilicateTremolite
Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2

Other names/forms:
Actinolite

Most distinguishing features:
Noticable habit of white acicular grains.

Industrial/economical uses:
Sometimes used as an asbestos mineral, and thus linked as a health hazard.

  SilicateWollastonite
CaSiO3

Most distinguishing features:
Resembles tremolite, but has different cleavage.

Industrial/economical uses:
Replacement for chrysotile asbestos in fire-resistant building supplies. Also used in paints, film and plastics.

  SilicateZircon
ZrSiO4

Most distinguishing features:
Excellent crystalline habit, density and streak/colour are indicative.

Industrial/economical uses:
Source of zirconium and hafnium