Rocks and Minerals

Properties of Minerals

by Anne E. Egger, Ph.D.

Further Exploration

Mineralogy Database

An immense, web-based databse of minerals that includes physical properties, photographs, chemical composition, animations of mineral structure, and classification.

The Physical Characteristics of Minerals

Mineral Gallery - A more detailed exploration of mineral properties, including more unusual properties like phosphorescence and magnetism. Includes lots of pictures.

Common Minerals and Their Uses

Mineral Information Institute - A list of the most commonly used minerals, from aluminum to zirconium, including pictures.


James Dwight Dana

James Dwight Dana

The father of mineral classification

Friedrich Mohs

Friedrich Mohs

Creator of the hardness scale


The Microhardness of Minerals Comprising the Mohs Scale

Hodge and McKay - Development of a new hardness scale

The Cause of Color in Smoky Quartz and Amethyst

Holden - Summarizing color occurence in quartz

News & Events

In the Buff: Tools derived luster from diamond

Science News

Life on Mars? What minerals can tell us

Science Daily

Current Science News

News from around the world of science.


Minerals Research at the USGS

USGS mineral resources.

Google Scholar

Google - Research database allows searching of the scholarly literature.


Mineral Physical Properties and Identification Tool

From Richard Harwood at Black Hawk College, the tool includes an image of a mineral and a series of physical properties tests that help you identify minerals.

Minerals in Our Environment

Designed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), this interactive resource describes the minerals found in items we encounter every day.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States

National Academies Press: A Framework for K-12 Science Education