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Mineral ID-Lab Quiz 1 - Flashcards

Flashcard Deck Information

Class:GEO 101 - The Dynamic Earth
Subject:GEO-Geological Science
University:University of Alabama
Term:Summer 2011
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Quartz

  •  Hardness: 7 (cannot be scratched by anything in the mineral kit) 
  • Streak: none (it scratches the streak plate)
  • Color: varies. However, a pale milky pink usually means rose quartz (test the hardness to be sure!)




Easily confused with: Fluorite (softer, has cleavage), olivine (heavier, usually green) 

 

   





3/5

Potassium Feldspar

  • Hardness: 6 (can scratch glass, cannot scratch streak plate)
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Color: pearly white to light grayish
  • Cleavage: 2 directions at 90 degrees, but your sample may be bad.

Easily confused with: Quartz (milky quartz is also white-gray, but is more cloudy/translucent)



Plagioclase Feldspar

  • Hardness: 6 (can scratch glass, cannot scratch streak plate)
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Color: pearly white to light grayish
  • Cleavage: 2 directions at 90 degrees, but your sample may be bad.
    Difficulty: 3/5
    Easily confused with: Quartz (milky quartz is also white-gray, but is more cloudy/translucent

Calcite

  • Effervescence: reacts strongly with acid
  • Hardness: 3 (cannot be scratched by fingernail, can be scratched by a penny)
  • Color: usually colorless, but occasionally impure with other colors
  • Clarity: usually clear, but often cloudy or has surfaces damaged by scratches/acid.

 


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Fluorite

  • Hardness: 4 (cannot be scratched by fingernail or penny, can be scratched by a steel knife)
  • Cleavage: 4 directions, but your sample may be bad
  • Clarity: naturally translucent, but often has cracks or impurities under the surface

 

Olivine

  •      Hardness: 7 (cannot be scratched by anything in the mineral kit)
  •      Streak: none (it scratches the streak plate)
  •      Density/Specific Gravity: very dense, so it’s heavy for its size
  •      Color: moss-green to yellow-green

 

Easily confused with: Quartz (rarely green, and much lighter the hand)

Augite

  • Color: black to dark green
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Cleavage: 90 degrees, usually looks more “blocky” or “squarish” than hornblende

 

Easily confused with hornblende but pay attention to cleavage 

Hornblende

  • Color: black to dark green
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Cleavage: broken surfaces may seem more “jagged” than Augite or have “stair-steps”

Easily confused with: Augite, different cleavage

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Muscovite

  • Color: greenish yellow
  • Cleavage: 1 direction - so it comes off in flexible sheets OR comes in parallel stacked sheets
  • Clarity: translucent in a stack, clear if looking through a single sheet
  • Luster: non-metallic, but still shiny

Easily confused with: Biotite (much, much darker color)

Biotite

  • Color: black, very dark brown
  • Cleavage: 1 direction - so it comes off in flexible sheets OR comes in parallel stacked sheets
  • Clarity: translucent, but difficult to see through because it’s so dark
  • Luster: non-metallic, but still shiny

Easily confused with: Muscovite (much, much lighter color)

Talc

  • Hardness: 1 (one of two minerals that can be scratched by a fingernail)
  • Touch: soapy, slippery feeling when you run your hand over it
  • Clarity: usually opaque, but can be somewhat translucent
  • Color: off-white cream or ivory color

Easily confused with: Gypsum (can also be scratched with fingernail, but can be crystalline)

Halite

  • Cleavage: 3 directions, cubic (forms a rectangular brick)
  • Hardness: 2.5 (cannot be scratched by fingernail but can be scratched by penny)
  • Color: colorless, unless it is impure
  • Clarity: naturally clear, but can be cloudy.


Easily confused with: Calcite (effervescent, is rhomboid/

3-D parallelogram), gypsum (scratched by fingernail), fluorite (cannot be scratched by penny, cleavage is very different)

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Gypsum

  • Hardness: 2 (one of two minerals that can be scratched by a fingernail)
  • Texture: if your sample is clear, look for a fibrous texture all running in a single direction



Easily confused with Talc

Pyrite

  • Color: pale gold (almost silver) up to full, rich gold
  • Luster: metallic
  • Streak: dark, almost black, and smells like sulfur (similar to matches)
  • Clarity: always opaque


Graphite

  • Luster: metallic
  • Color: gray
  • You can write your name with it on a sheet of paper
  • Touch: feels silky smooth; glides across the skin

 

Magnetite

  • Magnetic: will easily pick up a magnet if you move the magnetite in slowly from above
  • Luster: metallic
  • Color: very dark – usually black
  • Streak: black
  • Clarity: always opaque

 Difficulty: 1/5

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Hematite

Variety 1  

  • Color: dark grayish-blue
  • Luster: metallic, shimmers when rotated in the light
Variety 2
  • Streak: vivid red-brown (rust-colored)
  • Color: red-brown (rust-colored)
  • Luster: dull
Variety 3 
  • Streak: red-brown (rust-colored), maybe a bit darker than in variety 2
  • Color: dark red-brown, with little bits of rust-red here and there
  • Texture: “Grains” or “little balls” embedded on some surfaces
All varieties
  • Clarity: always opaque

 

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 Quartz

  •  Hardness: 7 (cannot be scratched by anything in the mineral kit) 
  • Streak: none (it scratches the streak plate)
  • Color: varies. However, a pale milky pink usually means rose quartz (test the hardness to be sure!)




Easily confused with: Fluorite (softer, has cleavage), olivine (heavier, usually green) 

 

   





3/5

 Potassium Feldspar

  • Hardness: 6 (can scratch glass, cannot scratch streak plate)
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Color: pearly white to light grayish
  • Cleavage: 2 directions at 90 degrees, but your sample may be bad.

Easily confused with: Quartz (milky quartz is also white-gray, but is more cloudy/translucent)



 Plagioclase Feldspar

  • Hardness: 6 (can scratch glass, cannot scratch streak plate)
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Color: pearly white to light grayish
  • Cleavage: 2 directions at 90 degrees, but your sample may be bad.
    Difficulty: 3/5
    Easily confused with: Quartz (milky quartz is also white-gray, but is more cloudy/translucent

 Calcite

  • Effervescence: reacts strongly with acid
  • Hardness: 3 (cannot be scratched by fingernail, can be scratched by a penny)
  • Color: usually colorless, but occasionally impure with other colors
  • Clarity: usually clear, but often cloudy or has surfaces damaged by scratches/acid.

 


 Fluorite

  • Hardness: 4 (cannot be scratched by fingernail or penny, can be scratched by a steel knife)
  • Cleavage: 4 directions, but your sample may be bad
  • Clarity: naturally translucent, but often has cracks or impurities under the surface

 

 Olivine

  •      Hardness: 7 (cannot be scratched by anything in the mineral kit)
  •      Streak: none (it scratches the streak plate)
  •      Density/Specific Gravity: very dense, so it’s heavy for its size
  •      Color: moss-green to yellow-green

 

Easily confused with: Quartz (rarely green, and much lighter the hand)

 Augite

  • Color: black to dark green
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Cleavage: 90 degrees, usually looks more “blocky” or “squarish” than hornblende

 

Easily confused with hornblende but pay attention to cleavage 

 Hornblende

  • Color: black to dark green
  • Clarity: always opaque
  • Cleavage: broken surfaces may seem more “jagged” than Augite or have “stair-steps”

Easily confused with: Augite, different cleavage

 Muscovite

  • Color: greenish yellow
  • Cleavage: 1 direction - so it comes off in flexible sheets OR comes in parallel stacked sheets
  • Clarity: translucent in a stack, clear if looking through a single sheet
  • Luster: non-metallic, but still shiny

Easily confused with: Biotite (much, much darker color)

 Biotite

  • Color: black, very dark brown
  • Cleavage: 1 direction - so it comes off in flexible sheets OR comes in parallel stacked sheets
  • Clarity: translucent, but difficult to see through because it’s so dark
  • Luster: non-metallic, but still shiny

Easily confused with: Muscovite (much, much lighter color)

 Talc

  • Hardness: 1 (one of two minerals that can be scratched by a fingernail)
  • Touch: soapy, slippery feeling when you run your hand over it
  • Clarity: usually opaque, but can be somewhat translucent
  • Color: off-white cream or ivory color

Easily confused with: Gypsum (can also be scratched with fingernail, but can be crystalline)

 Halite

  • Cleavage: 3 directions, cubic (forms a rectangular brick)
  • Hardness: 2.5 (cannot be scratched by fingernail but can be scratched by penny)
  • Color: colorless, unless it is impure
  • Clarity: naturally clear, but can be cloudy.


Easily confused with: Calcite (effervescent, is rhomboid/

3-D parallelogram), gypsum (scratched by fingernail), fluorite (cannot be scratched by penny, cleavage is very different)

 Gypsum

  • Hardness: 2 (one of two minerals that can be scratched by a fingernail)
  • Texture: if your sample is clear, look for a fibrous texture all running in a single direction



Easily confused with Talc

 Pyrite

  • Color: pale gold (almost silver) up to full, rich gold
  • Luster: metallic
  • Streak: dark, almost black, and smells like sulfur (similar to matches)
  • Clarity: always opaque


 Graphite

  • Luster: metallic
  • Color: gray
  • You can write your name with it on a sheet of paper
  • Touch: feels silky smooth; glides across the skin

 

 Magnetite

  • Magnetic: will easily pick up a magnet if you move the magnetite in slowly from above
  • Luster: metallic
  • Color: very dark – usually black
  • Streak: black
  • Clarity: always opaque

 Difficulty: 1/5

 Hematite

Variety 1  

  • Color: dark grayish-blue
  • Luster: metallic, shimmers when rotated in the light
Variety 2
  • Streak: vivid red-brown (rust-colored)
  • Color: red-brown (rust-colored)
  • Luster: dull
Variety 3 
  • Streak: red-brown (rust-colored), maybe a bit darker than in variety 2
  • Color: dark red-brown, with little bits of rust-red here and there
  • Texture: “Grains” or “little balls” embedded on some surfaces
All varieties
  • Clarity: always opaque

 

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