WHAT IS A MINERAL?
Minerals are nature’s way of creating large pieces
of pure elements and compounds. In medieval times, kings and queens
would seek out "alchemists" to create gold, silver, and other
precious minerals from chemical "magic."
Minerals have always been important when their
uses were discovered. Pieces of quartz could be rubbed together and
produce sparks to create fire. Gold could be hammered into thin sheets
that could be made into useable items without fear of breaking or
rusting. Mineral wealth, even today, reveals a country’s economy and
their ability to sell or create products.
The study of minerals is called mineralogy.
It includes mineral identification and description, the classification
of mineral groups, and the study of where minerals occur.