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Minerals are found to also be a solid inorganic substance which has a crystalline structure and also a chemical composition. The name mineral is derived from the Latin word mineralis which translates to “something mined.”
Minerals can be classified by their chemical composition such as their carbonate class, element class, and silicate class. Minerals can also be identified by their several physical properties such as hardness, luster, specific gravity, color, cleavage, habit, and crystal structure. Even though one of the prevalent physical properties of minerals is their color it can be considered deceiving. This is because even though certain minerals can be made up of the same chemistry their color can be quite different, this is usually caused by slight impurities located within the crystal such as traces of manganese, iron, or titanium. Due to this scientists often would rather use a streak provided by scratching the mineral sample on white tile rather than the actual color because it is deemed most reliable because regardless of the presence of impurities the streaks remain consistent.
A majority of mineral names end in “ite,” which is a suffix derived from the Greek word lithos in its adjectival form -ites which translates to stone or rock. In fact, every mineral contains two names one being their mineralogical term and the other being their chemical term. An example of this is the mineralogical term for Pyrite is just Pyrite but its chemical term is Iron sulfide FeS2. When crystals of some minerals are well formed, they may even obtain a third name, a gemological one.
There are currently more than four thousand known minerals according to the International Mineralogical Association. In today’s world, minerals are found to be utilized in a number of practical ways for example mineral Aluminum is used in the creation of cans and appliances for at-home uses. Known mineral copper has been mainly used in items such as coins, wiring equipment for electrical devices, jewelry, materials used for cooking, and computers to name a few. The mineral Halite or by its more commonly known name salt is mainly utilized in both cooking and the preservation of food.