These tools help you identify minerals! The tools include hand lenses (lower left), a penny for testing hardness (center), a streak plate (lower right), and an identification guidebook (top).
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe
Make Your Own Mineral Identification Kit!
Stick these things into a small bag and take them wherever you go hunting for minerals.
- A hand lens lets you look closely at small mineral crystals or fossils.
- A small, white porcelain plate is used for a streak test.
- A penny and a small glass plate are useful for testing hardness.
- Kits with minerals that are labeled with their names can be handy. Compare minerals that you find to minerals in the kit.
- Printouts of the examples of crystal shapes from Windows to the
Universe (or see if your book has similar pictures) allow you to identify
crystal shapes of minerals.
- Bring a pad and a pencil to write down where you find minerals.
- A book about rocks and minerals that has nice color pictures and language that you understand
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!
You might also be interested in:
Are you going out to search for rocks and minerals? How will you know what types you have found? Identification guidebooks for rocks and minerals can be very helpful. Pick one that has nice color pictures...more
Spotting minerals is fun! There are many different types of minerals. Each has a different name and special traits. You can learn more about minerals by looking closely at them to understand their special...more
This mineral is called quartz! Sometimes it looks white like milk but usually it looks clear like glass, sometimes with a little pink or gray tinge of color. You can find crystals of quartz in many different...more
Mica minerals make some rocks sparkle! Look for them in your igneous and metamorphic rocks. Do they make your rocks sparkle? They break into flat plates because they have cleavage. ...more
This is a feldspar mineral! Look for it in igneous rocks where it looks like white or pink crystals. You might find it in other types of rocks as well. ...more
The mineral that is green is called olivine! Look for it in igneous and metamorphic rocks. In this picture, olivine is filling a hole in the igneous rock. ...more
There are at least 2000 minerals on Earth. That's a lot of minerals! But you don't need to know all of them to spot the minerals lurking in the rocks of your backyard. That is because only a small number...more