Tools for mineral identification include hand lenses (lower left), a penny for testing hardness (center), a streak plate (lower right), and an identification guidebook (top).
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Windows to the Universe
Make Your Own Mineral Identification Kit!
Stick the following items into a small bag so that you can take them with you whenever you go hunting for minerals.
- Hand lens is helpful for identifying small mineral crystals or fossils.
- A small, white porcelain streak plate allows you to perform streak tests.
- A penny and a small glass plate are useful for testing hardness.
- Kits with samples of common minerals identified are available from
science and nature stores; they help you identify minerals by comparing
an unknown mineral to ones that are already identified.
- 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.
- Include a field book or journal and a pencil to record where in the world
you found your minerals.
- A guidebook for rocks and minerals with nice color pictures and language that you understand
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
TES XXVI, 3 fall 2010
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!
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