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Common Nonsilicate Mineral Groups

Mineral Group Example Mineral Picture How People Use Them

Oxides Hematite (Fe2O3)
(Magnetite is another type of oxide!)
Click for full size Ore of iron
Sulfides Pyrite (FeS2) Click for full size Known as foolís gold
Sulfates Gypsum (CaSO4 (+2H2O)) Click for full size Used to make plaster
Halides Halite (NaCl) Click for full size Table salt
Carbonates Calcite (CaCO3) Click for full size Used to make cement
Native Elements Sulfur (S) Click for full size An ingredient of drugs and chemicals

* Click on images above for full size.

Last modified June 12, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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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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Hematite

A piece of hematite may look like just a dark gray blob. That might seem difficult to identify but with a streak test you can easily identify it! Just rub the mineral against a white streak plate and...more

Pyrite

Like real gold, pyrite is a brassy yellow color. But unlike gold, pyrite is not worth large amounts of money. That's because it is a very common mineral. It is found in all three rocks types: sedimentary,...more

Gypsum

You can find gypsum in sedimentary rocks, deserts, and caves. Large amounts can form in layers on a salty sea or lake bottom when water evaporates leaving the mineral behind. Gypsum sometimes forms when...more

Halite

Whatís that on your chips? Itís a mineral called halite! If you look closely at ordinary table salt, you will see that, just like other minerals, it looks like crystals. Halite is salt. In its natural...more

Calcite

Calcite is typically found in the sedimentary rock called limestone. Calcite is also in marble, a metamorphic rock, which forms when limestone is put under strong heat and pressure. Calcite crystals have...more

Sulfur

Yuck! What's that smell? When water mixes with the mineral sulfur, a chemical reaction causes a small amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas is produced. Hydrogen sulfide is the same gas that makes rotten...more

Try the calcite optical illusion!

You can use perfect calcite crystals to make an optical illusion called double refraction. Calcite has unique optical properties that split a ray of light into two beams that are bent at different angles...more

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