The Gem and Mineral Collector's Information and Photo Gallery
Minerals are the materials of which the earth's crust is built and are therefore among the most common objects of daily observation. Interesting forms of minerals have long been an object of man's fascination. Since the earliest days he has collected and studied them - they are a form of natural art. This set of pages is intended to provide some basic information on minerals which have been used as gems, are of industrial importance as ores or for having special interest to collectors. There are many lists like this one on the internet, but this one has the distinct advantage of colorful photos and a detailed description of the origins and nature of the individual minerals beyond just their physical properties. Many of the minerals have multiple spectacular photographs, most taken at museums or the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
A mineral may be defined as a naturally occurring substance having a definite and uniform chemical composition with corresponding characteristic physical properties. This eliminates all artificial products of the laboratory which may conform to the last part of the definition. It also eliminates all natural products of organic agencies, since they will not show the uniform chemical and physical characters demanded of a mineral. In spite of this I have included a few items which are of interest, but do not strictly qualify as minerals. In the form of rocks, minerals make up the solid matter of the earth's crust. But in the great majority of cases a rock is not made up of a single mineral, but is a more or less heterogeneous aggregate of several different species. A few rocks, like limestone and quartzite, consist of but one mineral in a more or less pure state. In addition to occurring as essential and integral parts of rocks, minerals are found distributed through them in a scattered way, or in veins and cavities.
Below is a collection of over 150 minerals with beautiful photos and detailed species information:
Feldspar : Orthoclase
Characters of Minerals.
Classification of Minerals.
In certain specific cases some other classification than the one outlined abovemay be desirable. For instance, in books written for mining students it is often found that a classification based upon the nature of the metallic constituent is of more interest than the more strictly scientific one outlined above, because such a classification emphasizes those components of the minerals with which the mining student is most concerned. In books written for the student of rocks, on the other hand, the most important determinative features of minerals are their morphological characters, hence in these the classification may be based primarily on manner of crystallization.
Gem and Mineral sales are big business. This photo at right is Amethyst from the annual February Tucson Gem and Mineral show in Arizona. At the Tucson show, many tens of thousands of gem and mineral collectors fill the city for a couple weeks as miners and mineral dealers come from all over the planet to participate. Just about anything one could imagine from the world of gems and minerals can be found here, from beautiful tourmalines and beryls, to giant gold nuggets to meteorites of all descriptions. It certainly is a site well woprth seeing for anyone interested in mineral collecting.
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