needle-like arrangement of crystals; often applied to the
description of very fine, radiating, hair-like crystals.
-acicular cuprite, often called chalcotrichite
-is an extremely shiny surface, such as
This type of luster is shinier than glass (vitreous) luster.
-is a gem variety of cryptocrystalline quartz; usually banded.
-is a form of radioactivity, consisting
of a Helium-4 nucleus being emitted from the nucleus
of a radioactive isotope.
-alpha decay-Opal's Pals
-is a mineral consisting of calcium
phosphate. This mineral has a hardness of 5 and resembles
many other minerals because of its wide range of colors. It is the same mineral that your teeth
are made of.
-is a term that applies to several
minerals that form long, hair like fibers. It has been used for
insulation and fire-proof cloth.
-is the smallest part of an element that
retains the characteristics of that element.
It consists of a small, dense nucleus made up of protons and neutrons surrounded by electrons
orbiting the nucleus at a distance.
atomic mass number
-For a particular isotope it is the
number of protons plus neutrons within the atomic nucleus.
-atomic mass number-Opal's Pals
-is a small, dense structure in the
center of an atom containing protons and neutrons.
-is determined by the number of protons
within an atomic nucleus.
-atomic number-Opal's Pals
-is a value representing the weight of
one atom of an element compared to the weight of one
atom of oxygen 16.
-is a bright blue mineral; a basic
copper carbonate. This mineral is often found in the oxidized
zone above a copper sulfide deposit.
-is a mineral made of barium sulfate, distinguished by its high density of 4.3 to 4.6.
beta particle or beta ray
-is a form of radioactivity consisting
of the emission of a high speed electron from an atomic
-a mineral that
commonly forms hexagonal prisms capped with a flat top (basal
Beryl has the composition of beryllium aluminum silicate.
-is a gemstone associated with the month
in which a person is born.
A birthstone is reputed to possess special powers by gem dealers trying to talk customers into
buying the gem.
-is a surface structure that resembles a bunch of grapes.
-is a gemstone, usually translucent, that is cut and polished with a rounded surface.
-is a very common mineral with three
directions of cleavage, hardness 3 on Mohs
scale, and a
composition of calcium carbonate. In the form of a rock, if it is called limestone and if it has
undergone metamorphism, it is marble.
is a measurement of the weight (mass) of a gemstone; 0.2 grams.
-is a very dull, powdery surface appearance of a material.
-consists of chemical elements combined together in a fixed ratio.
-is the identification of a mineral
through the use of chemicals.
For example, hydrochloric acid applied to the mineral
calcite produces bubbles of carbon dioxide.
-can either refer to the tiniest
particle size (submicroscopic particles) or it can apply
to a class of silicate minerals that only produce crystals in the submicroscopic range
-is the tendency of a crystallized
mineral to break along flat planes aligned with a zone of
weak bonding within the crystalline structure of the mineral.
-is composed of the frequencies of light
reflected off of the surface of a material or transmitted
through it when the material is exposed to white light.
-The material breaks in a shell-like pattern.
-is a metallic element with a reddish color
-is a mineral consisting of aluminum oxide; the mineral next in hardness to a diamond.
-is a type of bonding in chemicals where
electron pairs are shared between adjacent atoms.
-refers to a material consisting of extremely small crystals, often sub-microscopic.
-is a mineral whose internal,
geometrical repeating pattern of atoms is consistent throughout
the entire structure; the object may also have flat surfaces (crystal faces) that reflect the
internal arrangement of atoms.
-is one of the flat surfaces on a crystal.
-is where the atoms within a crystal are
all aligned in a geometrical, repeating three dimensional
-crystalline structure-Opal's Pals
-is a synthetic material made of
zirconium oxide that is used in jewelry because it has optical
properties similar to diamond; also nicknamed CZ.
-is a mineral whose composition is
copper oxide. Cuprite varies from deep red in
to a dark, semi metallic luster in massive forms.
-red crystals of cuprite
-is a measurement of the mass of an
object compared to its volume; often expressed in terms of
grams per cubic centimeter.
-is the hardest known mineral; made of just carbon.
dogtooth spar (calcite)
-is a crystalline form of the mineral
calcite that resembles a dog's canine tooth.
The scientific term for this shape is scalendohedron.
-is a mineral with the composition of
calcium magnesium carbonate;
it fizzes slower with hydrochloric acid than calcite.
-is a surface appearance that is the opposite of shiny; a dull surface has no highlights or sparkles.
-is responsible for the attraction between electrons and protons
-is a negatively charged subatomic
particle that is usually found in an orbit about an atomic
-is a pure material in which all of the
atoms have the same number of protons in each atomic
nucleus. Only 92 different varieties occur naturally on the Earth.
-is a green form of the mineral beryl; one of the most expensive of all precious gemstones.
-is a transparent gemstone that has been shaped and polished with flat surfaces.
-refers to a substance that is capable
of being bent
-is the process in which a material
absorbs ultraviolet light and then emits light in the visible
-The following photos are minerals viewed under ultraviolet light.
is the process of adding fluoride compounds drinking water to prevent dental decay.
-is a chemical compound consisting of one or more elements combined with fluorine.
-toothpaste with fluoride
-is a mineral with the composition of
calcium fluoride. Fluorite is number 4 on Mohs
hardness; it is often distinguished by its four directions of cleavage.
-fluorite cleavage octahedrons
-is a fanciful name for the mineral
pyrite. Early prospectors were often fooled by the yellow
metallic color of pyrite and thought that they had discovered real gold.
-is a push or a pull. There are only 4 forces that hold the Universe together
strong nuclear force-binds neutrons and protons together
weak nuclear force-holds a neutron together
electromagnetic force-holds atoms together
gravity-holds planets, stars, and galaxies together
-is the way a material breaks.
-is the measure of how easy it is to
crumble a material.
-is a high energy x ray.
-is a solid in which the atoms are are all in a chaotic distribution and not crystallized.
-is a metallic element with a bright yellow color.
-is a soft mineral with the composition
of hydrated calcium sulfate.
This mineral is commercially baked to drive the water out of the chemical structure and then
ground to a fine powder to create Plaster of Paris.
-is the ability of a material to scratch
other materials or to be resistant to other materials trying
to scratch it.
-See: Mohs scale of hardness
-is a crude measure of the density of a material by shaking the object with your hand
-is a reddish brown to dark, sub-metallic mineral consisting of iron oxide
-is a chemical compound that does not contain carbon.
-is an atom or group of atoms with
excess electrical charge, not electrically neutral.
-is a chemical bond that holds a
material together by the electrostatic attraction of the ions that
compose the material.
-is a variety of a chemical element,
identified by the number of protons plus neutrons in the atomic
-is used to describe the purity of gold in a gold alloy. Pure gold is 24 karat.
Gold jewelry is often 14 karat (14 k) or 10 karat (10 k).
-is a synonym for manmade or synthetic.
-is a hydrated , yellow-brown iron oxide.
-refers to the surface appearance of a material.
-galena and fluorite, metallic vs. non-metallic
-rose quartz, vitreous
-is a physical property in which a material is attracted to a magnet.
-is the most common occurring mineral
that is attracted to a magnet.
It is a black mineral made of iron oxide.
-is a green copper mineral having the
composition of a basic copper carbonate.
Pure, solid forms of this mineral are often used in jewelry.
-is where the surface of the material reflects light like a metal.
from a group of silicate minerals that have perfect one-directional cleavage
peel in very thin layers.
-is a material that must meet the
following 5 criteria: (1) an element or a chemical compound,
(2) naturally occurring, (3) a crystalline structure, (4) inorganic (no carbon) (exceptions are
carbonates and pure carbon), and (5) distinct physical properties.
Mohs scale of hardness
-is a series of ten minerals arranged in ascending order of hardness.
-means that the substance is not manmade.
-is an electrically neutral sub-atomic
particle of the approximately the same mass as a proton
and found in the atomic nucleus. Its primary function is to bind the electrically repulsive protons
together in the atomic nucleus.
-is a broad array of surface appearances other than a metallic sheen.
-is the process where a large atomic nucleus breaks into smaller atomic nuclei.
-occurs when two small atomic nuclei are
fused together to produce a larger atomic nucleus.
As long as the atomic nuclei are small the fusion process releases large quantities of energy.
-nuclear fusion-Opal's Pals
-is a mineraloid
composed of silica and a variable amount of water.
-means that no light can pass through the material.
-is the name of the gemstone variety of the mineral olivine. It is usually yellow-green in color.
-is a clear crystal that shows its early development shape due to the earlier form being
partially covered by impurities.
-phantom amethyst crystal
-phantom crystal-Opal's Pals
-are the most expensive gemstones such as ruby, sapphire, diamond, emerald, etc.
-is a positive charged, heavy subatomic
particle found in the atomic nucleus.
-is a brassy yellow metallic luster
mineral consisting of iron sulfide.
This mineral commonly crystallizes in the form of cubes or 12-sided pyritohedrons and is
also known as Fools' Gold.
of the most common minerals on the Earth, consisting of silicon and oxygen.
This mineral is number 7 on Mohs sale of hardness.
Quartz occurs in many different forms and may be crystalline, cryptocrystalline, or massive.
-are the damaging effects of
radioactivity on biological matter which includes mutations, cell
rupture, cancer, and death.
radioactive half life
-is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms of a specific radioactive isotope to decay.
-is the spontaneous decay of an atomic nucleus.
-is a solid, coherent mass of naturally occurring material made from one or more minerals.
-is red colored corundum, one of the most expensive gemstones.
-is the mineral halite, sodium chloride.
- is corundum that is colored in any hue
with the exception of red.
Red corundum, however, is called ruby.
These gems can be colorless, pink, yellow, violet, green, black, etc.
The color most commonly associated with this gem is blue.
-faceted blue sapphires
-is an optical effect, commonly observed
with the mineral labradorite, where
a play of colors
suddenly appear when the specimen is oriented at a specific angle to a light source.
-is a transparent and colorless form of the mineral gypsum.
-is a compound of silicon and oxygen;
usually refers to the mineral quartz but may also refer
-is a mineral made of silicon and oxygen plus at least one more element.
-is the basic building block of silicate
Each silicon atom is surrounded by four oxygen atoms in order to create the silica tetrahedron.
-silica tetrahedron-Opal's Pals
-is the element number 14;
semi-metallic. It does not occur naturally in its pure form on the surface
of the Earth.
-is a surface appearance that resembles the shiny reflection off of a spool of thread.
-is the comparison of the density of a
material with the density of water; usually expressed as a
decimal number greater than 1 (because rocks and minerals rarely float).
-is the color of the powdered form of a
mineral when it is rubbed against an unglazed, white
-is a lemon yellow, transparent to translucent element that burns in an oxygen atmosphere.
-is a term that means manmade or lab created.
-is a metamorphic mineral, typically
white or pink, that is extremely soft.
This mineral is ground to a very fine powder and when perfume is added to it, it becomes talcum
-is a complex
silicate mineral often containing fluorine in its structure.
This mineral is number 8 on Mohs scale of hardness and has one direction of perfect cleavage.
It is a gemstone of many colors, but the blue varieties are artificially created by exposure to
-is the ability to resist being broken.
-is an optical property of minerals
where some light is transmitted through a material
and there is a
-is the optical condition where light
goes through the material without any distortion.
Color may be present, but if the material were to be finished as a flat, polished slab, you could
read newsprint through it.
-is a blue to green translucent gemstone consisting of a hydrated copper, aluminum phosphate.
-is where light just outside of the
normal visible spectrum, just past violet.
This light with a shorter wavelength than violet light is responsible for sunburn on bright, sunny
-is a glassy luster.