--- Minerals list
Description of Minerals web site
My name is Jo Edkins. If you have any comments, criticisms, corrections or questions, please contact me - see index page.
I have been collecting minerals and rocks for several years, by buying them from shops rather than going on field trips. To start with, I liked their colours and shapes, but as I found out more about them, I became fascinated by their history, their use in technology, even their names.
I hope these pages will be useful to schools, both primary and secondary. I have tried to arrange the information in a clear and simple way, with lots of cross references and pictures. The index gives the minerals by groups, such as metal ores or jewelry. However, all the minerals are also on the alphabetical minerals list, which gives small pictures and links to each page. I have not included all possible information on the minerals. This is easily available in books, and if I copied it all out, I'd just make mistakes. Also long lists of information get rather boring. However, if a mineral has an interesting property, such as lead being heavy, or malachite being botryoidal, or calcite's cleavage planes, then I say so, and describe what it means. There's a glossary giving links to these descriptions.
I have included the formula of each mineral, as this describes what the mineral is made of. Since this may not be familiar to all, I have included a description of the elements, with some pictures of elements which are minerals.
Many minerals have names with interesting histories. Some, like cinnabar, have very old names, and no-one knows what the name originally meant. Sometimes the name gives the history of the mineral, such as the name copper, which comes from Cyprus, where copper was found in ancient times. So I have given the derivation of each mineral's name.
One use of soft colourful minerals throughout history, and back to the dawn of mankind, has been to make paint. There is a page which shows various pigment minerals powdered, and gives a brief history of them.
There are also some more frivolous lists, such as Minerals in fireworks and Birth Stones. I have a particular interest in gemstones mentioned in literature.
There are several pages concerned with the properties of minerals, with more details about hardness, shape, colour and optical properties.
I would like to thank my son Giles for his help on the scientific side, with the design of the web pages and some of the photography (and correcting my spelling!)
Here are some further links outside this site that you might like to explore: