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Rocks & Minerals

We have a wide variety of rocks and minerals for sale ranging from common every day quartz and pyrite to those rare specimens of wulfininte, ruby and emerald. In addition to our rock collections, you'll also find some interesting specimens that may be hard to find where you live like obsidian, rhyolite and pumice. Whether you are an avid collector, beginner or just looking to build up your educational collection, Fossilicious has some of the best rock and mineral prices for polished specimens, rough rocks and minerals you can put in your tumbler.

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What is The Difference Between a Rock and a Mineral?

The answer is actually best illustrated by explaining what each one is.

What Is A Mineral?

The textbook definition of a mineral is something that:

  • Occurs naturally
  • Is solid at room temperatures
  • Has a regular structure (its atoms have a definite arrangement)
  • Has a chemical formula

What is a Rock?

Rocks have some of these characteristics. Rocks occur naturally and are solid at room temperatures, but they do not have a regular structure or a chemical formula. They are made up of minerals. Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. A rock can be made up of many different minerals.

Chemical Formulas In Minerals

Each mineral has a particular chemical make up. While most minerals are compounds of two or more elements, some minerals are made up of a single element. Gold, silver and copper are called native elements and occur in nature in relatively pure form.

Most minerals are compounds or mixtures of elements. It is these compounds that make up the chemical formula and structure of minerals. For example, halite has the chemical formula is NaCl or sodium chloride. Each sodium atom is combined with one chlorine atom. The formula for Quartz is SiO2, silicon oxide. For every atom of silicone, there are two atoms of oxygen.

Mineral Classification

There are some 4000 minerals that we know of. Each one is unique with its own chemical formula. Most of these are very rare.  There are only eight groups of minerals that are common. They are:

  • Native Elements
  • Sulfides
  • Oxides
  • Carbonates
  • phosphates
  • Sulfates
  • Halides
  • Silicates

Geologists use these groups to organize and classify minerals. Except for the native elements, all of the minerals of a group have a part of their chemical formula that is the same and a part that is different.

Mineral Uses

Minerals are very important. We study them because they play a major role in our economy, industry, and health. We use hundreds of products everyday that are made up of them. They are in the food that we eat, the buildings that we live in, our cars and computers. They are even in your toothpaste!

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INTERESTED IN MORE INFORMATION? IF SO, YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER SITES: - An educational site about fossils and geologic time - An educational site about rocks, minerals, and geology.

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