minerals are basic building blocks in geology. Composed of c

minerals are basic building blocks in geology. Composed of chemical elements bonded together, they in turn are the ingredients for the rocks that compose our planet. Geologists define a mineral very precisely; it must be an inorganic, naturally occurring solid at normal temperatures, with a well-defined chemical composition and an orderly crystalline structure. Despite these rigid requirements, there are actually over 4000 minerals, from common ones like quartz, calcite, halite and hematite to less common examples like joesmithite and pseudo-ixiolite. Some are collected as gemstones, while others have various uses, from industry to cosmetics. Choose one mineral to share with the class this week. Tell us a bit about it — what it looks like, and what some of its characteristics are. Then explain how humans have put that mineral to use in our everyday lives. 200-500 words please with cited references.

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