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What is a mineral?

Krystal the quartz When you see a glittering crystal in our Museum you would probably say it was a mineral - and you'd almost certainly be right. But can you say what a mineral really is?

Defining a mineral

A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid, with a definite chemical composition, and an ordered atomic arrangement. This may seem a bit of a mouthful, but if you break it down it becomes simpler.

Still confused? If you read these pages and complete the quiz, you should have a pretty good idea of what a mineral is.

Defining a mineral
Why is a mineral like a cake?
The tricky bits ... atoms, molecules and the rest
What is a mineral? The quiz!