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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.

  • Minerals are naturally occurring They are not made by humans
    Minerals are inorganic
  • They have never been alive and are not made up from plants or animals
    Minerals are solids
  • They are not liquids (like water), or gases (like the air around you)
    Minerals have a definite chemical composition
  • Each one is made of a particular mix of chemical elements
    Minerals have an ordered atomic arrangement
  • The chemical elements that make up each mineral are arranged in a particular way - this is why minerals 'grow' as crystals