• Minerals have physical properties that are used to identify them.
  • The mineral’s physical properties are determined by its chemical composition and crystal structure.
  • You can rarely identify a mineral only by its color.
  • To identify most minerals, geologists use several properties.
  • The most valuable diamonds are large, well-shaped and sparkly.
  • Minerals that are opaque and shiny, like pyrite, are said to have a “metallic” luster.
  • Six types of non-metallic luster are described below (Table below)
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