All minerals possess five qualities: they must be solid, crystalline, inorganic, naturally occurring, and have a specific chemical composition.
The most common laboratory technique to identify minerals is x-ray diffraction.
Nearly 98.5 percent of Earth’s crust is composed of oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Each mineral has its own chemical formula and are made up of chemical compounds.
Minerals are identified by a variety of physical properties:
Mohs Hardness Scale: 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest)