Tools for mineral identification include hand lenses (lower left), a penny for testing hardness (center), a streak plate (lower right), and an identification guidebook (top).
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Windows to the Universe
Make Your Own Mineral Identification Kit!
Stick the following items into a small bag so that you can take them with you whenever you go hunting for minerals.
- Hand lens is helpful for identifying small mineral crystals or fossils.
- A small, white porcelain streak plate allows you to perform streak tests.
- A penny and a small glass plate are useful for testing hardness.
- Kits with samples of common minerals identified are available from
science and nature stores; they help you identify minerals by comparing
an unknown mineral to ones that are already identified.
- Printouts of the examples of crystal shapes from Windows to the
Universe (or see if your book has similar pictures) allow you to identify
crystal shapes of minerals.
- Include a field book or journal and a pencil to record where in the world
you found your minerals.
- A guidebook for rocks and minerals with nice color pictures and language that you understand
Last modified March 13, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!
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