What are the differences between rocks and minerals?

Milky Quartz

Milky Quartz from Huaron Mine Peru

The differences between rocks and minerals are that a mineral is a single constituent with a particular colour, atomic and crystalline structure. A rock however is an aggregate of different minerals which does not have a set composition or structure. So without minerals you wouldn’t get rocks.

Orthoclase Feldspar xenolith

Orthoclase Feldspar crystal from Hay Tor

Minerals are often single crystals with a particular shape which helps with identifying them, whereas rocks don’t have any particular shape of crystal. Rocks may contain fossils whereas you don’t find them within minerals.

A well formed crystal would have formed over a long period of time which allows it to develop its structure and shape specific to its mineral form. Minerals within a rock are different, particularly in igneous rocks because they cool quickly so are often small irregular crystals.

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Posted in Minerals, Rocks, Rocks and Minerals | Tagged , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to “What are the differences between rocks and minerals?”

  1. Wow, I definitely think geology matters. It fills our natural curiousity of what the world beneath us is and our history.
    Gotta love geology. The site found me on facebook and wondering how I can follow up on the most recent posted articles, collections and blogs? (besides twitter). Thank you.

  2. alisonr says:

    Its great that you found us through Facebook and think that Geology Matters.

    Ou blog is updated on a Thursday, every two weeks. We inform our users about the updates through our Twitter account @BCMuseums as well as through our ‘Geology Matters’ Facebook page. You can find the recent blogs by going to http://geologymatters.org.uk/blog/ which lists the most recent additions to the blog, so it may be worth adding this as a favourite if you want to follow the blog regularly.

    If you find anything of interest and would like to visit one of the museums to see the objects for yourself, you can find the information on the http://geologymatters.org.uk/contact-us/ page.

    I hope that is of some help to you?

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