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A nonmineral (mineralogy) is a substance found in a natural environment that does not satisfy the definition of a mineral and is not even a mineraloid. Many nonminerals are mined and have industrial or other uses similar to minerals, such as jewelry.


Mineral definition

To be classified as a "true" mineral, a substance must be a solid arising from geological processes having a crystal structure. It must also be an inorganic, naturally-occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition.

Common Nonminerals

  • Allingite, another name for amber.
  • Amber, organic, non-crystal structure.
  • Anthracite, a variety of coal, "hard coal."
  • Beckerite, another name for amber.
  • Burmite, another name for amber.
  • Coal, organic, nonhomogeneous, and non-crystal structure.
  • Coprolite, fossilized feces, a fossil of organic origin.
  • Coquina, nonhomogeneous, non-crystal limestone formed from marine shells and coral.
  • Gedanite, another name for amber.
  • Glessite, another name for amber.
  • Jet, not considered a true mineral due to organic, non-crystal nature, a mineraloid.
  • Krantzite, another name for amber.
  • Lignite, a variety of coal, "Brown coal."
  • Limonite, amorphous hydrated iron oxide, a mineraloid.
  • Obsidian, usually not considered a mineral due to non-crystal structure.
  • Opal, non-crystal structure, a mineraloid.
  • Pearl, often considered a mineral due to crystal components, but then not a mineral due to organic origin, probably should be a mineraloid.
  • Petroleum, organic and liquid.
  • Rocks, most rocks are mixtures of minerals, but a few are composed of just one mineral.
  • pyrobitumen, organic, nonhomogeous, non-crystal structure.
  • Stantienite, another name for amber.
  • Synthetic diamond, not naturally occurring like most other synthetic gems, but difficult to distinguish from naturally occurring forms.
  • Vulcanite, vulcanized natural or synthetic rubber, thus not a mineral due to organic composition, lack of crystal structure, and not naturally occurring.
  • Water, a liquid (but naturally occurring ice is a mineral).

Other considerations

Some minerals, such as the well-known Apatite and Mica, are not homogeneous substances, but are a mixture of related minerals, sometimes referred to as a mineral group.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nonmineral". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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