Minerals Topics

Major Mineral Groups (Part 11)

Native Elements

• Native elements are minerals that form as individual elements.  Gold and copper are examples of metallic native elements.

• Diamonds are a type of non-metallic native element.

Gold Pronounce:

Gold is a valuable native element.  Its composition is Au.  It is identified by its gold color, gold streak, and very high specific gravity (19.3).  It is used as a monetary standard, in jewelry, and in scientific and medical instruments.

Gold (Photograph by Parvinder Sethi)

Diamond Pronounce:

Diamonds are made up of pure carbon.  They are identified by their adamantine luster and hardness (10).  Diamonds are used in jewelry and as industrial abrasives.

Diamond (Photograph by Parvinder Sethi)


• Halides include such elements as chlorine and fluorine.  Common halide minerals include halite and fluorite. 

Halite Pronounce:

Halite, the mineral name for common salt, is a halide mineral.  Its composition is NaCl.  It is identified by its cubic form, salty taste, and colorless appearance.  Its hardness is 2.5.  Its specific gravity is 2.1 to 2.6.  Halite is used for nutrition, snow removal, water softeners, and many other products.

(Photograph by Parvinder Sethi)