What is a crystal??

Many solids and some crystalline liquids have a regular, repeating, three-dimensional arrangement of atoms known as a crystal structure or crystal lattice. In contrast, an amorphous solid is a type of solid material, such as glass, that lacks such a long-range repeating structure. Many of the physical, optical, and electrical properties of crystalline solids or liquids are closely related to crystal structure. The repeating units of a crystalline structure, which are made up of small boxes or other three-dimensional shapes, are referred to as “cells.” Many of these cells are grouped together in a repeating, orderly structure to make up the overall structure. The crystal structure of a give crystalline material can affect many of that material’s overall properties. It is one of the major defining factors affecting the optical properties of the material, for instance. Crystal structure also significantly affects the reactivity of the crystalline material, as it determines the arrangement of reactive atoms on the outside edges and faces of the crystalline solid or liquid. Other important material traits, including electrical and magnetic properties of some materials, are also determined largely by crystal structure. Mineralogists, crystallographers, chemists, and physicists often study crystalline materials in laboratory settings. Some simple aspects of crystal structures can be determined through simple geometric measurements, but various methods based on the diffraction of x-rays, neutrons, electrons, or other particles allow for much easier and more accurate determinations of structure. Some researchers are only concerned with determining the structure of a given crystalline material while others are more interested in determining how that structure connects to the material’s other properties. Still other researchers are interested in finding useful applications for various materials based on their structures, and some even try to synthesize new crystalline solids and liquids based on the expected properties of their desired structures. It should be noted that, though theoretical crystalline materials are composed of a perfect and consistent series of repeated units, real crystals tend to have flaws. These flaws are, in most cases, simply irregularities in the otherwise regular crystal structure. In some cases, this occurs when one atom takes a different place in a given crystal structure than it normally would. The different properties of this atom can have substantial impacts on how the crystal’s structural units arrange themselves around it. Likewise, the defects or irregularities of real crystals can have substantial impacts on the overall properties of the crystalline material.
What is a Mineral??

A mineral is a naturally occurring substance that is solid and stable at room temperature, representable by a chemical formula, usually abiogenic, and has an ordered atomic structure. It is different from a rock, which can be an aggregate of minerals or non-minerals, and does not have a specific chemical composition. The exact definition of a mineral is under debate, especially with respect to the requirement a valid species be abiogenic, and to a lesser extent with regards to it having an ordered atomic structure. The study of minerals is called mineralogy. There are over 4,900 known mineral species; over 4,660 of these have been approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The silicate minerals compose over 90% of the Earth’s crust. The diversity and abundance of mineral species is controlled by the Earth’s chemistry. Silicon and oxygen constitute approximately 75% of the Earth’s crust, which translates directly into the predominance of silicate minerals. Minerals are distinguished by various chemical and physical properties. Differences in chemical composition and crystal structure distinguish various species, and these properties in turn are influenced by the mineral’s geological environment of formation. Changes in the temperature, pressure, and bulk composition of a rock mass cause changes in its mineralogy; however, a rock can maintain its bulk composition, but as long as temperature and pressure change, its mineralogy can change as well.
25f4bf6e8e7a4a9b82e53ad8ce856f5d
Geodes Geodes are geological secondary structures which occur in certain sedimentary and volcanic rocks. More
0a3dbc0fc8be4d8890864899c9403a59
Zoisite-  Zoisite, first known as saualpite, after its type locality, is a calcium aluminium hydroxy sorosilicate belonging to the epidote group of minerals. Its chemical formula is Ca2Al3(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH).  More
64fea7f1ce694bd6af2875baaa23f493
Moonstone- Moonstone is a variety of the feldspar-group mineral orthoclase. During formation, orthoclase and albite separate into alternating layers. More
6dc0b39657d041d1a16cff15c0f2af19
Sulfur-  Sulfur or sulphur (see spelling differences) is a chemical element with symbol S and atomic number 16. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. More
A2dc8b3502f04cf5ada97090be96ed11
Sodalite- Sodalite is a rich royal blue tectosilicate mineral widely enjoyed as an ornamental gemstone. Although massive sodalite samples are opaque, crystals are usually transparent to translucent.  More
C6b68dbf402e47c6a6d7ef0aadb8bbce
 Dendrite- A crystal dendrite is a crystal that develops with a typical multi-branching tree-like form. Dendritic crystal growth is very common and illustrated by snowflake formation and frost patterns on a window. More
95e26ff979f94cc4a33690f7e0e8cb81
Obsidian- Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth.  More
788ea50cc81345a88b4923493af78c4e
Fluorescent Minerals- All minerals have the ability to reflect light. That is what makes them visible to the human eye. Some minerals have an interesting physical property known as "fluorescence".  More

 
5a0a348178e14a209e6c077d6fa568c0
Jasper-  Jasper is an opaque rock of virtually any color stemming from the mineral content of the original sediments or ash. Patterns arise during the consolidation process forming flow and depositional patterns in the original silica rich sediment or volcanic ash. More
0e508ac984c54976b28ce292ed8f9320
Chrysocolla- Chrysocolla has a cyan (blue-green) color and is a minor ore of copper, having a hardness of 2.5 to 3.5. More
22b08675c5b4438f82fc1e870b7dfce4
Gold-  Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au (from Latin: aurum) and atomic number 79. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal. More
97a7571c3a2f4503ae8165b8dcb4a2c1
Silver-  Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag (Greek: άργυρος árguros, Latin: argentum, both from the Indo-European root *h₂erǵ- for "grey" or "shining") and atomic number 47.  More
7fa3d9df8d4149da9b06e098b3804794
Aquamarine- Aquamarine (from Latin: aqua marina, "water of the sea") is a blue or cyan variety of beryl. It occurs at most localities which yield ordinary beryl. The gem-gravel placer deposits of Sri Lanka contain aquamarine.  More
930b856371fa4cb095172f2a94689606
Aragonite-  Aragonite is a carbonate mineral, one of the two common, naturally occurring, crystal forms of calcium carbonate, CaCO3 (the other form being the mineral calcite).  More
409d4529dc8442e096329a159e6059ee
Celestite-  Celestine or celestite (SrSO4) is a mineral consisting of strontium sulfate. The mineral is named for its occasional delicate blue color. Celestine is the principal source of the element strontium, commonly used in fireworks and in various metal alloys. More
B9029e3cea98477d9dbd32d6c14f2458
Hematite-  Hematite, also spelled as haematite, is the mineral form of iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3), one of several iron oxides. Hematite crystallizes in the rhombohedral lattice system, and it has the same crystal structure as ilmenite and corundum. More
17d99f4cb9b3475b9781212af73dfa48
Polychrome Jasper- Jasper, an aggregate of microquartz and/or chalcedony and other mineral phases, is an opaque, impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in color; and rarely blue. More
220150514 8000 c9cdm5
Quartz

Quartz is a hard crystalline mineral which is found abundantly all over the Earth in a variety of forms. More
A73a3240164f4eefaa1dbc084b257803
Silicon Carbide- Silicon carbide (SiC), also known as carborundum /kɑrbəˈrʌndəm/, is a compound of silicon and carbon with chemical formula SiC. It occurs in nature as the extremely rare mineral moissanite. More
A7866c1e8d6d411b95429ca11d2512e4
Copper-  Copper is commonly used in jewelry, and folklore says that copper bracelets relieve arthritis symptoms.  More
  
471cd4d8436f4017a3aa350a84c71862
Vanadinite- Vanadinite is a mineral belonging to the apatite group of phosphates, with the chemical formula Pb5(VO4)3Cl.  More
Aca73e44342743d7a97208aefd33a1af
Bornite (Peacock Ore)-  Bornite has a brown to copper-red color on fresh surfaces that tarnishes to various iridescent shades of blue to purple in places. Its striking iridescence gives it the nickname peacock copper or peacock ore. More
1c4abb8661f34b1bb1b07386c9ed1f70
Herkimer Diamond- Herkimer diamond is a generic name for a double-terminated quartz crystal discovered within exposed outcrops of dolostone in and around Herkimer County, New York and the Mohawk River Valley.  More
120150514 2114 1093d5u
Agates

Agates are a type of chalcedony, a milky form of quartz, that appears in a striking banded formation that people have found aesthetically pleasing for centuries. More
0b233ff174b946ba8d2c1b1b58da99ea
Labradorite-  Labradorite can display an iridescent optical effect (or schiller) known as labradorescence. More
8i4na1p3lgqmiq9r29jkc0gabnubg vhkp1kqomyrje wix8nxuue674yxyikdbnyjkjikqyaamarnshjhfcqz020151121 20047 1e0o9pp
Septarian-  Septarian is generally a combination of Aragonite, Calcite and volcanic ash from Utah.

Dragon Eggs are a form of septarian from Madagascar with volcania ash and aragonite.  More
39eb778c02544c7d8259952dea4db497
Amber

Amber is fossilized tree resin (not sap), which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects.  More
7c9a84f0eb044e49aea7f35fe4cec005
Selenite

Selenite, satin spar, desert rose, and gypsum flower are four varieties of the mineral gypsum;  More
520150514 8000 16j8d3x
Calcite

Calcite, or calcium carbonate, is one of the most common minerals on earth. More
7375485e1d8241ff8c8cd0b61db2f850
Bismuth

Bismuth is a chemical element with symbol Bi and atomic number 83. Bismuth, a pentavalent post-transition metal, chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. More
320150514 2114 w29bod
Amethyst

Amethyst is a beautiful stone that is in the quartz family. More
420150514 8000 a29ts1
Citrine

Citrine is a beautiful gemstone that has become quite popular over the last few decades. More
620150514 2114 1tjcmum
Fluorite

Fluorite is a mineral with a veritable bouquet of brilliant colors. More
 
720150514 8000 1sv5lqk
Peridot

Peridot, pronounced Pear-ih-doe is a wonderful gemstone that is very popular for its olive green hue. More
 
820150514 8000 1h00fs8
Tourmalines

Tourmalines are one of the most intricate of all the gemstones and minerals found in the world is Tourmaline. More
920150514 2114 rq2z2b
Garnets

Garnets are a group of neosilicates with chemical elements containing calcium, magnesium and iron. More
Ce49bc5e0cd04e36a8624fa044ec2336
Topaz

Topaz is a wonderful gemstone that is extremely popular and found in many regions around the world. More
1120150514 8000 1bs2a2k
Diamonds

Diamonds are formed from pure carbon, most were formed hundreds of millions of years ago deep within the earth’s crust. More
1220150514 8000 1gd31mf
Opal

This gemstone is found all over the world; however the precious variety of Opal is usually mined in one specific spot in the world; Southern Australia. More
Emerald20150514 2114 1hbfw0
Emerald

Emeralds are highly valued, deep green gems, deriving their color from chromium. More
 
Saphire20150514 8000 1f60woy
Sapphires

One of the more colorful gemstones in the world are Sapphires. More
Pyrite20150514 8000 10jh5es
Pyrite: Fool’s Gold

The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is an iron sulfide with the formula FeS2. More
 
Rhodocrosite20150514 8000 1q36ojn
Rhodochrosite

The pink color of rhodochrosite is caused by the element manganese... More
 
9a84afd67b1243e880cf3fabc7af9434
Jade

Jade is a stone valued for its beauty and utility. More
Hemimprphite20150514 2114 122soli
Hemimorphite

Hemimorphite is a sorosilicate mineral which has been mined from days of old from the upper parts of zinc and lead ores, chiefly associated with smithsonite. More
Turquoise20150514 8000 1gv2qyi
Turquoise

Turquoise is a blue-green mineral, a copper aluminum phosphate, valued for its rarity and unique hue, and widely used as an ornamental stone. More
 
Sphalerite20150514 2114 q1deop
Sphalerite

Sphalerite is an important ore of zinc and can make a rather attractive cabinet specimen as well. More
 
Galena20150514 2114 6xwhtz
Galena

Galena is the major source of lead ore, and Missouri is the top producer of lead in the United States. More
 
Azurite20150514 2114 3jhif2
Azurite

Azurite is a copper carbonate mineral. The chemical formula results from the oxidation of copper sulfides. More
 
Malachite20150514 8000 nv3ngi
Malachite

Malachite is a popular stone which has dark and light green banded areas, and these patterns give the stone its unique ornamental look unlike that of any other gemstone. More