A crystal is made up of atoms of the same
or atoms of different elements [like silica (Si)
or calcium (Ca)], and the atoms have a
regular, repeating arrangement. Crystals are very
ordered, the arrangement of a certain crystal is
always the same. Crystals grow when more layers
of the same elements arranged in the same manner
are added to the outside of the crystal.
Depending on how long the crystal is allowed to
grow and how much space it has to grow in, a
crystal can be very tiny (short time, no space)or
very large (long time, lots of space).
mineral is a crystalline solid, meaning that
minerals grow in this ordered manner. Minerals
are naturally occurring and have specific chemical
compositions. For example, quartz is always made
up of only silicon and oxygen (SiO2).
is a rare mineral or an unusual form of some
mineral that is appreciated for its beauty. Topaz
and garnet are minerals that are also gems.
Emerald is really the mineral beryl, but it is
beryl with a certain impurity that makes it dark
green. What I mean by impurity is that sometimes
a different element will substitute for a usual
element in a mineral's atomic structure. Other
gems are hydrated forms of minerals. For example,
opal is silica and water.
Click Here to return to the search form.