Minerals are the 'building blocks' of the Earth.
We use minerals a lot. We even eat some! All minerals are made of small particles called atoms. Some minerals are formed from magma. These minerals are igneous rocks. Over millions of years, igneous rocks form sedimentary rocks.
Where Minerals Are Found
Minerals are found all over the world. Emeralds are mostly found in Columbia. Most topaz are found in Brazil. A mineral called diamond is found in a rock called kimberlite. Another name for kimberlite is blueground.
Silver Like gold, silver is one of the metals that is found less often than others. It is seldom found unmixed with another metal or mineral. Silver is malleable, which means that it can be hammered or shaped easily. Silver usually occurs in igneous rocks but is still rare. It is a shiny grey but can quickly tarnish to black. Silver's hardness is 2.5-3. Silver is surprisingly found in film, cutlery, trophies, bowls, and jewelry.
Graphite Graphite is made out of carbon and is found in particular types of schists and limestones. Graphite forms flat crystals, but is most often found as tiny grains. Graphite is a very soft mineral with a hardness of 1-2. It smudges while leaving fingers black. Graphite comes from a Greek word meaning to write. If you think pencil lead is made out of graphite, you are mistaken. Pencils are made out of an alloy of graphite and clay.
Marble Marble is a metamorphic rock and is made from limestones. The Taj Mahal is made mostly out of marble. Marble is very good for carving and sculpting. Marble is also used in the Byzantine Church of St. Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Some marble is black. It can vary in texture too. Marble actually has calcium!
Gold Gold shows a yellowish color and is very shiny. It appears in sedimentary and igneous rocks. Because gold is rare, it is used for money in some countries. It is also used for jewelry and coins. Its hardness is 2.5-3, softer than pyrite and chalcopyrite. Sometimes it is referred to as "golden nuggets".