Mineralogy is a discipline which belongs to geology and focuses on the study of the chemistry, crystal structure and physical features of minerals. Also, the discipline explores the processes of the minerals’ origin and formation, their classification, their utilisation and geographical distribution.
The first step which permits the identification of minerals consists in studying their physical properties. These aspects include density, hardness, tenacity, fracture, parting, colour, luminescence, lustre, and magnetic and electric properties.
As well as this, mineralogy studies the arrangement of atoms in a crystal. This structure is represented by a lattice of points which repeats basic pattern, known as the unit cell.
Furthermore, the discipline focuses on chemical aspects, understandable by adopting the wet chemical analysis. This experiment consists in dissolving the mineral within an acid such as the hydrochloric acid.
In addition to macroscopic properties, minerals have aspects and features which can be studied also through the use of a microscope.
In nature, there are different types of mineral. However, gems are the ones which are used to make jewellery or other adornments. Gems can be classified in precious or semi-precious gemstones. The precious stones include diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire. The other gems belong to the semi-precious category.
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