|Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. A mineral is a naturally
occurring, inorganic solid with a definite chemical composition and a crystalline
structure. A rock is an aggregate of one or more minerals.erals range in composition from pure elements and simple salts to very complex silicates with thousands of known
forms. The study of minerals is called mineralogy.
Chemistry and crystal structure define together a mineral. In fact, two or more minerals may have the same chemical
composition, but differ in crystal structure.
Crystal structure greatly influences a mineral's physical properties.
There are currently just over 4,000 known minerals.
Some minerals in rock form with a particularly attractive and unusual
appearance are cut and polished and set in precious metals as jewellery.
These fine gems are categorized as precious or semi-precious stones. The
most sought after and treasured of these is the diamond. With a score of
10 on the Mohs scale, it is the hardest known mineral. Roughly half of
the world’s diamonds are mined in Central and Southern Africa.