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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.

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