Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I is for Ice
One popular and accepted definition for a mineral is an Inorganic, Homogenous, Solid, with a defined Chemical Composition, a set Crystal Structure, and is Naturally Occurring.
Using this definition, a snowflake is a mineral. Water we put into a freezer is NOT a mineral—it is not naturally occurring. But because it is so closely related to a mineral it is called a mineraloid. There are number of mineraloids including amber, coral, teeth, bones, and kidney stones.
One unique characteristic that everyone is familiar with is that there are not two the same. There are some mineral collectors who actually store snowflakes in their freezers and pull them out to look at them under a microscope-really quickly.