A mineral is a naturally occurring chemical compound. Most often, they are crystalline and abiogenic in origin. A mineral is different from a rock, which can be an aggregate of minerals or non-minerals and does not have one specific chemical composition, as a mineral does. The exact definition of a mineral is under debate, especially with respect to the requirement that a valid species be abiogenic, and to a lesser extent with regard to it having an ordered atomic structure. The study of minerals is called mineralogy. There are over 5,300 known mineral species; over 5,070 of these have been approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The silicate minerals compose over 90% of the Earth's crust. The diversity and abundance of mineral species is controlled by the Earth's chemistry. Silicon and oxygen constitute approximately 75% of the Earth's crust, which translates directly into the predominance of silicate minerals. Minerals...
Source: Wikimedia Commons
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