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Title: Nonmineral  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mineral, Mineraloid, List of minerals, List of minerals (complete)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A nonmineral in mineralogy is a substance found in a nature that does not satisfy the definition of a mineral and is not even a mineraloid. Many nonminerals are mined and have industrial or other uses similar to minerals, such as jewelry.

Mineral definition

To be classified as a "true" mineral, a substance must be a solid, arising from geological processes, and having a crystal structure. Traditionally, it must also be an inorganic, naturally occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition, but now organically derived substances that have been transformed into a crystalline structure are minerals.

Common Nonminerals

  • Amber, organic, non-crystal structure.
  • Anthracite, a variety of coal, "hard coal."
  • Bitumen, a natural mixture of organic molecules forming a viscous liquid.
  • Coal, organic, non-homogeneous, and non-crystal structure.
  • Coprolite, fossilized feces, a fossil of organic origin.
  • Coquina, non-homogeneous, non-crystal limestone formed from marine shells and coral.
  • Gilsonite, natural asphalt.
  • Glass, non-crystalline substance of varying chemical composition.
  • Kerogen, a natural organic precursor to petroleum and natural gas.
  • Lignite, a variety of coal, "brown coal."
  • [2].
  • Obsidian, usually not considered a mineral due to non-crystal structure.
  • Petroleum, organic and liquid.
  • Most rocks are mixtures of minerals, but some are composed of just one mineral.
  • Pyrobitumen, an organic, nonhomogeneous, non-crystal structure.
  • Saussurite, an aggregate of minerals.
  • Synthetic diamond, not naturally occurring like most other synthetic gems, but difficult to distinguish from naturally occurring forms.
  • Vulcanite, vulcanized natural or synthetic rubber, thus not a mineral due to organic composition, lack of crystal structure, and not naturally occurring.
  • Water, a liquid (but naturally occurring ice is a mineral).

Other considerations

Some "minerals", such as apatite and mica, are not homogeneous substances, but a mixture of minerals, sometimes referred to as a mineral group.

See also

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