A naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties.
Gneiss is a coarse-grained, foliated metamorphic rock that commonly has alternating bands of light and dark-colored minerals.
Granite is an igneous rock that is composed of four minerals. These minerals are quartz, feldspar, mica, and usually hornblende. Granite forms as magma cools far under the earth's surface. Because it hardens deep underground it cools very slowly. This...
Serpentine: A family of silicate minerals rich in magnesium and water, derived from low-temperature alteration or metamorphism of the minerals in ultramafic rocks (intrusive igneous rocks very rich in iron and magnesium and with much less silicon and...
Sterling silver is the standard of quality for articles containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper (and/or other alloys).
The fineness of jewelry gold is stated as the number of parts in twenty-four that are gold. Thus, 24 karat gold is pure gold; 12 K would be an alloy that is half gold and half copper or other metals.
White gold was originally developed to imitate platinum, and is usually an alloy containing 25% nickel and zinc. If stamped 18 karat, it would be 75% pure gold.
For statistical information about mineral commodities, visit the USGS Commodity Statistics and Information website.
Fool's Gold can be one of three minerals; the most common mineral mistaken for gold is pyrite, chalcopyrite may also appear gold-like, and weathered biotite mica can mimic flake gold.