What is sterling silver?

Sterling silver is the standard of quality for articles containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper (and/or other alloys).

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Where can I find information about mineral commodities?

For statistical information about mineral commodities, visit USGS Commodity Statistics and Information . For locations outside the United States, USGS International Minerals Statistics and Information is the best starting point.

What is the difference between a rock and a mineral?

A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties. Common minerals include quartz, feldspar, mica, amphibole, olivine, and calcite. A rock is an aggregate of one or more minerals, or a body of undifferentiated mineral...

How much silver has been found in the world?

Of the 1,740,000 metric tons of silver discovered to date, 55% is found in just four countries on earth. All the silver discovered thus far would fit in a cube 55 meters on a side. Learn more: USGS commodity website for silver

How large is a lifetime supply of minerals for the average person?

At today's level of consumption, the average newborn infant will need a lifetime supply of: 871 pounds of lead 502 pounds of zinc 950 pounds of copper 2,692 pounds of aluminum 21,645 pounds of iron ore 11,614 pounds of clays 30,091 pounds of salt 1,420,000 pounds of stone, sand, gravel, and cement Learn more: Mineral Resources Education Products

How many pounds of minerals are required by the average person in a year?

To maintain our standard of living, each person in the United States requires over 40,630 pounds of minerals each year: 10, 765 pounds of stone 7,254 pounds of sand and gravel 685 pounds of cement 148 pounds of clays 383 pounds of salt 275 pounds of iron ore 168 pounds of phosphate rock 35 pounds of soda ash 34 pounds of aluminum 12 pounds of...

How do we extract minerals?

The primary methods used to extract minerals from the ground are: Underground mining Surface (open pit) mining Placer mining The location and shape of the deposit, strength of the rock, ore grade, mining costs, and current market price of the commodity are some of the determining factors for selecting which mining method to use. Higher-grade...

What minerals produce the colors in fireworks?

Mineral elements provide the color in fireworks. Additional colors can be made by mixing elements: Color Produced Element(s) Primary mineral ore(s) bright greens barium barite deep reds strontium celestite blues copper chalcopyrite yellows sodium halite (rock salt) brilliant orange strontium + sodium celestite, halite silvery white titanium +...
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Date published: May 6, 2016

EarthWord - Mother Lode

Happy Mother's Day from EarthWords!

Date published: February 15, 2016

EarthWord – Ore

The naturally occurring material from which a mineral or minerals of economic value can be extracted. Usually minerals, especially metals, are mined first in ore form, then refined later.

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Copper
December 13, 2016

Copper

Zambia is the eighth largest copper producer in the world. USGS assessments estimated that the potential for undiscovered copper deposits in Zambia is larger than once thought. Photograph credit: USGS

Silver metal specimen with pen for scale

Silver metal specimen

Silver. Pen for scale. Mineral collection of Brigham Young University Department of Geology, Provo, Utah. Photograph by Andrew Silver. BYU index 1-4112b, Ag.

Image: Copper

Copper

Sample of native copper.