Identifying Rocks and Minerals/Properties used to identify

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The following properties are very useful for identification purposes:

  • Hardness
  • Cleavage
  • Luster
  • Color
  • Streak
  • Texture


These are described in detail later

You will need a few tools for measuring various aspects of rocks. Not all of them are required, but the more of them that are available to you, the more successful you will be in identifying specimens.

  • Specific Gravity meter
  • streak plate for determining "streak" color
  • Magnifying glass
  • Hardness kit (you can use the following as a hardness kit as explained later.)
    • Fingernail
    • Copper penny
    • Knife blade
    • Window glass
    • Steel file


Types of Rocks · Hardness