Rocks and Minerals

What's the difference?

You've probably thrown, skipped, and kicked rocks before, but what exactly is a rock? Rocks are solid objects found in nature that are made up of one or more minerals.

A mineral is a solid inorganic (nonliving) crystalline substance found in nature. Diamonds (made of the element carbon) and salt (the compound sodium cloride) are examples of minerals. More commonly found minerals include quartz, feldspar, and mica.

Some rocks are made of just one mineral, but most rocks are made from a combination of minerals. There may be particles, grains, flecks, chunks, layers, or swirls of different minerals fused or compressed together in the same rock.

The following poster shows the wide range of minerals that can be found.

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Learn about types of rocks and how they form...