A mineral is a naturally occurring, typically inorganicsubstance with a specific chemical composition andstructure. An unknown mineral usually can be identifiedaccording to known characteristics of specific mineralsin terms of certain parameters that include itsappearance, its hardness, and the ways it breaks apartwhen fractured. Mineralsarenot to be confused withrocks, which are typically aggregates of minerals. Thereare some 3,700 varieties of mineral, a handful of whichare abundant and wide-ranging in their application.Many more occur less frequently but are extremelyimportant within a more limited field of uses.
1) Elements (carbon [diamond],sulfur, zinc, gold, etc.)
2) Halides (element and halogen, suchas chlorine, bromine, or iodine; oneexample is table salt [sodium chloride]3) Oxides (element and oxygen,e.g. hematite [iron oxide])4) Sulfides (element andsulfur, e.g. pyrite [ironsulfide], galena [lead sulfide])