By: Abby Manchester

What is a mineral?

A mineral is a naturally occuring, inorganic, solid substance with a definate chemical composition and a crystalline structure.


Color - Color is a property that depends on the light objects reflect. Color is not a good way to determine a mineral. Calcite can come in multiple colors.

Luster - Luster is the way a mineral reflects light. The luster of calcite is vitreous.

Streak - Streak is the color of the powder produced when a mineral is dragged across a streak plate. The streak of calcite is white.

Cleavage/Fracture - Cleavage is the tendency of a crystalline structure to split evenly. The cleavage of calcite is three directions.

Hardness - Hardness is how tightly packed a mineral is. The hardness of calcite is three.

Density - The density of an object is its mass per unit volume. The density of calcite is 2.71.

Diaphaneity - Diaphaneity is the ability for light to pass through a mineral. The diaphaniety of calcite is transparent to translucent.

Special Properties

The special properties are taste, radioactivity, magnetisim, double refraction, acid test, flourencence, and strong smell.

Properties of calcite

Calcite has many of the special properties. Calcite has the property of double refraction which means that when placed over writing, the mineral gives off a double image. Additionally, calcite has the property of the acid test. When calcite comes in contact with dilute hydrochloric acid, the mineral reacts with the acid, breaking the calcite down. Also, calcite has the property to of flourencense. When you put calcite under an untraviolet lighht, it appaers to glow.

Other properties

Taste is when the mineral has a taste like Halite tastes salty. Radioactivity is when a mineral is radioactive. Magnetism is when a mineral is magnetic and has magnetic properties. Strong smell is when the mineral has a very potent smell like sulfur does.


Information: King, Hobart. "Calcite." Mineral. Geology,com, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.

Calcite image:

Multi-colored Calcite image:

Calcite double refraction:

Florescent calcite:

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