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A mineral is a naturally occuring, homogeneous, solid with a crystalline atomic structure. Crystallinity implies that a mineral has a definite and limited range of composition, and that the composition is expressible as a chemical formula. Some definitions of minerals give them as inorganic materials, however both diamonds and graphite are considered minerals, and both are primarily comprised of carbon, which would make them organic. So this leads me, as an engineer, to believe that mineralogists do not have a good, precise definition of a mineral, but rather a loose definition. The definition above, is the most inclusive and would include all substances currently described as minerals. The key items that make something a mineral are occurring naturally, and the definite crystal structure, that is expressible as a chemical formula. Rocks that do not meet this criteria are referred to as amorphis - not having a definite structure or expressible as a chemical formula. Some elements that occur naturally and are minerals are arsenic, bismuth, platinum, gold, silver, copper, and sulphur.

THE DEFINITION OF ORGANIC: Organic chemistry is the study of those substances containing carbon in combination with hydrogen (H), and a few other non metals, namely oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S) and the halogens (F2, Cl2, Br2, and I2).




  Basalt is not a mineral, because is can not be expressed in a definite chemical equation, nor does it have a definite crystal structure. Basalt is a hard, black volcanic rock with less than about 52 weight percent silica (SiO2). Common minerals in basalt include olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase. Basalt is erupted at temperatures between 1100 to 1250 C. When basalt is beneath the surface it is called lava, when it is outside the earth's crust, it is basalt.