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).

Sphalerite is a zinc mineral, cubic. Crystal forms are common. It has a hardness of 3.5 ot 4, a SG of 3.9 to 4.2, varies in color from white, yellow, red, black or green. Is ranges from transparent to translucent, and has a streak of white, yellow or brown. Stronium usually contains iron, manganese, cadmium or mercury. It is usually associated with galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite, barite, fluorite, siderite, rhodochrosite adn quartz. The specemin in the photo came from the San Antonoi Mine in Santa Eulalia, Chihuaha, Mexico.

Sphalerite is a chief source of zinc. Zinc's major uses are metallurgy, (zinc coated metals for corrosion resistence), batteries, brass, pigments in chemicsty and medecine.