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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).




Ulexite is a Hydrous Carbonate Borate mineral, an evaporative deposit, and is a primary source of Boron. The mineral in the photo came from US Borax's deposit in Death Valley, CA. It is a very complex mineral. Some forms of ulexite are called "cotton ball", because they are round and resemble a cotton ball.

It has a color ranging from clear to white, silky luster, transparent to translucent crystals, perfect cleavage, fiberous, when broken, a white streak, hardness of 2 and SG of 1.97.

Boron compounds have many household and industrial uses. Boron is a common ingredient of soaps, cleansers, herbicides, soldering fluxes, gasoline a antiknock compounds, pharmaceuticals, water softeners, food preservatives, and fire retardants. Boron is also added in the manufacture of glass, pyrex, and porcelain enamels used on kitchen appliances, sinks, bathtubs, stoves, and other products. **

** Uses of ulexite from USGS