Minerals have a broad range so much so that they have their own discipline of study called mineralogy. These essential elements often have complex processes that lead to their formation.
More Science Topics to Explore:
It's found all over Earth — and Mars, too. It's the main source of iron but is also used in jewelry and painting. Get to know the amazing mineral hematite.
Cultures all over the world have treasured turquoise for its color and rarity for thousands of years — from Native American jewelry and Aztec and Mesoamerican art to King Tutankhamun's death mask.
Twitter was abuzz with reports that pretty green gems were spewing out of the Kiluaea volcano in Hawaii. But the experts took the shine off these speculations.
The uncut gem is 3 billion years old and may fetch $70 million.
Diamonds are some of the most brilliant and expensive natural features Earth has to offer. This collection of images displays diamonds in all their uncut and polished shapes and sizes. Obligatory pictures of very large diamonds are included of course.
Whenever people talk about buying diamonds, they keep mentioning the four Cs. What do they have to do with diamonds?
Diamond engagement rings. Diamond anniversary bands. Diamond earrings and necklaces. And now, the right-hand diamond ring! The four Cs -- cut, clarity, carat and color. Find out what the fuss is all about.
By Kevin Bonsor
Diamonds are beautiful and popular - but not everyone can afford these gems. While man-made versions are less expensive, most lack the luster and brilliance of the real thing, except moissanite. See how it compares!
By Melissa Russell-Ausley