Review Minerals-3

Why is color not a reliable way to identify minerals?

  1. Many minerals occur in several different colors

    Yes. This is the mineral quartz. Quartz can be clear, white, black, yellow, purple, and other colors, so its color is not reliable for identification.
  2. It is difficult to tell the difference between color and luster.

    No. Luster tells us how the mineral reflects light, and has nothing to do with its color.
  3. Some minerals are clear, and don't have any color.

    No. Even clear minerals like quartz can be found in different colors due to impurities and imperfections.
  4. Actually, color is a good way to identify minerals.

    No. Color is not a reliable way to identify minerals.

Click to see which state standards this question tests, and which of my videos, experiments, and other resources support that topic.


SC.4.E.6.2 Identify the physical properties of common earth-forming minerals, including hardness, color, luster, cleavage, and streak color, and recognize the role of minerals in the formation of rocks.


UT.4.III.1.b Observe rocks using a magnifying glass and draw shapes and colors of the minerals.

UT.8.III.1.b Observe and describe the minerals found in rocks (e.g., shape, color, luster, texture, hardness).


5-PS1-3 Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.