Choose a letter of the alphabet from the above list, and the index list on the
left will change to the list of minerals that begin with that letter. You may
adjust the width and height of this window by using the border to the left or
The mineral name itself is a link to the description of that mineral species,
while the number to the left is the approximate count of the number of specimens
currently available for sale of that species, and is also a direct link to
the list of specimens.
The count may be zero, but if the link is active then there are specimens
available to view, just not currently for sale. If the count is zero and the
link is not active, then there are not even any specimens in the database.
Remember, there may be more than one page of specimens, so you may need to
select Next Page one or more times to see the entire list of available
This page is also available in a
no frames version, as well as a single long alphabetic list.
The Most Common Minerals
QUARTZ is undoubtedly
the single most common mineral in the Earth's crust, ranging from perhaps
12% of continental crust to as much as 50% of oceanic crust as indicated by
the composition of spreading-ridge volcanic lavas. Some estimates
place quartz at 21% of the Earth's total lithosphere.
FELDSPAR, (a group of related
minerals) comprises the bulk of the Earth's crust, approximately 60% of the
continental crust or 49% of the lithosphere. Perhaps 75% of this is
the plagioclase feldspars (mostly
albite, oligoclase and
labradorite) with the remainder
as potassium feldspars (mostly
microcline and orthoclase).
OLIVINE (another group) is
special. It's average composition mimics that of the bulk of the Earth - the
mantle, which is nearly 1800 miles thick. Therefore,
olivine is the most common
mineral in the Earth, nearly 80% by volume, and that is a lot
of peridot. It is the dense
interior rock that the crust floats upon. Olivine is a major component of
hot-spot volcanic lavas. About 15% of the crust is composed of olivines or
their weathering/decomposition products, the PYROXENES (mostly
augite) and the AMPHIBOLES (mostly
about 4% of the Earth's crust (but a lower percentage of the total
lithosphere since it is unstable at the high temperatures of the inner
mantle). It is important to note that the bulk of the Earth's carbon dioxide
is tied up as calcium carbonate, otherwise the Earth's atmosphere might be
100 times as dense as at present and consist mostly of carbon dioxide, much
like Venus (and with a similar impact on the planet).
IRON, at least as the native
element, is a nearly negligible component of the crust and the mantle, but
the core of the earth is composed of a mixture of iron and nickel, and is,
of course, mostly liquid. The inner core, approximately 1600 miles in
diameter, is solid and thus qualifies as a mineral.