Difference Between Rocks and Minerals

In the Breaking Bad series, Hank Schrader (Dean Morris) was a FDA detective, who on the side collected minerals, but these elements were (intentionally) mistaken for rocks throughout the show. So let’s get the record straight.

Minerals are naturally occurring compounds that are of a crystalline structure formed by geological processes. They contain a unique chemical structure and physical properties. Minerals are inorganic, meaning that they have not originated from living organisms, with respect to organic compounds that do originate from living organisms. Coal is an example of an organic material.

Rocks on the other hand are from organic compounds. They are solid, stony elements, that can be composed of a combination of minerals or other organic compounds.

Another way of putting it is a mineral is a solid formation that occurs naturally in the earth, while a rock is a solid combination of more than one mineral formations which is also occurring naturally.

An example of a mineral is quartz and feldspars, but if you combine them together, they become a rock, namely, granite.

Another example is limestone, which is a rock composed almost entirely of the mineral calcite.

See more here about the composition of minerals.

Home

Rose Quartz Healing Gemstone
Rose Quartz Healing Gemstone

Beautiful in design, intriguing in history, they are nature’s hidden paradise and are buried deep within the womb of the Earth, beneath 10,000 layers of soil and history, hide the world’s most priceless treasures.

Dark, rocky Mexican caverns harbor the glittering secrets of luminous gypsum crystals, while beyond the foothills of Kilimanjaro lays a minefield of rare, color-shifting Tanzanites.

Purchasing a gemstone or mineral isn’t simply about buying something rare and expensive. It’s about discovering the hidden jewels of our planet by studying their history and composition, their fascinating origins and evolution. The captivating beauty of a precious stone tells a story of a certain part of the world, a story about land and soil, about pressure and metamorphosis.

Mineral hobbyist Howard Fensterman has been collecting minerals for years, learning about their appealing properties and uses from potential healing powers to fashion statements.

Mineral
Minerals are beautiful works of nature

Minerals are inorganic elements that contain an ordered atomic structure. By contrast, a ‘rock’ is a substance that can contain many atomic elements, as well as some minerals. A type of hybrid when considering the minerals’ more pure atomic design.  A diamond, for example, is a mineral.

There are five categories that are proprietary to minerals.
They must:

  • Occur naturally
  • Be inorganic in nature
  • Be of solid material
  • Consist of an orderly atomic structure
  • Have a definite chemical composition 

Probably the most known of the mineral family are silicates. which contain oxygen and silicon.

Below we have an interesting introduction to minerals from the 2010 Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show

Howard has decided to share his collection with the world, along with information about each of the elements and their geological history.  Not all minerals shown here are part of his collection, but to make this website complete, he has provided information on all kinds of additional geological materials so as to make this site as intriguing as possible. In addition, we have provided educational material on rocks and geology. Good for any student studying earth science as well as anyone interested in Earth’s topography.

Howard Fensterman Minerals