What Are Minerals
What Are Minerals

What Are Minerals: Definition, 10 Physical Properties, and Benefits

Minerals are micronutrients that have a role in helping the body function to run optimally. Although needed in small amounts, this mineral is important for the metabolic function of the body.

What are minerals?

Minerals are solid substances composed of chemical compounds that are naturally formed by inorganic events, which have irregular atomic placement and have certain chemical and physical properties.

The word mineral has many meanings, depending on what we are looking at.

Minerals in the geological sense are substances or objects of chemical compounds original or composed of natural processes, have certain chemical and physical properties, and are usually solid in shape.

The original chemical compound is that minerals must be formed naturally by nature, because many substances of the same nature as minerals can be made in the laboratory. Minerals are composed of atoms across molecules of different elements, but have regular patterns. Because of this regularity makes minerals have regular properties.

Minerals are divided into two types, namely macro and micro minerals. Macro minerals are minerals that the body needs in large quantities, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfur. While micro minerals needed in small amounts include iron, zinc, iodine, copper, fluoride, selenium, chromium, and manganese.

What Are Minerals Physical Properties?

What Are Minerals Physical Properties

There are about 4000 different minerals, and each of them has unique physical properties. These include: color, streak, hardness, sheen, diaphaneity, specific gravity, cleavage, fractures, magnets, solubility, and more. These physical properties are useful for identifying minerals. However, they are much more important in determining the potential use of minerals by the industry. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Mineral powder, when pounded into powder, it is suitable for use as a foot powder. It is a soft and slippery powder so it will not cause abrasion. It has the ability to absorb moisture, oil, and odor. It is attached to the skin and produces an astringent effect, but it wears off easily. No other mineral has physical properties that are appropriate for this purpose.

Mineral halite, when crushed into small grains, it is suitable for food flavorings. It has a salty taste that most people think is pleasant. It dissolves quickly and easily, allowing its taste to spread through food. It’s soft, so if some don’t dissolve it won’t damage your teeth. No other mineral has more physical properties suitable for this use.

Mineral gold is suitable for use in jewelry. It can be easily shaped into custom jewelry items by craftsmen. It has a pleasant yellow color that most people enjoy. It has a bright sheen that is not stained. Its specific high gravity provides a good “weight” that most people prefer rather than lighter metals.

Other metals can be used to make jewelry, but this property makes gold an incredible favorite. (Some might add that scarcity and the value of gold are two additional properties that make it desirable for jewelry. However, scarcity is not property, and its value is determined by supply and demand.)

Mineral properties vary based on their chemical structure and physical properties:


It is the ability of minerals to reflect light. metallic, glittery and dim can be distinguished.


There are minerals of various colors. Minerals can be classified as idiochromatic (minerals of the same color, such as bronze), and allochromatic (the coloring is caused by impurities, usually metals).


Hardness is the resistance that defies the surface of minerals that will be scratched by other materials, usually sharp.

Structure (Form)

Mineral forms can be said to be crystalline if they have a clear and distinctive crystal field or are called amorphous.

Read also:
Types of Crystals in Urine


Fracture refers to the appearance of the material after rupture, and it can be fractional, irregular.


The streak is the color of minerals in the form of powders or crushes. The color of this mineral can be obtained if the mineral is scratched on a rough part such as a piece of porcelain or a mineral crushed and then the color of the powder is seen.


The cleavage is the appearance of a mineral based on its ability to split through a flat and slippery cleavage field. Usually the cleavage field is shaped parallel to a specific field. An example of a mineral that can divide is calcite. Calcite has three-way cleavage, while of quartz, it has no cleavage.

Specific Gravity

It is a comparison between the weight on minerals and mineral volume. To know the weight of the type of mineral is by weighing the mineral first. Furthermore, to obtain the volume of minerals, it can be done by putting it in the water that is in the measuring glass. The volume of water initially or before mineral entry, reduced by the final volume of water or after adding the minerals. That’s the amount of mineral volume.

Magnetic properties

Some minerals have the ability to attract other materials.


It is the physical nature of minerals when we break, crush, bend, cut or slice

Mineral Benefits

Each mineral has different functions in the body, including maintaining the health of bones, muscles, heart, and brain in order to work according to its normal functioning. The function of minerals in the other body is to help the body produce enzymes and hormones.

Where can you find Minerals?

Minerals are found in various daily foods. Mineral sources you can get from milk, yogurt, cheese, fruits, vegetables, meat nuts, and seeds.
Minerals can also be found in processed foods that have been fortified with certain minerals, such as cereals and bread. Mineral supplements can also be a source of daily mineral intake as long as their use is appropriate and as needed and dosages.

Thank you very much for reading What Are Minerals: Definition, Physical Properties, and Benefits, hopefully useful.

Last Updated on April 17, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team