Rock Samples

Selection of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

What it shows:

A selection of rocks and minerals available for lecture demonstrations

How it works:

The following samples are available for show-and-tell in lecture. The samples vary in size, and only those marked with a 4 are big enough to be seen.

1. A selection of elements in their natural (unrefined) states:
native copper Cu 4
diamond C iso
gold Au
realgar (silver ore) 4
graphite C hex 4
Silver Ag
sulfur S orth 4

2. Single or large multiple crystals:
amethyst SiO2hex
chalcopyrite CuFeS2tet
galena PbS iso 4
garnet X3Y2(SiO4)3 [X=Ca, Fe2+, Mg, Mn2+ Y=Al, Cr, Fe3+, Mn3+, Ti, V, Zr]
haematite (kidneystone) Fe2O3hex 4
iron pyrite FeS iso 4
mica K4Al12Si12O40(OH)3 4
quartz Si02hex 4
sodium chloride NaCl iso 4

3. A selection of minerals that have interesting/beautiful structure:
agate SiO2
amethyst SiO2hex
aquamarine Be3Al2(SiO3)6
asbestos Serpentine (Mg, Fe, Ni)3Si2O5(OH)4 4
azurite Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2mono
bauxite Al2O3 4
cassiterite SnO2tet
flint (siliceous)
galena PbS iso
lapis lazuli (Na, Ca)7-8(Al, Si)12(O, S)24[SO4, C12(OH)2] iso
opal Si2.nH2O
stibnite Sb2S3orth
petrified wood 4

4. Fluorescent Minerals:
Calcite CaCO3 (pink)
Willenite Zn2SO4 (green)

Key to crystal structure:
hex = hexagonal
iso = isometric
mono = monoclinic
orth = orthorhombic


A further selection of samples exist in the Department of Geology (contact Prof. Heinrich Holland).


1. L. G. Berry, B. Mason, R. V. Dietrich Mineralogy 2ed (W. H. Freeman, 1983)
2. M. Prinz, G. Harlow, J. Peters (ed.) Simon & Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals (Simon & Schuster, NY, 1978)