I’m not sure I’m really wise in jumping on this meme (started by Chuck and taken up by Hypocentre, Silver Fox and Callan), because I have a feeling I’m going to end up feeling a little inadequate; my heavy does of physics as an undergraduate means my mineral identification skills are a little underdeveloped.
50 minerals everyone should see (bold=seen in the wild, italic=seen in captivity, be it lab, museum or some other non-field location):
*I have visited diamond-bearing alluvial gravels in western South Africa, but we weren’t allowed to touch anything.
I’ve stuck with Chuck’s original list, although I note that, in true geologist style, most peoples’ responses have more than a hint of ‘you didn’t mean that 50, you meant this 50!’. Perhaps I should have added in more magnetic minerals – and I am disappointed by the lack of epidote, which is the same colour as pistachio nuts and therefore has pleasurable associations for me.
Of course, for some of these, a field identification would be quite an achievement; I’ve doubtless visited outcrops containing thousands upon thousands of zircons, since they are pretty much indestructible and are therefore found in many igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, but spotting one is a little challenging…
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