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Geosciences LibreTexts

7.8: Luster

  • Page ID
    5575
  • Overview

    Luster refers to the appearance of the reflection of light from a mineral’s surface. It is generally broken into two main types: metallic and non-metallic. Minerals with a metallic luster have the color of metal, like silver, gold, copper, or brass (Figure 7.14). While minerals with a metallic luster are often shiny, not all shiny minerals are metallic. Make sure you look for the color of metal, rather than for just a shine. Minerals with non-metallic luster do not appear like metals. They may be vitreous (glassy), earthy (dull), waxy (similar to a candle’s luster), greasy (oily), or other types (Figure 7.15).

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    Vitreous clipboard_e39a96f6e4b28c3c688b94733e28e869a.png
    Earthy clipboard_e021706fb68839935f209fa2e02539075.png
    Waxy clipboard_e54fad97b61ebf2a9c8133e933547089d.png