Minerals are all around us: the graphite in your pencil, the salt on your table, the plaster on your walls, and the trace amounts of gold in your computer. Minerals can be found in a wide variety of consumer products including paper, medicine, processed foods, cosmetics, and many more. And of course, everything made of metal is also derived from minerals.
Thumbnail: A ball of lustrous, royal-blue cavansite blades is set on a starkly contrasting snow-white crust on basalt matrix on this fine specimen from recent finds at the Wagholi Quarry of India. Image used with permission (CC-SA-BY 3.0; Rob Lavinsky from iRocks.com).