Minerals in the Mojave

About the Exhibition

Minerals in the Mojave highlights the minerals found in the High Desert. Visitors can explore how minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic solids, with a definite chemical composition and crystalline structure. A mineral’s crystal structure is its internal unique arrangement of atoms. This arrangement is what determines the different physical properties of minerals, which helps us identify them. For instance, a tighter packed atomic arrangement makes a mineral hard like a diamond, and a looser arrangement causes it to be soft and brittle like the graphite used in your pencil lead. Explore how scientists use mineral properties to identify and describe minerals. You will look at crystal habit, cleavage, streak, luster, hardness and color to see what scientist see.