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The study of crystals is called Crystallography

All minerals have a regular crystal structure.  This structure is made up of many flat surfaces which are called faces.  When these crystal faces join together they form a crystal.  The structure a group of crystal faces form is called a crystal system.  Although there are over
3,500 different minerals that have been identified, they all fall into one of seven crystal systems.

Garnet from Jeffery Mine, Quebec, Canada

Garnet is part of the Cubic System

The seven crystal systems are


1. The Cubic System
(also called the Isometric System)
includes the minerals diamond, galena, gold, silver, fluorite, garnet, halite and copper.


2. The Hexagonal System includes the minerals emerald, benitoite, graphite, molybdenite, and vanadinite.


3. The Rhombohedral System includes the minerals calcite, quartz, rhodochrosite, siderite and dolomite. This is a branch of the hexagonal system.


4. The Tetragonal System includes the minerals rutile, scapolite, wulfenite and zircon.


5. The Orthorhombic System includes the minerals aragonite, barite, celestite, goethite, and marcasite.


Gypsum is part of the Monoclinic System


6. The Monoclinic System includes the minerals gypsum, augite, biotite, epidote, and hornblende.


7. The Triclinic System includes the minerals plagioclase feldspar, ulexite, turquoise, and albite.


Would you like to have more fun with crystals? 

Check out the Free Projects section of this site and explore all of the fun activities we have added related to crystals.


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Cold River Mining Company
246 Silver Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
Phone (413) 219-3315

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