The most basic requirement for a mineral is that it has to be a substance that is solid and crystaline in structure and was formed through naturally occuring geogolical processes, having a definite chemical composition. Rocks can often be composed of just one mineral, but they are often composed of a mixutre of them and other substances.
There are 5 main characteristics that define a mineral. A mineral is naturally occurring, inorganic, is a crystalline solid, has a definite, but not fixed, chemical composition and a characteristic crystal structure. Synthetic crystals produced in a lab are not minerals. Wood, coal and amber are not minerals, as they are produced from organic materials. Glass is not considered to be a mineral because it does not have an ordered atomic structure.
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