Earth's Minerals (Book)

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+ Groups of Minerals

Carbonates

What do you guess carbonate minerals contain? If you guessed carbon, you would be right! All carbonates contain one carbon atom bonded to three oxygen atoms. Carbonates may include other elements. A few are calcium, iron, and copper.

Carbonate minerals are often found where seas once covered the land. Some carbonate minerals are very common. Calcite contains calcium, carbon, and oxygen. Have you ever been in a limestone cave or seen a marble tile? Calcite is in both limestone and marble. Azurite and malachite are also carbonate minerals, but they contain copper instead of calcium. They are not as common as calcite. They are used in jewelry. You can see in Figure that they are very colorful.

Two carbonate minerals - blue azurite and green malachite

The deep blue mineral is azurite and the green is malachite. Both of these carbonate minerals are used for jewelry.