Reading Science! Name: Date: Digging for Diamonds Lexile 1190L

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1 6.6: Minerals Name: ate: igging for iamonds Lexile 1190L The rater of iamonds State Park in Pike ounty, rkansas is the only place in the world where diamonds are produced that is open to the public. The 37½ acre diamond-search area is the eroded surface of a prehistoric volcanic pipe that brought diamonds and a variety of semiprecious stones to the surface over 95 million years ago. Today, visitors to this site can dig through the plowed field in search of diamonds and an assortment of other gem producing minerals, including amethyst, peridot, quartz, and garnet. Now, suppose your parents announced that this summer your family would be taking a road trip and you d be visiting the rater of iamonds State Park as part of your annual family vacation. Upon hearing the news, you were clearly excited you ve been sort of a rockhound for as long as you can remember. fter all, you never could resist picking up a rock that sparkled in the light, and pretty-looking pebbles always seemed to catch your eye. This would be the perfect opportunity to explore gemology and add to your personal collection of gemstones! efore the trip, you decide to provide your family with a bit of background knowledge about gemology and gemstones. You let them know that gemstones are minerals that have been carefully cut and polished, which makes their surfaces smooth and shiny. People value gemstones because of their beauty, rarity, and durability. They re often used to create jewelry or other decorative items. Traditionally, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires have been classified as precious stones due to their rarity, hardness, and overall clarity. ll other gemstones are considered 1

2 R e a d i n g S c i e n c e! 6.6: Minerals semi-precious because they re more common and are softer. However, you re sure to inform your family to be on the lookout for some of the more common semi-precious stones found at rater of iamonds. Lots of semiprecious stones are very popular and can be used to create beautiful jewelry. 4 5 s the big trip gets closer, everyone in your family is getting more excited about visiting the rater of iamonds. You ve decided, however, that the time has come to share most important information with your family: how to spot a diamond. fter all, it s important to determine whether they ve uncovered a diamond, or just a plain old rock. You share that there are several physical properties are used to test and verify the identity of a mineral: hardness, color, luster, and streak. The property of hardness describes the strength of the forces holding atoms together in a solid mineral. The Mohs scale is used to describe how easily a mineral can be scratched, and has a range from iamonds are rated a 10 on the Mohs scale, meaning they re the hardest minerals in the world. The color of a mineral is often the most easily identifiable physical property. Many minerals naturally occur in a wide range of colors. iamonds are no exception. They can be yellow, brown, blue, green, pink, orange, purple, black, pink, red, or colorless. olored diamonds contain impurities that cause them to be different colors, while the colorless, transparent diamonds are nearly pure. The property of luster refers to the way a mineral reflects the light. Several different classifications of luster include metallic, dull, pearly, and adamantine. iamonds exhibit adamantine luster, which is seen in their brilliant sparkle. The term streak refers to the color of the powder left by a mineral. The streak of a mineral is commonly determined by scraping a mineral along the non-glazed side of a porcelain tile. The color of the mark left on the tile helps to identify the mineral. The streak of a diamond is white. 2

3 R e a d i n g S c i e n c e! 6.6: Minerals 6 fter explaining how a mineral s physical properties can be tested and are how they re helpful in determining its identity, you ll also explain that some of these tests are better conducted in a laboratory setting. Now that your family knows how physical properties are used to test the identity of minerals, they re even more excited to excavate some hidden gems. s the countdown to vacation continues, you and your family are getting more and more excited about the vacation to the rater of iamonds. Who knows what treasures you ll dig up! 3

4 6.6: Minerals 1 Paragraph 5 of this passage mainly tells about 3 You can tell from reading this passage that the physical properties of minerals. how to spot a diamond. determining how rare a diamond is. how to test a diamond for value. the narrator will definitely find a diamond at the rater of iamonds State Park. diamonds are rare, valuable gems. garnet is as valuable as a diamond. semi-precious stones are ugly. 2 omplete the following analogy. Mohs scale: hardness 4 omplete the following analogy. Semi-precious: amethyst Metallic: luster iamond: clear Porcelain tile: streak Rare: diamond ost: diamond purity Precious: diamond olored diamond: clear diamond iamond: adamantine 4

5 6.6: Minerals 5 Mohs scale is used to determine of a mineral. luster hardness monetary value streak 5

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