Density (or Specific Gravity) is a very important property of minerals. The
calculation is fairly simple - weight/volume. It is measured using various
apparatus and techniques which are covered in most mineralogy textbooks. These
Of these methods, the jolly and beam balance methods are best suited for
mineral specimen work. The apparatus to do these measurements are simple and can
be inexpensively constructed (Sinkankas, 1966).
Density=(weight in air)/(weight in air - weight in water).
The pycnometer and heavy liquids are best suited for the density measurement
of fine or very small particles.
The mineralogy database has placed all the density information in the
Histogram of Mineral Density and Dana Classification
Here is the measured density data in the mineralogy database compared to the
Dana Classification. As a rule, organics, carbonates, and sulfates are light;
oxides, sulfides, and elements are heavy; silicates and phosphates are in
Other References to Mineral Density
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Example Subject Searches
Example:"density-7"" for all minerals with a measured density
of 7 to 7.99. Example:"den-calc-7"" for all minerals with a calculated
density of 7 to 7.99. Example:"density-2.6*"" for all minerals with a measured
density of 2.6 to 2.69.