Many minerals and rocks are valuable resources with direct utility in our everyday lives. We forget that these minerals and rock make our lives easier and more efficient. There are three such rocks and minerals that I can think of that play large roles. Of these rock and minerals the three consist of gold, graphite and coal. These are very important in my life because I use each one everyday and respect the rocks and minerals for their contribution to everyday life.
The first mineral that plays a large role in my life as well as everyone else's life is gold. Gold is a precious metal that is worn for personal appearance. Gold is much more than a metal it is what the world revolves around. Our nations currency is based on what is called the gold standard. Our paper money is based on the hard currency, gold, stored in Fort Knox.
The naturally occurring gold-silver alloy is called electrum. Gold occurs, in chemical combination with tellurium, in the minerals calaverite and sylvanite along with silver, and in the mineral nagyagite along with lead, antimony, and sulfur. It occurs with mercury as gold amalgam. It is generally present to a small extent in iron pyrites; galena, the lead sulfide ore that usually contains silver, sometimes also contains appreciable amounts of gold. Gold also occurs in seawater to the extent of 5 to 250 parts by weight to 100 million parts of water. Although the quantity of gold present in seawater is more than 9 billion metric tons, the cost of recovering the gold would be far greater than the value of the gold that could thus be recovered (MSE, 2000).
A second mineral that is very commonly used in my life is graphite. Graphite, as most people know, is what is found within pencils that make it possible to write. As a college student I use this mineral almost every day in my classes. Graphite also has other uses; it is used to produce materials such as ski poles and to enhance the strength of other pro