What are the rocks made of?
Once we got to know macrobudics, rock macrostructure, we wanted even deeper knowledge. We started looking for an answer to the question, what the rocks are made of. We discovered elements and chemical compounds, and more importantly, we started using them for practical purposes. At first timidly – salt as an addition to dishes, copper, gold and silver for making utensils and ornaments. Then iron for making tools and weapons, quartz sand, calcium carbonate and sodium carbonate for glass making. Later we learned to synthesize the compounds we needed in the laboratories of alchemists and factories. We needed pure elements more and more. Not only those generally available, like copper or iron. Also occurring rarely, in trace amounts, like franc, whose quantity is so small, that on average in the earth's crust 1 a gram of franc is contained in 11952 and fifteen more zeros after that number of tons of earth. So almost 12 million million million tons of land contains only 1 gram fransu.
How to find such a tiny pin in such a huge haystack? This question is answered by another of the earth sciences – geochemia. One of the youngest areas of our knowledge. Science, which deals with the occurrence and circulation of elements in the earth's crust, and thus the formation of minerals and precious stones, and in places, in which these minerals can be formed. It is thanks to her that we know, what is the chemical composition of our planet. We know the laws that determine the distribution of elements in different terrestrial environments. Conditions, which may lead to a particularly high concentration of even the rarest elements, which makes it easier for us to find and extract them. It is thanks to her that we know, under what conditions, even the rarest gemstones are created. So we can, taking a pattern from nature, create the same, and sometimes even more beautiful gemstones in laboratories and factories.
Except for the main components of the air – nitrogen and oxygen, sea water and mineral waters, from which we extract some elements, all the important raw materials are rocks and minerals. A mineral is an element or a chemical compound, which was created as a result of natural natural processes, without human participation. Elemental minerals include sulfur, graphite and diamond and gold, silver, copper and platinum. All these elements can be found in their native state, chemically free. Sometimes they can be contaminated with other elements – e.g.. gold nuggets can be overgrown with silica or mixed with silver in the form of an alloy. But these admixtures do not form chemical compounds with the base mineral and can be removed by mechanical means by chipping or melting and separating the components.. In exceptional cases, other elements are also found in their native form. Sometimes even like iron, which under normal conditions tends to associate with oxygen or form other compounds, e.g.. sulfides. More often, however, these elements are in the form of minerals – chemical compounds.