While both rocks and minerals form the basic elements upon Earth, they vary in characteristics and formation. The elements of the Earth are the basic forms of matter, comprising of solid, liquid, and gas. These cannot be broken down through a simple chemical process, and are thus named as the building blocks of nature. Minerals are pure elements made of a single substance, while rocks are mixtures of two or more elements. To understand the difference between minerals and rocks, the two must be understood separately.


What is a rock?

A rock is basically an aggregate of one or more than one mineral, and non-minerals. They do not have a specific chemical composition. Rocks do not have the similar colors or shapes even when combined of two particular minerals. They are classified on their mineral and chemical composition, and the mode of their formation. Rocks can also contain the remains or organic and mineraloids, and the classifications of rocks are therefore, classified as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. An example of a rock is limestone, which is almost entirely made of the mineral calcite.


What is a mineral?

A mineral is made of a bunch of similar elements that combine together to make a specific chemical composition. With this chemical composition, these minerals are classified into families. Minerals have a detailed color that will make it distinguishable from the other. Minerals have specific shapes and crystalline structures. Minerals natural occur and comprise of an inorganic solid substance. This makes them pure substances, which cannot be broken into simpler substances. They remain stable at room temperature. Quartz, mica, and feldspar are some examples of minerals.


Thus, rocks are made of minerals, but minerals are not made of rocks. Both are buried in the soil of the earth and extracted via mining. Rocks have cultural, commercial and social value, while minerals have great industrial value.