What is the difference between a rock and a mineral?

megalodon

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Definition of Rock
A rock is an aggregate of one or more minerals with uniform physical properties and formed under similar conditions. For example, a rock can be formed due to the deposition of sediments in a river or the solidification of lava on surface, but not both. The conditions of formations define the physical properties like grain size, composition of minerals, color etc.

Examples of Rock
The following are some of the well-known rocks: Granite, Basalt, Sandstone, Limestone, Marble, Gabbro, Conglomerate etc.

Definition of Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound with a characteristic chemical composition, orderly internal structure, homogeneous crystal structure and physical properties.

Examples of Mineral
The following are some of the commonly found minerals: Quartz, Feldspar, Calcite, Mica etc.

Difference between a rock and a mineral
The minerals are naturally occurring substances but are generally found within a rock. It is generally rare to find a mineral outside a rock unless it was eroded or collected by people. The minerals are homogeneous and exhibit similar properties. The rocks on the other hand contain several minerals and their chemical properties and internal structure change from mineral to mineral. The arrangement of minerals within a rock can be uniform depending on the conditions of formation.

In layman's terms, the rock can be compared to a wall while the mineral can be compared to a brick. The bricks are manufactured while the walls are constructed using several bricks. The walls contain cementing material other than the bricks. Similarly, the rocks are composed of either one or more minerals with/without cementing material.
 

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