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Luster is the surface appearance of a substance, or the manner in which it reflects light. The luster of minerals varies with the nature of their surfaces. A variation in the quantity of light reflected produces different degrees of intensity of luster; a variation in the nature of the reflecting surface produces different kinds of luster.

Kinds of Luster - The kinds of luster recognized are as follows:

Non-metallic minerals of varying luster
  1. Metallic
  2. Sub-metallic
  3. Non-metallic
A. Adamantine
B. Vitreous
C. Resinous
D. Greasy
E. Pearly
F. Silky

Degrees of Luster - The degrees of intensity of luster are classified as follows:

  1. Splendent
  2. Shining
  3. Glistening
  4. Glimmering
  5. Dull


  • Chesterman, Charles W. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf: New York (1987)
  • Dana, Edward S. and Ford, William E. Dana's Textbook of Mineralogy - Fourth Edition, John Wiley and Sons: New York (1932)

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