Last modified on 13 July 2016, at 14:12

Tenacity

A mineral's tenacity is its capacity to resist the stress of crushing, tearing, bending, or breaking. Tenacity is usually described by the following terms:

BrittleEasily broken into a powder by cutting or hammering.
SectileCan be cut by a knife into thin shavings.
MalleableCan be hammered into thin sheets like gold or copper.
FlexibleCan be bent, but will not return to original form when stress is released.
ElasticCan be bent (like a spring) and will return to original form when stress is released.
Chesterman, p. 32

Sources

  • Chesterman, Charles W. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf: New York (1987)