NOVA Mineralogy Home


This site is meant to be a quick, easy reference for Mineralogy students, particularly those learning to find their way around thin sections. Here you will find explorable images of over 70 common minerals in hand sample and in thin section, along with brief summaries of their physical and optical properties, videos of them rotating in plane and crossed polars, and a few helpful notes here and there.

You will also find explorable images of common rocks in hand sample and in thin section.

Unless otherwise stated, all images are part of the Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection.

Unless otherwise stated, all mineral data is taken from Mineralogy, Dexter Perkins, 3rd Edition.

Other Resources

If you need more in-depth information, these sites have it.

Alessandro Da Mommio runs the outstanding His site features comprehensive descriptions of rocks, minerals, and mineral phases, along with high-resolution photographs of minerals in thin section. offers a wealth of information, including crystallography, occurrence, classifications, XRD spectra, and lots more. offers all of what does, along with animated crystal diagrams and petrology information.