Ask-a-Geologist #22: What are some common household items made of rocks and minerals?

We received a great question from one of our customers about the usefulness of rocks. Teddy wrote:

What are some common household items made of rocks and minerals?

In this video answer, we discuss several types of rocks and minerals and their common uses. There are probably some you know and maybe a few you do not. We talk about one you probably use every day and one you may even eat. Check out this list and see how many of these you know.

Here is a list of some of the most commonly used rocks and minerals and their uses:

  • Talc – Baby powder.
  • Graphite – Pencils.
  • Lepidolite – Lithium content – lithium can be used in medicine.
  • Beryl, Epidote, Rhodonite, Malachite, & Amazonite – Jewelry.
  • Limonite – Yellow & brown dyes and pigments.
  • Azurite –Blue dyes and pigments.
  • Quartz – Prisms, lenses, gauges, glass, paints and abrasives.
  • Calcite – Microscopes, metallurgy, fertilizers & chemical industry.
  • Fluorite – Enamels, cooking utensils, telescopes, camera lenses.
  • Gypsum – Paints, tile, drywall, blackboard chalk, fertilizer, plaster of paris.
  • Halite – Salt for food preparation and in the chemical industry.
  • Granite – Road bed construction material, counter top, wall tile.
  • Scoria – Flower beds.
  • Pumice- Foot smoothing stones, soap.
  • Coal – Fuel source, metamorphic coal – gives off the most heat of any coal during the burning process.
  • Sandstone, Limestone and Coquina – Building materials, decorative accessories such as coasters, statues and garden furniture.
  • Gneiss and Marble – Common building materials.
  • Slate – Flooring and roofing material, blackboards.

If you have a geologist question for us, you can email us at We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here or on our social media channel about your favorite items that are made from rocks and minerals.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.