What Are the Two Main Groups of Minerals?

The two main groups of minerals are the silicates, which are formed from oxygen and silicone, and the non-silicates, which are not composed of silicone and oxygen. Silicate minerals are the largest class of minerals, while non-silicate minerals vary greatly with regard to structure and composition.

The oxygen and silicone found in silicates gives these minerals a distinct structure known as the silicone-oxygen tetrahedron. As a whole, the tetrahedron has a negative charge and is able to link with other tetrahedrons.

Non-silicates lack the silicone-oxygen tetrahedron and do not possess an identifying formation. The non-silicate groups are created by varying geological processes and contain an assortment of elements that influence the mineral’s structure.