The two main methods of mineral formation are cooling and evaporation. The cooling process occurs when magmas and lavas cool and crystallize into minerals. Minerals formed through evaporation are the result of electrically charged atoms, known as ions, linking together to form crystals.
Most of the Earth's minerals are created through the cooling process. Cooling is also responsible for the formation of most of the rocks and gemstones in the Earth's crust. A third method of mineral formation is known as crystallographic transformation. This is a process in which minerals change into new minerals as a result of chemical instability.