Any of a huge collection of silicon-oxygen compounds which is broadly distributed all over much of the solar system. The silicates composition about 95% of the Earth's crust and upper mantle, occurring as the major constituents of most igneous rocks and in significant quantities in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. They are also chief constituents of lunar samples, meteorites, and most asteroids. In adding together, planetary probes have detected them on the surfaces of Mercury, Venus and Mars. Roughly 600 known silicate minerals, only the feldspars, amphiboles, pyroxenes, micas, olivines, feldspathoids, and zeolites are the most important in rock the formation.
Minerals have distinctive physical properties which in most cases can be used to conclude the identity of the mineral. In this way, you will extend a regular approach to using the physical properties of minerals as identifying tools. If you follow this move toward you should be able to identify most of the common minerals, or at the least be able to thin the potential to only a few. The physical properties that can be used, then build up a systematic approach to the classification of minerals using these physical properties. Among the several properties silicate minerals have crystal habit, cleavage, hardness, density, luster, streak, color, tenacity, magnetism, and taste.