Taste is not the first (or possibly even the last) property someone would associate with minerals. And yet, taste is sometimes a very good characteristic and a key to identification in some cases. The most commonly "tasted" mineral is halite or rock salt, but there are several other minerals that have a distinctive taste.

When tasting a mineral, do not lick the specimen. There are minerals that are poisonous and a lick can cause a considerable amount of unnecessary ingestion of the substance. It is recommended that the testing person first wet their finger, then place the wet finger on the specimen and finally taste the finger. This should provide enough of a taste without getting a tongue full of perhaps a badly tasting or worse yet poisonous mineral. Another technique is to just place the tip of the tongue to the mineral for a brief moment.

Some minerals have a unique taste that can not be described except in general terms, but with practice can be identified readily. The list below is composed of sulfates, halides and borates because these minerals can be more soluble in water than other minerals in general and some solubility in water is required in order to have a taste in the first place.

These are some of the more common minerals that have a significantly distinct taste:


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