**What is specific gravity?**

Specific gravity is the "heaviness" of a mineral. It is defined as a number that expresses the ratio between the weight of a mineral and the weight of an equal volume of water. Water has a specific gravity of “1.”

**What is specific gravity dependent upon?**

The specific gravity depends on:

- The kind of atoms that comprise the mineral.
- How the atoms are packed together.

You can easily distinguish minerals that have unusually high or unusually low specific gravities just by the way they "feel" when you hold a sample in your hand.

**How is specific gravity measured?**

The steps in measuring the specific gravity are:

- Weigh the mineral in air (W
_{a}). - Weigh the mineral in water (W
_{w}). - Use the following equation:

*W _{a} / ( W_{a} - W_{w} )*

The resulting number is the specific gravity.

*Note that the specific gravity is a ratio- there are no units.