Minerals have been an indispensable part of human life since ancient times. During the prehistoric period, people used flint to make weapons for hunting or protection. The importance of minerals has only increased over time. Minerals come in all kinds of different colors and intricate crystal shapes. They are not only Mother Nature's works of art but are also a record of how rocks formed and environmental changes, making them a key to the mysteries of planet Earth. They are our most trusted partner in everyday life as well, with everything from gems, steel, concrete, pencils and even the salt that we eat being minerals in one form or another.