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Uses

Minerals are essential to various needs within human society, such as minerals used as ores for essential components of metal products used in various commodities and machinery, essential components to building materials such as limestone, marble, granite, gravel, glass, plaster, cement, etc.[2] Minerals are also used in fertilizers to enrich the growth of agricultural crops. [edit]Collecting Mineral collecting is also a recreational study and collection hobby, with clubs and societies representing the field.[8][9] Museums, such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, have popular collections of mineral specimens on permanent display.In economics, a commodity is the generic term for any marketable item produced to satisfy wants or needs.[1] Economic commodities comprise goods and services.[2] The more specific meaning of the term commodity is applied to goods only. It is used to describe a class of goods for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market.[3] A commodity has full or partial fungibility; that is, the market treats its instances as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who produced them. "From the taste of wheat it is not possible to tell who produced it, a Russian serf, a French peasant or an English capitalist."[4] Petroleum and copper are other examples of such commodities,[5] their supply and demand being a part of one universal market. Items such as stereo systems, on the other hand, have many aspects of product differentiation, such as the brand, the user interface, the perceived quality, etc. And, the demand for one type of stereo may be much larger than demand on the other. In contrast, one of the characteristics of a commodity good is that its price is determined as a function of its market as a whole. Well-established physical commodities have actively traded spot and derivative markets. Generally, these are basic resources and agricultural products such as iron ore, crude oil, coal, salt, sugar, tea, coffe beans, soybeans, aluminum, copper, rice, wheat, gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. Soft commodities are goods that are grown, while hard commodities are the ones that are extracted through mining. There is another important class of energy commodities which includes electricity, gas, coal and oil. Electricity has the particular characteristic that it is usually uneconomical to store; hence, electricity must be consumed as soon as it is produced. Commodification (also called commoditization) occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base, often by the diffusion of the intellectual capital necessary to acquire or produce it efficiently. As such, goods that formerly carried premium margins for market participants have become commodities, such as generic pharmaceuticals and DRAM chips. Another example is the credit card product, where all suppliers offer almost identical interest rates, fees, rewards programs, and bait & hook incentive models for new customers. Since the core credit card product is essentially identical, the only remaining market differentiators are branding & customer service. There is a spectrum of commodification, rather than a binary distinction of "commodity versus differentiable product". Few products have complete undifferentiability and hence fungibility; even electricity can be differentiated in the market based on its method of generation (e.g., fossil fuel, wind, solar). Many products' degree of commodification depends on the buyer's mentality and means. For example, milk, eggs, and notebook paper are considered by many customers as completely undifferentiable and fungible; lowest price is the only deciding factor in the purchasing choice. Other customers take into consideration other factors besides price, such as environmental sustainability and animal welfare. To these customers, distinctions such as "organic versus not" or "cage free versus not" count toward differentiating brands of milk or eggs, and percentage of recycled content or forestry council certification count toward differentiating brands of notebook paper.

 
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