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The 4th-level spell Galder's speedy courier from the published adventure Lost Library of Kwalish has the following material component:

25 gold pieces, or mineral goods of equivalent value, which the spell consumes

I assume we can agree that "mineral goods" falls under the category 'object' as defined here: What is considered an object?

My questions:

  1. Is there a clear definition in 5e of what the term "mineral goods" encompasses, or is it perhaps possible to extrapolate a definition?

  2. Which of the following examples qualifies as acceptable material casting components? 25 gp worth of:

    • Gems?
    • Salt?
    • Swords? (Enough of them, so that the raw amount of iron is worth 25 gp)
    • A copper statue? (A raw amount of copper worth 25 gp, ignoring its artistic value)
    • A somewhat heavy gold necklace?
    • A big pile of gold rings?

    Gems and salt seem obviously acceptable. But would using swords, statues or jewelry qualify?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking what the distinction is between raw materials and finished goods? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 22 '20 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Indirectly, sure if it were to play a part in determining my overall question. Which is specifically, that I am trying to assertain what qualifies as "mineral goods" substituting the standard 25gp casting cost when casting the spell. The word "goods" to me implies some degree of refinement, as to e.g a pocket/vein of of copper still embedded in the wall of a mine. So I assume one wouldn't be able to cast the spell by touching a wall in a mine that has a spread out, or unconcentrated amount of 25gp worth of copper. But yeah, that's what I am trying to find out with my question. \$\endgroup\$ – Fork Frog Oct 23 '20 at 12:08
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The word isn't defined in-game so it takes its normal meaning

The definition of mineral is "a solid, naturally occurring inorganic substance."

Or, in British English, a fizzy soft drink but that doesn't seem applicable.

Quartz, feldspar, diamond, even sandstone (although you'd need a lot to be worth 25gp) are all minerals, even if they are subsequently worked cut or polished.

Gold, copper and iron ore are minerals but iron and steel isn’t because they don't occur naturally. Gold and copper metals might be minerals because the pure metal does occur naturally.

Rock salt is a mineral but sea salt isn't because the first occurs naturally but the latter involves human intervention - although that may be needlessly hair-splitting. I think the fact that some salt occurs naturally allows us to consider all salt as a mineral.

Seashells are a curly one (even non-curly seashells) - they are solid, inorganic and naturally occurring - so they're probably in.

However, there is a broader definition of mineral as anything that isn't a plant or animal (or fungus, bacterium etc.). If you want to use that definition then the only edge cases are fossils.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much for your answer. Is there a reason that you have left out the "goods" part of "mineral goods"? - Because "minerals" and "mineral goods" seem to create two different starting points for the purpose of definition. "Mineral goods" as I understand the words, wouldn't occur naturally, as it has undergone some sort of refinement, or extraction/harvesting e.g iron, copper, gold. Or am I reading too much into the "goods" part in your opinion? \$\endgroup\$ – Fork Frog Oct 23 '20 at 15:06

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