List of minerals (complete)

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Mineralogy is an active field with new minerals being discovered or recognised and old names discredited on a regular basis. Given that, a list of recognised mineral species is never complete. The International Mineralogical Association (IMA) is the international group that recognises new minerals and new mineral names. However, minerals discovered before 1959 did not go through the official naming procedure. Some minerals published previously have been either confirmed or discredited since that date. This list contains a mixture of mineral names that have been approved since 1959 and those mineral names believed to still refer to valid mineral species (these are called "grandfathered" species). Presently, each year about 50-60 new mineral species are officially approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) of the International Mineralogical Association.[1]

The IMA/CNMNC administrates c. 6,500 names,[2] and the Handbook of Mineralogy lists 3,803 species.[3] The IMA Database of Mineral Properties/ Rruff Project lists 4,803 valid species (IMA/CNMNC) of total 4,976 minerals. Pre-IMA minerals are 1,289, 140 are approved minerals but without a published description yet and 35 are discredited (IMA/CNMNC status).[4]

The Webmineral.com lists 2,722 published and approved (IMA/CNMNC) minerals, 1,627 pre-IMA minerals, 81 discredited minerals (IMA/CNMNC status), 2,691 synonyms, 149 approved minerals but without a published description yet and 123 not approved names.[5]


Due to the length of this list, it is divided into alphabetical groups. The minerals are sorted by name.

  • Abbreviations:
    • "*" – discredited (IMA/CNMNC status).
    • "s.p." – special procedure.
    • Q or "?" – questionable/doubtful (IMA/CNMNC, mindat.org or mineralienatlas.de status).
    • N – published without approval of the IMA/CNMNC, or just not an IMA approved mineral but with some acceptance in the scientific community nowadays. The 'IMA database of mineral properties' (rruff.info/ima) has 173 species with 'not an IMA approved mineral' tag, some are an intermediate member of a solid solution series, others are "recently" discredited minerals.[4]
    • I – intermediate member of a solid-solution series.
    • H – hypothetical mineral (synthetic, anthropogenic, etc.)
    • group – a name used to designate a group of species, sometimes only a mineral group name.

Notes[edit]

Halite/ hydrohalite phase diagram
Feldspar series
Ternary phase diagram: anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8), wollastonite (CaSiO3) and titanite (CaTiSiO5)
Sulfur/ β-sulfur diagram, rosickyite turns slowly to α-sulfur at room temperature
Theoretically predicted phase diagram of carbon
Biotite series (micas)
Phase diagram of Al2SiO5
(nesosilicates).[6]


  • The name of a new mineral is an IMA secret until it is approved or until its full description is published, its authors' option ('IMA 2009-D').[7] The IMA uses a code for its own procedures for the supposed new mineral (and so it is a synonym). Ferri-ottoliniite's proposal got code '2001-067', it was redefined and approved as '2001-067a' in 2003, for instance (the ottoliniite root name is discredited since 2012).[8]
  • Silicate perovskites, argentite and β-quartz are not valid minerals, as they do not occur on Earth's surface (standard temperature and pressure, STP). Some minerals are unstable on Earth's surface: diamonds, cohenite and haxonite for instance. Acanthite var. argentite (a pseudomorph after argentite) is sometimes sold as argentite.[9]
  • Current IMA regulations do not allow substances of anthropogenic origin (burning coal mine dumps, coal mine fires, slag, etc.) to be validated as a mineral species. Since 1998, the majority of polymorphs (especially polytypes and polytypoids) are not regarded as separate mineral species anymore.[10]
  • Some old minerals were known before their 20th century names were first published.
  • "The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana" (7 ed.) was the reference of CNMNC/CNMMN's (IMA) initial work. Around 2006 the older minerals got reviewed, a document of 130 pages. The final GQN List got published (grandfathered, questionable and published without approval) after a final review of Burke E A J and Nickel E H (approved decision 'IMA 2006-C'). Not only the well established minerals before 1959 got grandfathered (G), but the minerals that could not be discredited as well. The fusion of the 'ARD List' (approved, revalidated and discredited) with the 'GQN List' resulted in the first 'IMA/CNMNC List of Mineral Names'. The 2007 draft of the 'IMA/CNMNC List of Mineral Names' was a courtesy of the Materials Data, Inc. (MDI), its 2009 review got important modifications.[11][12] The RRUFF database was built with the help of the MDI 2007's draft, the IMA Master List is an update of the MDI 2009's review.[13][14][15] Some grandfathered minerals got their status changed to approved afterwards, based on IMA approved reports.
  • Some mineral names got a revision, this changed their first letters. Sodium-pharmacosiderite is now natropharmacosiderite, natroapophyllite is now fluorapophyllite-(Na), for instance.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22] But 2010, hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite, fluorellestadite and chlorapatite got their old names back.[23]
  • Everything is slower on earth sciences, geology, mineralogy:
    • Georgius Agricola's De re metallica libri xii though apparently finished in 1550, was published 1556 (the author died 1555).
    • Some IMA/CNMNC (1959–2000) approved minerals had their complete description published only 2012: 'IMA 1998-018' (fluornatromicrolite, published 2011), 'IMA 1987-046a' (ferrolaueite, published 2012), 'IMA 1978-064' (approval probably based on fake data), 'IMA 1977-006' (whelanite, published 2012) and 'IMA 1968-003' (discredited, 'IMA 2008-B'). 'IMA 1995-025' was listed as well, a mistake (natroglaucocerinite, published 1995).[1]
    • Some minerals were published without being submitted to IMA approval.
      • Imogolite, 09.ED.20, was first published 1962.[24][25] Its formal discreditation by the IMA was published 1967, as its description was incomplete.[26] The IMA referred it to the AIPEA (Association Internationale Pour l'Étude des Argiles) for advice and it was approved by the AIPEA (Nomenclature Committee) at its Tokyo meeting (1970).[27][28] Fleischer (1983) described it as a variety of allophane and it was finally redefined and approved by the IMA 1986.[29][30]
      • Amorphous allophane, nanotube-like imogolite (Al
        2
        SiO
        3
        (OH)
        4
        ), halloysite-10Å (Al
        2
        Si
        2
        O
        5
        (OH)
        4
        ·2H
        2
        O
        ), halloysite-7Å (Al
        2
        Si
        2
        O
        5
        (OH)
        4
        ) and gibbsite (Al(OH)
        3
        ) are thought to be products of tuff weathering.
    • Every year some valid names get discredited (in the broader sense).
      • Ramdohr (1936) discovered that the type material of schapbachite (Ag0.4Pb0.2Bi0.4S) was a mixture of galena (PbS) and matildite (AgBiS2).[31] It was discredited (1982) as it was found unstable at 'standard temperature and pressure' (STP).[32] It was revalidated (2004) as Pb-bearing schabachite is stable at STP.[33] The type locality isn't Schapbach now, but Silberbrünnle Mine, Gengenbach; both Black Forest localities.
      • Tohdite (hydrous alumina) was conditionally approved as 'IMA 2004-051'. But the re-examination of the holotype material of akdalaite ((Al2O3)5·H2O, 'IMA 1969-002') from the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow showed that both minerals were identical (space group got corrected).[34]
      • Buserite was approved as 'IMA 1970-024'.[35] It lost its approval, but it is listed as a valid mineral nowadays.[36][37]
      • Tellurocanfieldite was conditionally approved as 'IMA 2012-013'. Its approval was withdrawn as further studies showed it to be a Te-rich variety of canfieldite (Y: 1894, 02.BA.70).[38]
  • Attention with the amphiboles: some mineral names got redefined (2012 s.p. was the last revision), some even more than once; i.e. their chemical formula range changed.[8] For example, aluminotaramite ('IMA 2006-023', 09.DE.20) is a synonym of ferro-taramite, sodic-ferri-ferropedrizite (2003 s.p., 09.DE.25) was renamed to ferro-ferri-pedrizite, ehimeite is a synonym of chromio-pargasite ('IMA 2011-023', 09.DE.15), kôzulite is a synonym of mangano-arfvedsonite ('IMA 1968-028', 09.DE.25) and kornite is a synonym of potassic-mangani-leakeite ('IMA 1992-032', 09.DE.25).
  • Some IMA-CNMNC approved minerals have a questionable status on mineralienatlas.de, but their unit cell parameters are given on mindat.org (or vice-versa). Their status here doesn't change, it remains 'approved mineral'.
  • The mineral systematic given on Nickel-Strunz (9 and 10 ed) is not controversial. Dmisteinbergite (feldspar, 09.EG.15), uranyl sorovanadates (04.HD. ids) and silica family (04.DA. ids) are some exceptions, for instance.
  • The data of a mineral on the databases is similar but not equal. For instance:
    • Opal is a valid IMA/CNMNC name but it is a mineraloid (a mixture of cristobalite and/or tridymite and amorphous silica), it has a page on Mindat.org and Webmineral.com but not on the Handbook of Mineralogy.
    • OligoclaseI is an albite variety on Mindat.org and it has pages on the Handbook of Minerals and Webmineral.com, see 'List of minerals (synonyms)' (plagioclase/albite-anorthite series). It is not the only intermediate member of a solid solution series with a page on the Handbook of Mineralogy (Mineral varieties).
    • The Handbook of Mineralogy has pages on clinochrysotile, orthochrysotile and parachrysotile, but not on chrysotile; but they are polytypes of chrysotile, see 'List of minerals (synonyms)'.
    • Mindat.org uses to give the chemical formula of some minerals as a range (between parentheses, if tin dominant then herzenbergite: (Sn,Pb)SnS2; otherwise teallite: (Pb,Sn)SnS2), on the other side the IMA Database of Mineral Properties/ Rruff Project uses to give the ideal chemical formula of the solid solution end member (herzenbergite: SnS).
      • The given chemical names are a compromise for information purposes, being based on the Nickel-Strunz code too. Most of the time the chemical formula on rruff.info was used, sometimes the simpler one on mindat.org. To illustrate it: bartonite, K3Fe10S14 (mindat.org), K6Fe20S26S (rruff.info); bayleyite, Mg2(UO2)(CO3)3·18H2O (mindat.org), Mg2(UO2)(CO3)3(H2O)12·6H2O (rruff.info) and bredigite, Ca7Mg(SiO4)4 (mindat.org), CaCa13Mg2(SiO4)8 (rruff.info).
      • Caution with the chemical formula units of silicates and their "formula masses". Some molecules have a repeating unit, these might be chains, networks, polymers, and so the true molecule might be a multiple of the smallest repeating unit (the unit cell of a crystal is formed by repeating 'Z' times the chemical formula). Examples: wadsleyite (Mg2SiO4) a sorosilicate and high pressure polymorth of forsterite and ringwoodite; leucophanite (NaCaBeSi2O6F), but it has Nickel-Strunz identification code 09.DH.05 (inosilicates with 4-periodic single chains, Si4O12); clinoenstatite (MgSiO3), but it has Nickel-Strunz identification code 09.DA.10 (inosilicates with 2-periodic single chains, Si2O6); scolecite (CaAl2Si3O10·3H2O), but it has Nickel-Strunz identification code 09.GA.05 (zeolites with T5O10 units – the fibrous zeolites); mogánite (SiO2), but it has Nickel-Strunz identification code 04.DA.20 (oxides with small cations: silica family).
  • Other curiosities:
    • Studtite (04.GA.15), the first peroxide mineral, the facies radioactivity generate peroxide.
    • Ianthinite (04.GA.10), U(IV) is one of the constituents of the mineral and it gets a layer of schoepite/ metaschoepite in the presence of oxygen.
    • Menezesite (04.FN.05), the only natural heteropolyniobate known.
    • Icosahedrite (IMA 2010-042), the only natural quasicrystal known.
    • Megacyclite (09.CP.10); chemical formula unit with 111 atoms; unit cell with 4 formula units (Z).
    • Labyrinthite (09.CO.10); chemical formula unit with 278.5 atoms; unit cell with 3 formula units (Z).
    • Ashcroftine-(Y) (09.DN.15); chemical formula unit with 180 atoms; unit cell with 4 formula units (Z).
  • The existence in nature of some questionable/ doubtful minerals is very unlikely at all or at the type locality. For example, iodineQ (Y: 1897, I2), chloromagnesiteQ (Y: 1872, MgCl2) 03.AB.20 and zinkositeQ (Y: 1852, ZnSO4) 07.AB.10.[39][40][41]
  • Some names are not names of minerals anymore, but names of a group of minerals:

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Clark, A. (1993). Hey's Mineral Index (3 ed.). London: Chapman & Hall. p. 852. 
  • Gaines, R.V.; Skinner, H.C.; Foord, E.E.; Mason, B.; Rosenzweig, A. (1997). Dana’s New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury (8 ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons. p. 1819. ISBN 978-0-471-19310-4. 
  • Strunz, Hugo; Nickel, Ernest H. (2001). Strunz Mineralogical Tables (9 ed.). Stuttgart: Schweizerbart. p. 869. ISBN 978-3-510-65188-7. 
  • Ferraiolo, J.A. (2003). A Systematic Classification of Minerals. Bowie, US-MD. p. 441. 
  • Back, M.; Mandarino, J.A. (2008). Fleischer’s Glossary of Mineral Species. Tucson, US-AZ: Mineralogical Record Inc. p. 346. 
  • Deer, William Alexander; Howie, R. A.; Zussman, J. Rock-Forming Minerals Series. The Geological Society. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ No Webmineral reference
  2. ^ No Webmineral reference
  3. ^ No Handbook of Mineralogy reference
  4. ^ No Webmineral reference

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Missing Minerals". Elements 3: 360. 2007. 
  2. ^ List of minerals
  3. ^ Handbook of Mineralogy
  4. ^ a b "IMA Database of Mineral Properties/ RRUFF Project". Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  5. ^ A to Z Listing of Minerals
  6. ^ Whitney, D.L. (2002), "Coexisting andalusite, kyanite, and sillimanite: Sequential formation of three Al2SiO5 polymorphs during progressive metamorphism near the triple point, Sivrihisar, Turkey", American Mineralogist 87 (4): 405–416 
  7. ^ "Minerals approved in 2010". IMA/ CNMNC. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Frank C. Hawthorne, Roberta Oberti, George E. Harlow, Walter V. Maresch, Robert F. Martin, John C. Schumacher, Mark D. Welch (2012). "Nomenclature of the amphibole supergroup". American Mineralogist 97: 2031–2048. doi:10.2138/am.2012.4276. 
  9. ^ Argentit (German)
  10. ^ Nickel, Ernest H.; Grice, Joel D. (1998). "The IMA Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names: Procedures and Guidelines on Mineral Nomenclature, 1998". The Canadian Mineralogist 36. 
  11. ^ Nickel E H, Nichols M C (2007). IMA/CNMNC List of Mineral Names : draft. Materials Data, Inc. 
  12. ^ Nickel E H, Nichols M C (2009). IMA/CNMNC List of Mineral Names. Materials Data, Inc. 
  13. ^ "IMA Mineral List". RRUFF Database. 
  14. ^ Burke E A J (2006). "A mass discreditation of GQN minerals". The Canadian Mineralogist 44: 1557–1560. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.44.6.1557. 
  15. ^ de Fourestier, Jeffrey (2002). "The Naming of Mineral Species Approved by the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names of the International Mineralogical Association: A Brief History". The Canadian Mineralogist 40: 1721–1735. doi:10.2113/gscanmin.40.6.1721. 
  16. ^ Levinson A A (1966). "A system of nomenclature for rare-earth minerals". American Mineralogist 51: 152–158. 
  17. ^ Nickel, E H; Mandarino, J A (1987). "Procedures involving the IMA Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names and guidelines on mineral nomenclature". American Mineralogist 72: 1031–1042. 
  18. ^ Burke E A J (2008). "Tidying up mineral names: an IMA-CNMNC scheme for suffixes, hyphens and diacritical marks". The Mineralogical Record 39: 131–135. 
  19. ^ Armbruster, Thomas (2002). "Revised nomenclature of högbomite, nigerite, and taafeite minerals". European Journal of Mineralogy 14: 389–395. doi:10.1127/0935-1221/2002/0014-0389. 
  20. ^ Bindi, L; Evain M; Spry P G; Menchetti S (2007). "The pearceite-polybasite group of minerals: crystal chemistry and new nomenclature rules". American Mineralogist 92: 918–925. doi:10.2138/am.2007.2440. 
  21. ^ Darrell J. Henry, Milan Novák, Frank C. Hawthorne, Andreas Ertl, Barbara L. Dutrow, Pavel Uher, and Federico Pezzotta (2011). "Nomenclature of the tourmaline-supergroup minerals". American Mineralogist 96: 895–913. doi:10.2138/am.2011.3636. 
  22. ^ Frédéric Hatert, Stuart J. Mills, Marco Pasero and Peter A. Williams (2013). "CNMNC guidelines for the use of suffixes and prefixes in mineral nomenclature, and for the preservation of historical names". European Journal of Mineralogy 25: 113–115. doi:10.1127/0935-1221/2013/0025-2267. 
  23. ^ Pasero M, Kampf A R, Ferraris C, Pekov I V, Rakovan J R, White T J (2010). "Nomenclature of the apatite supergroup minerals". European Journal of Mineralogy 22: 163–179. doi:10.1127/0935-1221/2010/0022-2022. 
  24. ^ Yoshinaga, N.; Aomine, S. (1962). "Allophane in some Ando soils". Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 8 (2): 6–13. doi:10.1080/00380768.1962.10430983. 
  25. ^ Yoshinaga, N.; Aomine, S. (1962). "Imogolite in some Ando soils". Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 8 (3): 22–29. doi:10.1080/00380768.1962.10430993. 
  26. ^ Hey, M.H. (1967). "International Mineralogical Association: Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names". Mineralogical Magazine 36: 133. doi:10.1180/minmag.1967.036.277.20. 
  27. ^ Wada, Koji; Yoshinaga, Naganori (January–February 1969). "The structure of "Imogolite"". The American Mineralogist 54: 50–71. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  28. ^ "Summary of national and international recommendations on clay mineral nomenclature: Clays and Clay Minerals". Clays and Clay Minerals 19: 131. 1971. 
  29. ^ Fleischer, M. (1983). Glossary of Mineral Species. Tucson, AZ: Mineralogical Record. 
  30. ^ Bayliss, P. (1987). "Mineralogical notes: mineral nomenclature: imogolite". Mineralogical Magazine 51: 327. doi:10.1180/minmag.1987.051.360.18. 
  31. ^ Mindat.org - Schapbachite
  32. ^ Hey, M H (1982). "International Mineralogical Association: Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names". Mineralogical Magazine 46: 513–514. doi:10.1180/minmag.1982.046.341.25. 
  33. ^ Walenta K, Bernhardt H J, Theye T (2004). "Cubic AgBiS2 (schapbachite) from the Silberbrünnle mine near Gengenbach in the Central Black Forest, Germany". Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Monatshefte 2004: 425–432. 
  34. ^ Mindat.org - Tohdite
  35. ^ Giovanoli R, Feitknecht W, Fischer F (1971). "Über oxidhydroxide des vierwertigen mangans mit schichtengitter. 3. Mitteilung: reduktion von mangan (III) - manganat (IV) mit zimtalkohol". Helvetica Chimica Acta 54: 1112–1124. doi:10.1002/hlca.19710540421. 
  36. ^ Roger G. Burns, Virginia Mee Burns and Harlan W. Stockman (1983). "A review of the todorokite-buserite problem: implications to the mineralogy of marine manganese nodules". American Mineralogist 68: 972. 
  37. ^ "Buserite". Mindat.org. 
  38. ^ Mindat.org - Tellurocanfieldite
  39. ^ Mindat.org - Iodine
  40. ^ Mindat.org - Chloromagnesite
  41. ^ Mindat.org - Zinkosite
  42. ^ Mindat.org - Biotite
  43. ^ Handbookofmineralogy - Biotite
  44. ^ Rieder, Milan, Cavazzini, Giancarlo, D'yakonov, Yurii S., Frank-Kamenetskii, Viktor A. (1998). "Nomenclature of the micas (IMA/CNMMN Mica Group Subcommittee Report)". Canadian Mineralogist 36: 905–912. 
  45. ^ Mindat.org - Chabazite
  46. ^ Handbookofmineralogy - Chabazite
  47. ^ Mindat.org - Dachiardite
  48. ^ Webmineral - Dachiardite
  49. ^ Mindat.org - Heulandite
  50. ^ Handbookofmineralogy - Heulandite
  51. ^ Mindat.org - Pyrochlore
  52. ^ Webmineral - Pyrochlore
  53. ^ Handbookofmineralogy - Pyrochlore
  54. ^ Mindat.org - Roméite
  55. ^ Webmineral - Roméite
  56. ^ Handbookofmineralogy - Roméite
  57. ^ Mindat.org - Betafite
  58. ^ Webmineral - Betafite
  59. ^ Handbookofmineraology - Betafite
  60. ^ Mindat.org - Microlite group
  61. ^ Mindat.org - Elsmoreite group
  • Web: rruff.info/ima/, 'IMA database of mineral properties' switchboard:
    • 'Not an IMA approved mineral' tag – E.g. buserite
    • 'Discredited' mineral tag – E.g. bindheimite
    • 'Pending publication' tag – E.g. drobecite (IMA 2002-034)
    • 'Questionable mineral species' tag – E.g. shubnikovite

External links[edit]