Sulfosalt mineral

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Structure of proustite (Ag3AsS3), a classic sulfosalt, which can be viewed as the Ag+ derivative of [AsS3]3−. Sulfosalts characteristically feature M-S-M' linkages, where M and M's are different metals or metalloids.

Sulfosalt minerals are those complex sulfide minerals with the general formula: AmBnSp; where A represents a metal such as copper, lead, silver, iron, and rarely mercury, zinc, vanadium; B usually represents semi-metal such as arsenic, antimony, bismuth, and rarely germanium, or metals like tin and rarely vanadium; and S is sulfur or rarely selenium or/and tellurium.[1] The Strunz classification includes the sulfosalts in a sulfides and sulfosalts superclass.[1] A group which have a similar appearing formulas are the sulfarsenides (for example cobaltite (Co,Fe)AsS). In sulfarsenides the arsenic substitutes for sulfur whereas in the sulfosalts the arsenic substitutes for a metal cation.[2]

About 200 sulfosalt minerals are known. Examples include:[3]

Nickel–Strunz Classification -02- Sulfosalts[edit]

IMA-CNMNC proposes a new hierarchical scheme (Mills et al., 2009). This list uses the Classification of Nickel–Strunz (, 10 ed, pending publication).

  • Abbreviations:
    • "*" - discredited (IMA/CNMNC status).
    • "?" - questionable/doubtful (IMA/CNMNC status).
    • "REE" - Rare-earth element (Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu)
    • "PGE" - Platinum-group element (Ru, Rh, Pd, Os, Ir, Pt)
    • 03.C Aluminofluorides, 06 Borates, 08 Vanadates (04.H V[5,6] Vanadates), 09 Silicates:
      • Neso: insular (from Greek νῆσος nēsos, island)
      • Soro: grouping (from Greek σωρός sōros, heap, mound (especially of corn))
      • Cyclo: ring (from Greek κύκλος kyklos, wheel, ring, round)
      • Ino: chain (from Greek ἴς [genitive: ἰνός inos], fibre)
      • Phyllo: sheet (from Greek φύλλον phyllon, leaf)
      • Tekto: three-dimensional framework (from Greek stem τεκτ- tekt- in words having to do with carpentry)
  • Nickel–Strunz code scheme: NN.XY.##x
    • NN: Nickel–Strunz mineral class number
    • X: Nickel–Strunz mineral division letter
    • Y: Nickel–Strunz mineral family letter
    • ##x: Nickel–Strunz mineral/group number, x add-on letter

Class: sulfosalts[edit]

Synthetic sulfosalts[edit]

Many sulfosalts can be prepared in the laboratory, including many that do not occur in nature.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Strunz classification of sulfides and sulfosalts". Mindat.
  2. ^ Klein, Cornelis and Cornelius S. Hurlbut, 1985, Manual of Mineralogy, 20th ed., John Wiley and Sons, New York ISBN 0-471-80580-7
  3. ^ Palache, C., H. Berman, and C. Frondel (1944) Dana’s System of Mineralogy, (7th edition), v. I, pp. 348-350
  4. ^ Sheldrick, William S.; Wachhold, Michael "Chalcogenidometalates of the heavier Group 14 and 15 elements" Coordination Chemistry Reviews 1998, vol. 176, 211-322. doi:10.1016/S0010-8545(98)00120-9