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It is currently not possible to have a "complete list of minerals". 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 3,776 species.[3] The IMA Database of Mineral Properties/ RRUFF Project lists 4,503 valid minerals (IMA/CNMNC) of total 4,743 minerals.[4] The Webmineral.com lists 2,722 published and approved (IMA/CNMNC) minerals, 1,627 pre-IMA minerals, 81 discredited minerals (IMA/CNMNC), 2,691 synonyms, 149 approved minerals but not published 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).
    • "?" - questionable/doubtful (IMA/CNMNC status).
    • N - published without approval of the IMA/CNMNC.
    • G - a name used to designate a group of species.
    • I - intermediate member of a solid-solution series.
    • H - hypothetical mineral (synthetic, anthropogenic, etc.)
    • ch - chemical analysis incomplete. Published without approval and discredited or not approved, yet.

Notes Edit

  • Some minerals were published without being submitted to IMA approval.
    • Imogolite, 09.ED.20, was rejected by the IMA 1962, approved by the AIPEA (Association Internationale Pour l'Étude des Argiles) Nomenclature Committee at its 1970 Tokyo meeting,[6] and finally redefined and approved by the IMA 1987.[7]
  • Five IMA/CNMNC (1959–2000) approved minerals were still missing 2007 in the literature: IMA 1998-018 (Fluornatromicrolite), IMA1995-025 (Natroglaucocerinite), IMA 1987-046a (Ferrolaueite), IMA 1978-064 (approval probably based on fake data), IMA 1977-006 (Whelanite) and IMA 1968-003 (discredited, IMA 2008-B).[1]
  • Current IMA regulations do not allow substances of anthropogenic origin (burning coal mine dumps, coal mine fires) to be validated as mineral species.
  • The data of a mineral on the three references 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 a 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)).
  • Some names are not names of minerals anymore, but names of a group of minerals:

Further reading Edit

  • 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. pp. 1819. ISBN 978-0471193104. 
  • Strunz, Hugo; Nickel, Ernest H. (2001). Strunz Mineralogical Tables (9 ed.). Stuttgart: Schweizerbart. pp. 869. ISBN 978-3510651887. 
  • Back, M.; Mandarino, J.A. (2008). Fleischer’s Glossary of Mineral Species. Tucson, US-AZ: Mineralogical Record Inc. pp. 346. 
  • Ferraiolo, J.A. (2003). A Systematic Classification of Minerals. Bowie, US-MD. pp. 441. 
  • Deer, William Alexander; Howie, R. A.; Zussman, J. Rock-Forming Minerals Series. The Geological Society. 

See also Edit

References Edit

External links Edit