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New minerals
  
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Tom Mazanec




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PostPosted: Dec 27, 2016 09:45    Post subject: New minerals  

I read that we recognize about 50 new minerals a year.
Is this like one new mineral each week, or half a hundred on one day?
And where can I learn of these new minerals as they are described?
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Tobi




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PostPosted: Dec 27, 2016 10:07    Post subject: Re: New minerals  

Hi Tom,

I think the most reliable source for information concerning new minerals is the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). One part of their organization is the "Commission on new Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification" (CNMNC) that tries to manage the official system of mineral names and to include new species into that nomenclature.

Their official website is https://www.ima-mineralogy.org/index.htm and they even have a site with information about the most recently approved minerals:

http://nrmima.nrm.se//recentmin.htm

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Tobi
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Dec 27, 2016 10:09    Post subject: Re: New minerals  

You are correct in saying that any number of newly described minerals are named every year. You can find out about them in any of several ways, but first let me say that the vast number of these newly described minerals are complex combinations of elements and molecules and are very small crystals or something similar from unusual mining sites or volcanos or other unusual localities. Only a relatively few of these would be collectible and available to the average collector.

So how to learn of them. Googling "newly described minerals" will bring up several websites with the mineral names and characteristics.
The periodical MINERALOGICAL RECORD, about once a year, has a listing of all the newly described minerals and their characteristics. Parenthetically, this is one of the websites that comes up when googling new minerals.
Going to the website MINDAT.ORG, you can find similar threads of descriptions of newly described minerals.
I am sure others will know of more ways to answer the same questions, but the point is, it is easy to learn of new minerals and their characteristics.

In addendum, I might add that most of these newly described minerals are, today, just laboratory curiosities, in the future.....who knows....
In about 1700 more than 1/3 of all the known elements were just laboratory curiosities. If I were writing this in about 1800, the element TUNGSTEN was a curiosity. Then someone used it in inventing the tungsten filament and the incandescent light came into being! THE END OF NIGHT!!! Everything for work and home changed forever. In just about 20 years, tungsten, from a curiosity to a daily used element.
Same thing for ALUMINUM. In about 1900 this element was virtually impossible to refine. Just a curiosity. Then by 1930 or so, electrolytic refining was developed and a curiosity changed into a WWII strategic element/mineral and then into a commonly used element/mineral. Again the point is that what is a curiosity today with newly described minerals might just find common usage sometime in the future. BOB
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Dec 27, 2016 19:29    Post subject: Re: New minerals  

The number of new species in a year varies, of course, anywhere from roughly 50 to 100. The IMA publishes the list after they vote on their validity, about every 3 months or so. At the same time they publish any news of old species that are "discredited" (ie. found out to be mixtures of other minerals, or just a minor variety of an already published species; so the list of known minerals can lose a few from time to time as well!).

The lists of new species are also published on the messageboards of several websites, including mindat.org and mineralienatlas.de , within a few hours or days of their publication by the IMA.
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