Scientific Classifications of Mineral Groups

 


 

Scientific Classification

 

**Minerals and gemstones are classified according to their chemical compositions. There are eight classes, along with a ninth class for non-minerals, which may be non-crystalline organic combinations and/or rocks. The nine classes are listed below with examples of a few of the individual species within these groups.

 

Mineral Classes

 

1. Elements:

Substances which occur in nature whose structure is made up of only a single type of atom which is 100% pure, containing no other substances. The well known "Periodic Table of Elements" lists all of the elements. Please refer to the table below. Examples: Antimony, Arsenic, Bismuth, Carbon, Copper, Diamond, Gold, Graphite, Lead, Platinum, Selenium, Silver, Sulfur

 

2. Sulfides:

A group of minerals that are compounds of one or more metallic elements combined with the non-metallic element Sulfur. In some Sulfides, the semi-metals Arsenic, Antimony, Selenium, and Tellurium substitute for the Sulfur. The different types of Sulfides are: Simple Sulfides, Arsenides, Antimonides, Tellurides, Selenides, and Sulfosalts. Examples: Arsenopyrite, Bournonite, Calavarite, Chalcopyrite, Cinnabar, Cobaltite, Greenockite, Hessite, Jamesonite, Marcasite, Proustite, Pyrargyrite, Pyrite, Realgar, Skutterudite, Sphalerite, Tennantite, Tetrahedrite, Wurtzite

 

3. Halides:

A group of minerals containing one of the Halogen elements. The Halogen elements are: Bromine, Chlorine, Fluorine, and Iodine. These elements are used as building blocks. Most of the Halides are soft and fragile. Some Halides are soluble in water. Examples: Atacamite, Boleite, Calomel, Carnallite, Chlorargyrite, Creedite, Cryolite, Fluorite, Halite, Prosopite, Sellaite, Sylvite, Villiaumite

 

4. Oxides and Hydroxides:

They are a group of minerals that are compounds of one or more metallic elements combined with Oxygen, Water, or Hydroxyl. This group contains the greatest variations of physical properties. Some members of this group are hard, while others are soft. They may have a metallic luster or be clear and transparent. This group is divided into three types: Simple Oxides, Hydroxides, and Multiple Oxides. Examples: Alexandrite, Anatase, Betafite, Bixbyite ,Brookite, Brucite, Cassiterite, Chromite, Chrysoberyl, Corundum (Ruby & Sapphire), Cristobalite, Cuprite, Davidite, Diaspore, Franklinite, Gahnite, Goethite, Hematite, Hubnerite, Ilmenite, Magnetite, Manganite, Manganotantalite, Microlite, Periclase, Perovskite, Picotite, Prase, Psilomelane, Pyrolucite, Romanechite, Rutile, Simpsonite, Spinel, Taaffeite, Tantalite, Thorianite, Uraninite, Wolframite, Yttrotantalite, Zincite

 

5. Nitrates, Carbonates, Borates:

A group of minerals that contain one or more metallic elements plus the Nitrate radical. The minerals of this group are all fragile and soft. All but one of these minerals are soluble in water. They are found only in arid regions, mainly in dry lake deposits. They are a small group and are sometimes classified as a sub-category of the Carbonate group. The Carbonates are a group of minerals that contain one or more metallic elements plus the Carbonate radical. They are soft, brittle, and most, except for Rhodochrosite and Siderite, effervesce when exposed to Hydrochloric Acid. There are three types of Carbonates, the Calcite group, the Aragonite group, and the Dolomite group. The Borates, a group of minerals that are compounds of one or more metallic elements combined with the Borate radical, are also classified as a sub-category in this grouping. There are two types of Borates, the Hydrous Borates and the Anhydrous Borates. The Nitrates and Borates are sometimes considered a category of the Carbonates. Examples: Ankerite, Aragonite, Azurite, Barytocalcite, Calcite, Cerussite, Colemanite, Coracite, Coral, Dolomite, Gaylussite, Gaspeite, Hambergite, Inderite, Jeremejevite, Kurnakovite, Magnesite, Malachite, Mother of Pearl, Painite, Parisite, Pearl, Phosgenite, Rhodochrosite, Rhodozite, Shortite, Siderite, Sinhalite, Smithsonite, Stichtite, Strontianite, Ulexite, Witherite

 

6. Sulfates:

A group of minerals that contain one or more metallic elements in addition to the Sulfate radical. The Sulfates are transparent to translucent and soft. Most of the minerals in this group are heavy and lightly colored. Some of the Sulfates are soluble in water. There are some rare Sulfates which contain substitutions for the Sulfate radical, such as the Chromates, where it is replaced by a chromate radical. The Sulfates can be divided into two types, the Hydrous Sulfates and the Anhydrous Sulfates. The Chromates, Molybdates, Tungstates, and Wolframates are usually classified as sub-groups of the Sulfates. Examples: Anglesite, Anhydritspar, Barite, Celestite, Crocoite, Gypsum, Linarite, Scheelite, Wulfenite

 

7. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates:

A group of minerals that are compounds of one or more metallic elements associated with the Phosphate radical. They are classified together with the Arsenates and Vanadates. They are usually brittle and occur in small crystals or compact aggregates. True Phosphates contain only the Phosphate radical. The Arsenates and Vanadates contain either the Arsenate or Vanadate radicals. Examples: Adamite, Amblygonite, Apatite, Augelite, Bayldonite, Beryllonite, Brazilianite, Childrenite, Cerulite, Descloizite, Durangite, Eosphorite, Goyazite, Herderite, Lazulite, Legrandite, Lithiophilite, Ludlamite, Mimetite, Monazite, Montebrasite, Phosphophyllite, Purpurite, Pyromorphite, Scorzalite, Skorodite, Triphylite, Turquoise, Vanadinite, Variscite, Vivianite, Wardite, Zenotime

 

8. Silicates:

A group of minerals containing various amounts of the elements Silicon and Oxygen. The Silicates are the largest group of minerals. The construction component of all Silicates is the tetrahedron, which is one Silicon atom equidimensionally placed around four Oxygen atoms. These tetrahedrons, when combined with other molecules or tetrahedrons form the different Silicate minerals. There are six different groups of Silicates, which are classified based on the interactive formation of the tetrahedrons. The groups of Silicates are: Tectosilicates, Phyllosilicates, Inosilicates, Cyclosilicates, Sorosilicates, and Nesosilicates. Examples: Achroite, Actinolite, Agate, Albite, Almandite, Amazonite, Amethyst, Analcime, Andalusite, Andesine, Anorthite, Anthophyllite, Apophyllite, Aquamarine, Aventurine, Aventurine Feldspar, Axinite, Benitoite, Beryl, Bloodstone, Bustamite, Bytownite, Cancrinite, Carnelian, Catapleiite, Chalcedony, Charoite, Clinohumite, Clinozoisite, Chloromelanite, Chrysocolla, Chrysoprase, Citrine, Danburite, Datolite, Demantoid, Diopside, Dioptase, Dravite, Dumortierite, Ekanite, Emerald, Enstatite, Epidote, Eudialyte, Euclase, Feldspar, Friedelite, Gadolinite, Goshenite, Garnet, Grabdiderite, Grossularite, Hauynite, Heliodor, Hemimorphite, Hessonite, Hiddenite, Hornblende, Howlite, Hypersthene, Idocrase, Iolite, Ilvaite, Indicolite, Jadeite, Jasper, Kornerupine, Kunzite, Kyanite, Labradorite, Lapis Lazuli, Leifite, Lepidolite, Leucite, Leucophane, Meerschaum, Melanite, Mesolite, Moonstone, Morganite, Moss Agate, Muscovite, Natrolite, Nepheline, Nephrite, Neptunite, Oligoclase, Opal, Orthoclase, Palygorskite, Pectolite, Peridot, Petalite, Petrified Wood, Phenakite, Pollucite, Prasiolite, Prehnite, Pumpellyite, Pyrope, Pyrophyllite, Pyroxmangite, Quartz, Rhodolite, Rhodonite, Rose Quartz, Rubellite, Sanidine, Sarder, Scapolite, Schorl, Serandite, Serpentine, Shattuckite, Sillimanite, Smaragdite, Smoky Quartz, Sodalite, Spessartite, Sphene, Spodumene, Spurrite, Stellerite, Staurolite, Sugilite, Talc, Tanzanite, Thaumasite, Thomsonite, Thulite, Tiger's Eye, Topaz, Topazolite, Tourmaline, Tremolite, Tsavorite, Tugtupite, Uvarovite, Verdellite, Verdite, Vlasovite, Willemite, Wollastonite, Yugavaralite, Zektzerite, Zircon, Zoisite

 

9. Non-minerals:

These substances are naturally occuring in origin and composition. Some are inorganic rocks, or combinations of minerals, while others may be referred to as organic compounds. The sources of organic compounds are living organisms. Non-minerals are amorphous, having no crystalline structure. Examples: Agalmatolite, Alabaster, Allingite, Amber, Ammonite, Anthracite, Beckerite, Burmite, Coal, Copal, Coprolite, Coquina, Coral, Gedanite, Gilsonite, Glessite, Jet, Krantzite, Lechatelierites, Lignite, Limonite, Obsidian, Opal, Pearl, Petroleum, Pyrobitumen, Rocks, Stantienite, Tektites, Tufa, Vulcanite, Water (Ice, however, does have a crystalline structure)

 

 

**If the images and/or text on any of the web pages do not appear evenly spaced and centered on your screen, which commonly occurs with AOL pages, maximize the individual page's window. That should resolve the problem.

 

 

The Periodic Table of Elements

 

Group #

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Period

 

1

1
H

 

2
He

 

2

3
Li

4
Be

 

5
B

6
C

7
N

8
O

9
F

10
Ne

 

3

11
Na

12
Mg

 

13
Al

14
Si

15
P

16
S

17
Cl

18
Ar

 

4

19
K

20
Ca

21
Sc

22
Ti

23
V

24
Cr

25
Mn

26
Fe

27
Co

28
Ni

29
Cu

30
Zn

31
Ga

32
Ge

33
As

34
Se

35
Br

36
Kr

 

5

37
Rb

38
Sr

39
Y

40
Zr

41
Nb

42
Mo

43
Tc

44
Ru

45
Rh

46
Pd

47
Ag

48
Cd

49
In

50
Sn

51
Sb

52
Te

53
I

54
Xe

 

6

55
Cs

56
Ba

*

72
Hf

73
Ta

74
W

75
Re

76
Os

77
Ir

78
Pt

79
Au

80
Hg

81
Tl

82
Pb

83
Bi

84
Po

85
At

86
Rn

 

7

87
Fr

88
Ra

**

104
Rf

105
Db

106
Sg

107
Bh

108
Hs

109
Mt

110
Ds

111
Rg

112
Uub

113
Uut

114
Uuq

115
Uup

116
Uuh

(117)
(Uus)

118
Uuo

 

 

* Lanthanides

57
La

58
Ce

59
Pr

60
Nd

61
Pm

62
Sm

63
Eu

64
Gd

65
Tb

66
Dy

67
Ho

68
Er

69
Tm

70
Yb

71
Lu

 

 

 

** Actinides

89
Ac

90
Th

91
Pa

92
U

93
Np

94
Pu

95
Am

96
Cm

97
Bk

98
Cf

99
Es

100
Fm

101
Md

102
No

103
Lr

 

 

 

This common arrangement of the periodic table separates the lanthanides and actinides from other elements. The wide periodic table incorporates the f-block. The extended periodic table adds the 8th and 9th periods, incorporating the f-block and adding the theoretical g-block.

Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org

*The individual links are enabled.

*The minerals shown at the top of the page are (L to R): Glendonite on Sandstone Concretion (Russia), Multicolored Elbaite Tourmaline & Muscovite In Quartz (Brazil), Copper (Michigan, USA), & Blue Sapphire with Lepidolite Mica (North Carolina, USA)

 



 

 

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