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Posted by Etienne Medard  
December 29, 2006 06:11PM
From my understanding of the recent paper by Armbruster et al. (see below) on the epidote group mineral, Hancockite should be renamed Epidote-(Pb). How should we deal with that? Just say "Valid - Grandfathered / renamed 2006" for Epidote-(Pb) and have Hancockite as a synonym?

Other nomenclature modifications include:

Niigataite (old) = clinozoisite-(Sr) (new)
Tweddillite (old) = manganipiemontite-(Sr) (new)
Strontiopiemontite (old) = piemontite-(Sr) (new)
Androsite-(La) (old) = manganiandrosite-(La) (new)



Armbruster T, Bonazzi P, Akasaka M, Bermanec V, Chopin Ch, Gieré R, Heuss-Assbichler S, Liebscher A, Menchetti S, Pan Y, Pasero, M (2006) Recommended nomenclature of epidote-group minerals. Eur. J. Mineral. 2006, 18, 551-567
avatar Re: hancockite
December 29, 2006 06:24PM
Now Epidote-(Pb) is an approved (or better a renamed/redefined) species. The new name was approved by CNMNC so it is an ex-grandfathered.

The same for all other mineral revised/renamed by the Epidote Subcommittee.
Re: hancockite
December 29, 2006 07:49PM
We haven't changed the names yet. Will do that now.
Re: hancockite
December 29, 2006 08:03PM
Done. Am also changing the chemical formulae so they fit the general crystal-structural sequence A1 A2 M1 M2 M3.
Steven M Kuitems DMD
Re: hancockite
July 14, 2007 05:40AM
Where can I find the site where the IMA has approved the nomenclature change for Hancockite(1899) to epidote-Pb. The last structural paper I could find was Am. Min. 56(1971)W.A. Dollase.Have they found something new??about structure or chemistry?? I know the recomendation was made in 2006 in Eur. J. Min but does this supercede the century old previous nomenclature and the last structural work by Dollase??
Ernst A.J. Burke
Re: hancockite
July 14, 2007 09:30AM
The paper on epidote-group nomenclature in Eur. J. Mineral. 18 (2006), 551-567, is the report of the epidote subcommittee of the IMA-CNMNC; the report was approved by the IMA-CNMNC and thus the name hancockite is now obsolete in favour of epidote-(Pb). The approval of the report and the name changes have also been mentioned on the website of the IMA-CNMNC.
Re: hancockite
July 26, 2007 12:25AM
Just my two bits:

I find it sad that well-established names (often for very deserving indiduals) are simply being renamed because it soots some other mineralogist's nomenclature preference. I find it deeply disrespectful to the original authors, the person for whon the original name was given, the mineral's longstanding stature (ie the what defines it as a separate species hasn't sustanttially changed), and the original IMA voters that approved some of these names. All the conservatism that Spencer worked so hard to maintain seem spat apon with these types of unnecessary name changes. Placing minerals within proper groups that may recently have been understood is one thing but destroying a valid minerals original history by stripping it of a perfectly valid name seems to me to not be a valid contribution to the science.

There, I've said it. Now tto the fan......

Re: hancockite
July 26, 2007 01:08AM
This one in particular has caused animous among Franklin, NJ, collectors. If they are going to do this to Hancockite, they should either undo it, or change all of the other species that fall into a similar situation to conform to this type of nomenclature (which is devoid of the human element in mineralogy).


Zdenekite = Lavendulan-Pb, e.g.
avatar Re: hancockite
July 26, 2007 01:09AM
I totally agree^^.

I was just sitting here trying to think of a way to justify the need to simplify things by renaming species but nothing I typed made since when it came down to dishonoring someone for whom a valid species has been named, especially for such a long time. I know there are valid reasons for the need to do so but it is no less disgraceful in my opinion.
Re: hancockite
July 26, 2007 05:44PM
I agree that there is a regrettable lack of consistency in the systematic naming of mineral species.

On the other hand, I see no need to panic about the "loss" of ones favorite names, like hancockite, or (in my case) niigataite. There is no reason why Franklin collectors have to stop using the name hancockite. We can easily get used to the idea of having parallel "common names" and "scientific names" for the same material. If any future collector is confused by "hancockite" versus "epidote-(Pb)", a quick check on the internet will reveal that they are synonyms and end his confusion.

In the biological world nobody has a problem with "dog" being the same species as "canis lupus familiaris". If we human beings can somehow handle this "confusion" for the million or so named living species, cant mineral collectors handle having more than one name for the comparatively pitifully small number of mineral species?
Re: hancockite
August 29, 2007 09:53PM
Relative to this discussion, I wonder what the name change means to the type specimen material. Most species described in the last 200 years have "type" material housed someplace. Does that material have any place in the name change? Was a change in the name related to study of the type material or was the name change just a decision on paper?
I'd love to have answers to these questions, as I have to cope with the result of the name change.
Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 12:08AM
A decision on paper in the case of Hancockite - we've known for decades that Hancockite was the Pb analogue of Epidote.
Jacques Galvier
Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 09:54AM
T. Armbruster have made him a speciality: to change mineral names without real necessity and without bring anything fundamental to mineralogy... with the blessing of the CNMMN-CNMNC, ! Is it a nessecity to remind people that minerals are first accessible in the field, not on sheet of squred paper. The report is actually distressing when we hear and note the general reactions in the community of the amateurs and, above all, institutionals, and, for example, regularly in the Mindat window, first.

All criticals are always in hushed words, and it's a natural thing, with all the respect for the international mineralogical authorities, but we can also expose our feeling in clear words. We are the first and main users of the nomencature and classification.

Remember, the circus act begin in 2002 with the acceptance ot the names, among others, magnesiotaaffeite-6N’3S and ferrotaaffeite-6N’3S (nice !), instead of musgravite and pehrmanite, it was already enlightening.
For many other important groups, like labuntsovite, eudialyte, etc., no negative criticism and reactions so large and impopular. Why ?

It's perhaps not too late to turn back, for the future, all the more that the author's proposals seriously leak consistence if the aim is an unification.

Nethertheless, congratulation for armbrusterite, it's really a new structure, a new name was necessary. Except if we take a fresh look for the mechanism of classification and naming minerals in a newly complex phyllosilicates group.

Thanks to Etienne to throw again the question

Ernst A.J. Burke
Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 01:14PM
As chairman of the IMA-CNMNC, I must protest against some expressions used in this thread on the occasion of the recent new nomenclature system for epidote-group minerals.

Thomas Armbruster does not change mineral names for fun with the blessing of the CNMNC, and neither does any other chairman of a subcommittee handling nomenclature problems. The CNMNC was confronted, some years ago, with observations of Scott Ercit which showed that the existing nomenclature of the epidote group would lead to some serious problems. The CNMNC then asked Thomas Armbruster to chair a subcommittee to solve these problems. Specialists of this group finally proposed a new nomenclature system, which was approved by the CNMNC. We should be grateful to Thomas for cleaning up historical "mess", as in the nigerite-taaffeite group and in the epidote group.

Mineralogy is not a static object, but a living science, with continuous new discoveries and insights. This necessiates from time to time reflection on the status of specific mineral groups. The CNMMN-CNMNC has for almost 50 years produced reports on the most diverse mineral groups, and has rationalised and simplified their nomenclature. Such operations imply that mineral names sometimes have to be changed.

As for the more or less emotional sobbing on the disappearance of historical names: please take a good look at the compilations authored by Peter Bayliss and Jeffrey de Fourestier, and if you like to do so, please weep about all historical names which have been shown to be superfluous in the past 50 years!
avatar Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 01:46PM
I have no problem with trying to bring some order to the chaos of mineral names, as long as things are done consistently.

I might be wrong on this, but I always thought the name 'Zálesíite' was a strange choice when 'Agardite-(Ca)' was not only a more logical name, but had already been used provisionally by many people.

Are there any plans to revert this name? If not, why not?

Ernst A.J. Burke
Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 03:06PM
I agree that having a consistent mineral nomenclature would be a desirable aim to pursue. But what is consistency? Many things have been said about this problem, it is the eternal discussion between rational and irrational nomenclature in mineralogy. Our great founding father of mineralogy, Abraham Gottlob Werner, magnified the already existing nomenclature misery in starting to name minerals after his financial sponsors. You say that zálesíite is a strange choice for a name, but agardite is of course in principle as strange. We have after all an irrational nomenclature, so minerals can be named after persons.

But we could of course discuss how zálesíite should have been named: agardite-(Ca) or calcioagardite. The latter is the current rule, the former is more practical, and the current trend is to apply this "Levinson-type" names to new minerals. We already have about 500 mineral names with such a "chemical" prefix: changing these names to a suffix-type nomenclature would not be desirable, as the advantage of changing these names would not be greater than the chaos created by changing these names.

However, in the near future some names in very common groups will be changed in this way by the CNMNC, e.g., in the apatite group.

In fact, a consistent mineral nomenclature, after all these centuries of irrational behaviour, is impossible, one can only hope to correct some minor inconsistencies. And even this humble aim is difficult. It is interesting to compare, e.g., the motives of the subcommittees on the nomenclatures for the labuntsovite and eudialyte groups. The former decided on suffix-type names, the latter on new root names, and both groups had compelling reasons for acting as they did. But the result is of course inconsistent, if one looks at the totality of mineralogy.

But at least within some groups, the nomenclature is consistent, the epidote group is a fine example.
Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 03:30PM
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds...With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
avatar Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 05:41PM
I totally agree with the Prof. Burke message contents.
Re: hancockite
August 30, 2007 09:17PM
I also agree with Prof. Burke's comments, but I do miss the inconsistency of the naming in some groups (especially where, as Jason says, the name was to honour someone), as well as constant inconsistency of the amphibole nomenclature.
Re: hancockite
August 31, 2007 06:42PM
On "agardite-(Ca)": Ca is not a REE, therefore the Levinson system could not be used.

I fully support Prof. Burke reply.

"We are the first and main users of the nomencature and classification." (J. Galvier)
Wrong. Professional mineralogists are the first users, and the classifications are made by them and for them.

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