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Request for articles

Jolyon & Katya Ralph February 22, 2010 05:25PM
Would you like to write articles that will be placed more prominently on the site with a permanent link from the home page?

I'm after some volunteers to write some good articles on the following subjects, aimed at complete beginners.

Perhaps you have an article already that could be the basis for this?

What is mineral collecting?

An article to explain the hobby to people who don't understand what we do. Try to explain about the motivation - why do we do it? and then a little bit about what we do, including field collecting, research, buying minerals, displaying a collection, and what we can learn from it.

What is a mineral?

There is a formal definition of what a mineral is, and various informal ones. Note the page (and the picture which unfortunately shows various non-minerals alongside the minerals!)

Need to explain the inconsistency of the definition with several things that are classed as minerals but probably shouldn't be (eg mercury, opal)

The following articles will be linked to from every mineral page:

Crystal Systems

Perhaps one simple article explaining the difference, with diagrams, between the different crystal systems and another article for each system giving more follow-up information.


Describe the Mohs hardness scale and explain how it can be used to differentiate some similar-looking minerals.

and a similar article for each physical and optical property etc...

Volunteers at the ready - sign in below and let me know what you want to do!

Your articles will be potentially re-edited by me and others later, so don't offer to help unless you're prepared to be edited!

Robert Simonoff February 22, 2010 06:01PM
Great idea Jolyon - I think this is something that mindat is currently missing. My question is the audience. You mention "... aimed at complete beginners. " which is a great start. I would think that the article would be written very differently if you were targeting college educated people versus kids or teens. For example something targeted at a college educated audience would not need to be as flashy ... something aimed at the younger crowd would need to be more attention grabbing. Did you have an inclination one way or the other?

Or maybe parallel tracks - one not so intimidating for the younger set. And another more detailed for the older set?


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2010 06:03PM by Jessica and Robert Simonoff.
Jolyon & Katya Ralph February 22, 2010 08:12PM
I was thinking along the lines (initially at least) at something suitable for the majority of the audience, ie teens and up. Actually, think of wikipedia style and level. Nothing very long and comprehensive. Just something to explain the basics.

These will be prominent links from the front of the site to show these sections. They will be without advertising.

Jason Evans February 22, 2010 10:49PM
Jolyon, I would like to help with this, I believe i know enough to be able to do a article for beginers. I have done a talk on minerals when i was in secondary school and i also have done a speech for children at a after school club my sister runs.
I know you dont want it aimed specifialy at very young children but i think i can do this, it would be a good oportunity for me to contribute to this site and to fellow mineral collectors!
let me know what you think.
I won't be offended if you decline my offer, I know there are people who could do a far better job, but no one has put there had up yet!
Rick Dalrymple December 28, 2010 10:04PM
I just came across this thread. I would love to help with it. Has anyone written these articles yet?

I must admit I can't find any of them or any of the "best of" articles. Where do I look to find them?

I am sure it is just me but they seem to be hidden quite well.

I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Rick Dalrymple December 28, 2010 11:19PM
Guess I should have scrolled the rest of the way down the page. I found the articles.

Jolyon, if you are still looking for articles I would be glad to contribute.

I know I am in my own little world, but everyone knows me here.
Steve Hardinger April 08, 2014 03:06AM
Is there an article on collecting and handling radioactives? If not, there should be. I get asked about this frequently.
Bill Cordua April 11, 2014 03:39AM
Hi Jolyon,

I have an article I wrote for rockhound newsletter covering everything I know about the Mohs' hardness scale and how to do the tests. It's now in a Word document. How would you likke me to submit it so you can see if it's something you can use for this? Should I stick it as an article on my home page? Or???
Chris Stefano April 11, 2014 11:35AM
I have several articles on my old website,, which I'd like to incorporate in to Mindat. The website will be going away because I have gone out of business to take my current position, but I would like the articles to be preserved in Mindat. Jolyon, can you help me transfer this data to Mindat?
Rob Woodside April 11, 2014 03:30PM
Are PDFs acceptable now?
cascaillou September 18, 2014 08:52AM
what is a mineral: discussion about exceptions to the rule:
Zbynek Burival October 22, 2014 09:09PM
If something in the style of is suitable for the mineral definition, I can rewrite it into one article. No problem :)
cascaillou November 04, 2014 07:47PM
Just posted an article which, while not explaining what is specific gravity, does explain how to measure it (two different methods are described). Might be useful to beginners.
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