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Mineral Names on Mindat

Posted by Kelly Nash  
Kelly Nash May 15, 2012 02:13PM
I'm sure some folks groaned at the subject line, but I'm just seeking a little clarification, prompted by the most recent conversation about "baryte" vs. "barite". A lot of the comments concern traditional usage, common usage, this country vs. that, etc. Nowhere did I see the simple statement that Mindat defers to IMA for mineral names in the database, which is pretty much what the "Manual" page on mineral names says. I think it's wise to use an international group (IMA) with some credibility as the general authority for mineral names on Mindat, and to do that consistently wherever possible, even if we disagree about some of IMA's decisions. Am I correct in assuming that's how it generally works?
Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 15, 2012 02:22PM
That's right.

Althought it does lead to some silliness, for example, the mineral 'Sulphur' is spelled with ph, as is the IMA official spellling, however the chemical element, 'Sulfur', is spelt with f, as is the IUPAC official spelling.

Mineral - sulphur, element - sulfur. Strictly then, we could say "baryte is a sulfate", which would annoy both british AND americans equally, but be technically correct by official rules.

David Von Bargen May 15, 2012 02:24PM
We use the IMA approved list for the spelling/name. We also list a lot of the alternate spelling's and mineral names in foreign languages (which is one reason we list 40K+ mineral names)
Ralph Bottrill May 15, 2012 02:24PM
Quite so, I think the IMA designate their spellings so that no one country is ever totally happy or unhappy with all the spellings. Some reflect the original spellings, others don't, seemingly ar random. Maybe that's best?

Rock Currier May 16, 2012 12:57AM
Mindat defers to IMA for mineral names in the database.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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