Help mindat.org|Log In|Register|
Home PageMindat NewsThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusManagement TeamContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatSponsor a PageSponsored PagesTop Available PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on MindatThe Mindat Store
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryRandom MineralSearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
Keyword(s):
 
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsMember ListBooks & MagazinesMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryHow to Link to MindatDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Definition of synonym

In mindat.org usage, a simple synonym is a mineral or substance name that means the same as another name. Often these are older names, spelling variants and foreign language versions of names.

Classic examples include:

Disthene is a synonym of kyanite
Iolite is a synonym of cordierite (the name iolite is used more commonly in gemmology [glossary item missing]).
Chalybite is a synonymm of siderite

Mindat.org continues additionally with the syntax used in several books, such as Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals [glossary item missing] where a name that can refer to several different minerals, they are each referred to as a 'synonym (in part) of this name. In mindat.org terminology, we refer to this as a multisynonym.

This is used frequently in mindat.org where a previous mineral name has been split into new minerals based on chemical or structural variation, for example with the zeolite group.

A good example is chabazite.

Chabazite is listed as a synonym of chabazite-Ca, chabazite-K, chabazite-Mg, chabazite-Na and chabazite-Sr

This can be confusing at first, because although all chabazite-ca is also chabazite, not all chabazite is chabazite-ca. However, the whole group of names (chabazite-ca, chabazite-k, chabazite-mg, chabazite-na and chabazite-sr) is entirely interchangeable with chabazite, so this syntax is used within mindat.org.

We cannot say chabazite-ca is a variety of chabazite, because chabazite-ca is a unique and valid mineral species in its own right.

The alternative syntax is to use the term 'group' which is used to define related minerals. However, groups are used to define minerals related by physical and/or chemical properties, and often these have wider meanings than the way multisynonym is used in mindat.org. Groups have a more formal creation procedure (usually requiring IMA approval to some extent) so cannot be used in every case.
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2017, except where stated. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: May 28, 2017 19:39:34
Go to top of page