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Mineral Name Origin and Classification

Mineral Name

Name Origin

Class

Gold

Anglo-Saxon

Native Elements

Silver

Anglo-Saxon

Native Elements

Platinum

Spanish “plata”= silver

Native Elements

Antimony

Medieval Latin “antimonium” = stibnite

Native Elements

Bismuth

German “wismut” = bismuth

Native Elements

Sulfur

Latin “sulfur” = sulfur

Native Elements

Graphite

Greek “graphein” = to write

Native Elements

Acanthite

Greek “akantha” = thorn

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Chalcocite

Greek “chalcos” = copper

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Bornite

Ignaz von Born (1742-1791), mineralogist

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Galena

Latin “galena” = lead ore

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Sphalerite

Greek “sphaleros” = treacherous

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Chalcopyrite

Greek “chalcos” = copper + “pyrites” = fury

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Pyrrhotite

Greek “pyrrhotes” = redness

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Nickeline

Latin “nicolum” = nickel

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Millerite

W. H. Miller (1801-1880), mineralogist

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Pentlandite

J. B. Pentland (? – 1873), scientist

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Covellite

Niccolò Covelli (1790-18290, mineralogist

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Cinnabar

India?

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Realgar

Arabic “rahj al-ghar” = “powder of the mine”

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Orpiment

Latin “auripigmentum” = “gold pigment”

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Stibnite

Greek “stibi” = antimony

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Bismuthanite

Bismuth content

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Pyrite

Greek “pyr” = fire

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Cobaltite

German “Kolbold” = underground spirit

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Marcasite

Arabic?

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Arsenopyrite

Contraction of “arsenical pyrites”

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Molybdenite

Greek “molybdos” = lead

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Skutterudite

Source at Skutterud, Norway

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Calaverite

Source at Calavaras Co., California

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Sylvanite

Source at Transylvania

Sulfides, Arsenides, and Tellurides

Stephanite

Archduke Stephen (?-1867), Mining Director

Sulfosalts

Pyrargyrite

Greek “pyr” = fire + “argyros” = silver

Sulfosalts

Proustite

Joseph Louis Proust (1754-1826), chemist

Sulfosalts

Tetrahedrite

English “tetrahedron”

Sulfosalts

Enargite

Greek “enargos” = visible

Sulfosalts

Bournonite

Count J. L. de Bournon (1751-1825), chrystallographer

Sulfosalts

Boulangerite

C. L. Boulanger (1810-1849), mining engineer

Sulfosalts

Jamesonite

Robert Jameson (1774-1854)

Sulfosalts

Cuprite

Latin “cuprum” = copper

Simple Oxides

Zincite

Zinc content

Simple Oxides

Corundum

Tamil “kuruntam” from Sanskrit “kuruvinda” = ruby

Simple Oxides

Hematite

Greek “haimatites” = bloodlike

Simple Oxides

Ilmenite

Source at Ilman Mts., USSR

Simple Oxides

Bixbyite

Maynard Bixby

Simple Oxides

Rutile

Latin “rutilus” = reddish

Simple Oxides

Pyrolusite

Greek “pyr” = fire + “louien” = to wash

Simple Oxides

Cassiterite

Greek “kassiteros” = tin

Simple Oxides

Uraninite

Uranium content

Simple Oxides

Gummite

From ‘gum-like’ properties?

Simple Oxides

Brucite

Archibald Bruce (1777-1818), mineralogist

Hydroxides

Manganite

Manganese content

Hydroxides

Bauxite

Source at Baux, France

Hydroxides

Psilomelane

Greek “psilos” = smooth + “melas” = black

Hydroxides

Goethite

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), poet, etc.

Hydroxides

Limonite

Greek “leimons” = meadow

Hydroxides

Spinel

Latin “spina” = thorn

Multiple Oxides

Magnetite

Source at Magnesia

Multiple Oxides

Franklinite

Source at Franklin and Sterling Hill, Sussex Co., NJ

Multiple Oxides

Chromite

Chromium content

Multiple Oxides

Chrysoberyl

Greek “chrysos” = yellow + “beryllos” = beryl

Multiple Oxides

Columbite

Columbium (niobium) content

Multiple Oxides

Tantalite

Tantalum content

Multiple Oxides

Halite

Greek “hals” = salt

Halite

Chlorargyrite

Chlorine content + Greek “argyros” = silver

Halite

Fluorite

Latin “fluere” = to flow

Halite

Cryolite

Greek “kryos” = frost + “lithos” = stone

Halite

Calcite

Greek “chalx” = lime

Carbonates

Magnesite

Magnesium content

Carbonates

Siderite

Greek “sideros” = iron

Carbonates

Rhodochrosite

Greek “rhodon” = rose + “chros” = color

Carbonates

Smithsonite

James Smithson (1765-1829), philanthropist

Carbonates

Aragonite

Source at Aragon Province, Spain

Carbonates

Witherite

W. Withering (1741-1799), mineralogist

Carbonates

Strontianite

Source at Strontian, Argyll, Scotland

Carbonates

Cerussite

Latin “cerussa” = ceruse (white lead pigment)

Carbonates

Dolomite

Deodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801), mineralogist

Carbonates

Aurichalcite

Greek “oreichalkon” = copper

Carbonates

Malachite

Greek “moloche” = mallow

Carbonates

Azurite

Azure-blue color

Carbonates

Kernite

Source at Kern Co., California

Bornites

Borax

Arabic “buraq” = borax or niter

Bornites

Ulexite

Georg Ludwig Ulex (1811-1883), chemist

Bornites

Colemanite

William T. Coleman, merchant & mine owner

Bornites

Howlite

Henry How (?-1879), chemist

Bornites

Thenardite

Louis Thenard (1777-1857), chemist

Sulfates

Barite

Greek “barys” = heavy

Sulfates

Celestite

Latin “Caelestis” = of the sky

Sulfates

Anglesite

Source at Isle of Anglesey, Wales

Sulfates

Anhydrite

Greek, means “without water”

Sulfates

Glauberite

Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604-1668), chemist

Sulfates

Gypsum

Greek “gypsos” = gypsum or plaster

Sulfates

Chalcanthite

Greek “chalcos” = copper + “anthos” = flower

Sulfates

Melanterite

Greek “melanteria” = black metallic pigment

Sulfates

Epsomite

Source at Epsom, England

Sulfates

Brochantite

A. T. M. Brochant de Villiers (1731-1840), mineralogist

Sulfates

Linarite

Source at Linares, Jaen province, Spain

Sulfates

Jarosite

Source at Jaroso Ravine, Sierra Almagrera, Spain

Sulfates

Cyanotrichite

Greek “kyanos” = blue + “thrix” = hair

Sulfates

Crocoite

Greek “krokos” = saffron

Chromates

Triphylite

Greek “tri” = three + “phylon” = tribe

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Monazite

Greek “monazein” = to be alone

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Vivianite

J. G. Vivian, mineralogist

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Erythrite

Greek “erythros” = red

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Variscite

Source at Variscia, Germany

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Conichalcite

Greek “konis” = powder + “chalx” = lime

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Austinite

Austin F. Rogers (1877-1957), mineralogist

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Descloizite

Alfred L. O. L. Des Cloizeau (1817-1897), mineralogist

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Amblygonite

Greek “amblygonios” = blunt angle

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Olivenite

German “olivenerz” = olive ore

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Adamite

Gilbert-Joseph Adam (1795-1881), mineralogist

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Apatite

Greek “apate” = deceit

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Pyromorphite

Greek “pyr” = fire + “morphe” = form

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Mimetite

Greek “mimetes” = imitator

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Vanadinite

Vanadium content

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Lazulite

Old Arabic “lazaward” = heaven

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Turquoise

French “turquoise” = Turkish

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Legrandite

Legrand, a Belgian mine manager

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Wavellite

William Wavell (?-1829), physician

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Torbernite

Torbern Bergmann (1735-1784), chemist

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Autunite

Source at Autun, Saône-et-Loire, France

Phosphates, Arsenates, and Vanadates

Carnotite

Marie-Adolfe Carnot (1839-1920), engineer and chemist

Vanadium Oxysalts

Wolframite

“volf” = wolf + “rahm” = cream

Molybdates and Tungstates

Scheelite

Karl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786), chemist

Molybdates and Tungstates

Wulfenite

Franz Xaver von Wulfen (1728-1805), mineralogist

Molybdates and Tungstates

Quartz

German “quarz”

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Chalcedony

Chalcedon, ancient Greek city

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Opal

Sanskrit “upala” = precious stone

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Orthoclase

Greek “orthos” = upright + “klasis” = fracture

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Albite

Latin “albus” = white

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Oligoclase

Greek “oligos” = little + “klasis” = fracture

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Andesine

Source at Andes Mountains

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Labradorite

Source at Labrador

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Bytownite

Source at Bytown, now Ottawa, Canada

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Anorthite

Greek “an” = not + “orthos” = upright

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Danburite

Source at Danbury, Connecticut

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Leucite

Greek “leukois” = white

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Nepheline

Greek “nephele” = clouded

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Sodalite

Sodium content

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Lazurite

Arabic “lazaward” = heaven

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Scapolite

Greek “scapos” = shaft

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Heulandite

Henry Heuland, mineralogist

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Stilbite

Greek “stilbein” = to glitter

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Laumontite

Gillette de Laumont (1747-1834), mineralogist

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Chabazite

Greek “chabazios” = stones

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Analcime

Greek “an” = not + “alkimos” = strong

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Natrolite

Greek “nitron” = niter + “lithos” = stone

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Mesolite

Greek “mesos” = middle + “lithos” = stone

Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)

Apophyllite

Greek “apo” = off + “phyllon" = leaf

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Kaolinite

Source at Kaoling, a Chinese mountain

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Serpentine

English “serpent”

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Pyrophyllite

Greek “pyr” = fire + “phyllon” = leaf

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Talc

Arabic “talq” = mica

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Muscovite

English “Muscovy glass,” from use as glass in Russia

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Phlogopite

Greek “phlogopos” = fiery-looking

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Biotite

J. B. Biot (1774-1862), physicist, etc.

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Lepidolite

Greek “lepidos” = scale

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Chlorite

Greek “chloros” = green

Phyllodilicates (Sheet Silicates)

Tremolite

Source at Val Tremolo, Swiss Alps

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Actinolite

Greek “aktinos” = ray

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Hornblende

German “horn” = horn-colored + “blenden” = to deceive

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Pargasite

Source at Pargas, Finland

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Glaucophane

Greek “glaukos” = bluish gray + “phainelein” = to appear

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Riebeckite

Emil Riebeck (?-1885), explorer, mineralogist

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Hypersthene

Greek “hyper” = over + “sthenos” = strength

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Diopside

Greek “di” = two + “opisis” = appearance

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Hedenbergite

Ludwig Hedenberg, chemist

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Augite

Greek “augites” = brightness

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Acmite

Greek “akme" = point

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Jadeite

Spanish “piedra de ijada” = stone of the side

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Spodumene

Greek “spodoumenos” = burnt to ash

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Wollastonite

W. H. Wollaston (1766-1828), chemist, mineralogist

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Pectolite

Greek “pektos” = compact

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Rhodonite

Greek “rhodon” = rose

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Babingtonite

William Babington (1757-1833), mineralogist

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Neptunite

Neptunus, Roman sea god

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Chrysocolla

Greek “chrysos” = gold + “kolla" = glue

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Shattuckite

Source at Shattuck Mine, Arizona

Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)

Benitoite

Source at San Benito Co., California

Cyclosilicates (Ring Silicates)

Axinite

Greek “axine” = ax

Cyclosilicates (Ring Silicates)

Beryl

Greek “beryllos” = green gemstone

Cyclosilicates (Ring Silicates)

Cordierite

P. L. A. Cordier (1777-1861), geologist

Cyclosilicates (Ring Silicates)

Tourmaline

Singhalese “touramalli” = mixed colored stones

Cyclosilicates (Ring Silicates)

Hemimorphite

Greek “hemi” = half + “morphe” = form

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Lawsonite

Professor Andrew C. Lawson (1861-1952)

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Pumpellyite

Raphael Pumpelly (1837-1923), geologist

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Vesuvianite

Source at Mt. Vesuvias, Italy

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Zoisite

Baron S. Zois van Edelstein (1747-1819)

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Clinozoisite

Greek “klinein” = to incline + English “zoisite”

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Epidote

Greek “epi” = over + “didonai” = to give

Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)

Olivine

Olive-green color

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Tephroite

Greek “tephros” = ash-colored

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Phenakite

Greek “phenakos” = to deceive

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Willemite

Willem I (1772-1843), king of the Netherlands

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Andalusite

Andalusia, a Spanish province

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Sillimanite

Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864), mineralogy professor

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Kyanite

Greek “kyanos” = dark blue

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Topaz

Greek “topazos” = gemstone of lost identity

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Staurolite

Greek “stauros” = cross

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Pyrope Garnet

Greek “pyropos” = fire-eyed

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Almandine Garnet

Albanda, town in ancient Asia Minor

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Spessartine Garnet

Source at Spessart District, Bavaria, Germany

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Grossular Garnet

Latin “grossularia” = gooseberry

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Andradite Garnet

J. B. de Andrada e Silva (1763-1838), geologist

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Uvarovite Garnet

Count S. S. Uvarov (1785-1855), statesman

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Zircon

Persian “zargun” = gold-colored

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Chondrodite

Greek “chondros” = grain

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Titanite

Titanium content

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Dumortierite

Eugene Dumortier, paleontologist

Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)

Prehnite

Colonal van Prehn

Silicates of Complex Structure

Datolite

Greek “dateisthai” = to divide

Silicates of Complex Structure

Inesite

Greek “ines” = fibers

Silicates of Complex Structure

Source: National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, by Charles W. Chesterman ©1979 Chanticleer Press, Inc.

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