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Mineral Classification
With Illustrations

Minerals are catagorized into 15 mineral classes as described in Dana's "System of Minerology" and other works, and the silicates are further subdivided based on physical structure, because they are by far the most common class. Some of these classes have more than 100 minerals in them; the minerals illustrated below are only a tiny sample of the diversity of the mineral kingdom.


Native Elements
GoldSulfurCopper
gold sulfur copper

Sulfides, Arsenides, & Tellurides
PyriteGalenaChalcopyrite
pyrite galena chalcopyrite

Sulfosalts
no pictures available

Simple Oxides and the related class Multiple Oxides
HematiteMagnetitePyrolustite
hematite magnetite pyrolustite

Hydroxides
LimoniteBauxite
limonite bauxite

Halides
FluoriteHalite
fluorite halite

Carbonates
CalciteMalachiteAzurite
calcite malachite azurite

Borates
HowliteUlexite
howlite ulexite

Sulfates
GypsumSeleniteBarite
gypsum selenite barite

Chromates
no pictures available

Phosphates, Arsenates, & Vanadates
TurquoiseWavelliteVanadinite
turquoise wavellite vanadinite

Vanadium Oxysalts
Carnotite
molybdenite

Molybdates & Tungstates
Molybdenite
molybdenite

Silicates: Tectosilicates (Framework Silicates)
QuartzAmethystSodaliteOrthoclaseMicrocline
quartz amethyst sodalite orthoclase microcline

Silicates: Phyllosilicates (Sheet Silicates)
BiotiteSerpentineTalc
biotite serpentine talc

Silicates: Inosilicates (Chain Silicates)
ChrysocollaRhodoniteNephrite
chrysocolla rhodonite nephrite

Silicates: Cyclosilicates (Ring Silicates)
Tourmaline
in Quartz
Emerald
tourmaline in quartz emerald

Silicates: Sorosilicates (Double Tetrahedral Silicates)
Vesuvianite
vesuvianite

Silicates: Neosilicates (Independent Tetrahedral Silicates)
TopazPeridotGrossularite
topaz peridot grossularite

Text Source: The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks & Minerals, by Charles W. Chesterman (C)1978 Alfred A. Knopf
Illustrations: Personal Collection of the Author

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