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Mineral Classification

Every mineral can be placed into one of only 15 mineral classes based upon its structure and composition. These are described in detail in Dana's "System of Minerology" and other works, and are reproduced below. Because silicates are by far the most common group, making up approximately 93% of the earth's crust, they are further subdivided based on physical structure.

  1. Native Elements
  2. Sulfides, Arsenides, & Tellurides
  3. Sulfosalts
  4. Simple Oxides
  5. Hydroxides
  6. Multiple Oxides
  7. Halides
  8. Carbonates
  9. Borates
  10. Sulfates
  11. Chromates
  12. Phosphates, Arsenates, & Vanadates
  13. Vanadium Oxysalts
  14. Molybdates & Tungstates
  15. Silicates
Source: The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks & Minerals, by Charles W. Chesterman (C)1978 Alfred A. Knopf

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