Athena. Owl.


Read me (1994)

This mineral database was the first full mineral database on the Internet. In the 1980s I was at the Department of Mineralogy of Geneva Natural History Museum and the secretary accepted to type - during months! - an important part of the mineral database, in 1986-1987. So many formulas! In 1994 when the first popular Web browser (Mosaic, you remember?) appeared I decided to display the database as a contribution to the rising Internet. It was a time of enthusiasm; the Internet was almost blank. Jean-François Rossignol, Geneva University, created the search programs. All data come from literature; nothing is gathered or agglomerated from Web. The H. Strunz classification is used with the author's written permission.


Here are mineral lists (IMA approved mineral names and varieties names) sorted either alphabetically or arranged systematically.
As every science, mineralogy is changing: new analysis often modify formulas and other datas; new minerals are discovered; others are discredited. So, consider these lists as dynamic and subject to change and error. Comments, corrections and additions are welcome.

Mineral names:

Only capital letters and ascii characters have been used in the lists so that mineral names appear as 'international' as possible.

No small letters have been used for sorting (blödite => BLODITE),
no spaces (magnesium astrophyllite => MAGNESIUMASTROPHYLLITE),
no hyphens (meta-autunite => METAAUTUNITE),
no apostrophes (o'danielite => ODANIELITE),
no diacritical signs (zenzénite => ZENZENITE).

These signs overload mineral names, they are not readable on all computers and they hinder mineral sorting (e.g. Zinc Melanterite comes before Zincite; but ZINCITE and ZINCMELANTERITE are correctly sorted).

In German, letters with an Umlaut have equivalents (ä = ae, ö = oe); these ascii equivalents are also used in mineral names (BOHMITE (böhmite) = BOEHMITE).


Signs which do not appear on all browsers have not been used. So there is no superscript, no subscript, no Greek alpha, beta or gamma in the main list. Rules for chemical formulas are well known and everybody should be able to read them without subscript/superscript characters.

Valences have been replaced by + or - signs in the main list. Sometimes it does not look very nice, but it could be useful.

Vacancy (Schottky defect) have been figured by: [].


The following abbreviations have been selected: C: cubic; Q: quadratic (tetragonal); O: orthorhombic; H: hexagonal; R: rhomboedral (trigonal); M: monoclinic; A: anorthic (triclinic); am.: amorphous.


It follows Strunz classification schemes (Mineralogical Tables, VIIIth edition) and has been modified according to the systematic numbers published in the "Lapis Mineralienverzeichnis". It shows similarities well enough, especially when completed with space group, density, etc.


Mineral Groups should appear automatically.


Reference should help you to find more data and other references:
See used Abbreviations.

Type Locality:

When needed, we try to give several transcriptions of foreign names (as we suggested it when we helped to correct other mineral database).
Due to historical events, borders, languages, names and spelling often change. There are sometimes contradictions about type localities. The list is not complete. Use it carefully. Corrections and suggestions (with references, please) are welcome!


Some mineral names are long, some formulas are very long: so columns could be larger than the window's width on smaller screens. You will have to use the horizontal scroll bar. With other dispositions we loose the advantage of having formulas under each other for comparisons.


We try to offer images of uncommon minerals.


See Bibliographical notes.


Typing and revising this list, with formulas, is much time consuming. Friendly users could contribute by sending corrections (with reference).


Thanks to Jean-François Rossignol who has made the programs to search and convert to html the database into various lists.