Mineral Classification


On this page you have information on mineral classification.


It is based on the chemical composition of minerals.


More exactly, the minerals with same or similar anions are grouped together.



More exactly, the minerals with same or similar anions are grouped together.

Silicate Minerals

Silicates is by far the largest group of minerals on the Earth - it includes more than 500 minerals. These are silicon oxygen minerals, which include quartz (the most common mineral on the Earth), feldspars (plagioclase, K-feldspar), serpentine, mica and clay minerals, amphiboles, pyroxenes, tourmaline, epidote, garnet, olivine, zircon, aluminium silicates and others.

Close-Up of Muscovite
Muscovite - a silicate mineral. By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Borate Minerals

Borates is a smaller group within mineral classification system which amongst others contains borax (sodium borate) and colemanite (calcium borate).

Phosphate Minerals

Phosphates are minerals that have PO4 as aniones. They tend to be colourful minerals. The group includes apatite, monazite, arsenite, xenotime, turquoise, vanadite and others.

Apatite Large Green Crystals with Gilbertite Hexagonal Plates, Panasqueira, Beira Baixa, Portugal
Apatite - a phosphate mineral. By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Sulfate Minerals

Sulfates are the minerals that have SO4 as anion. They include gypsum, anhydrite, barite, langbeinite, kieserite, svanbergite and others.

Carbonate Minerals

Carbonates have CO3 as anion. They are easy to identify because they react to hydrochloric acid. The most common carbonate is calcite, but others include magnesite, siderite, rhodocrosite, dolomite, ankerite, aragonite, whiterite, strontianite, azurite and malachite to name a few.

Calcite Photographed under Normal White Light, Russia
Calcite - a carbonate mineral. By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Halide Minerals

Halides are a relatively small group of minerals, which have one of the halogens (column VIIA in the periodic table: fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine and astatine) as anions. The group includes halite (rock salt), fluorite, sylvite, atacamite, cryolite, calomel, chlorargyrite and others.

Oxide Minerals

Oxides are minerals that have oxygen (O) as anion. They include magnetite, hematite, spinel, chromite, chrysoberyl, cuprite, corundum, ilmenite, rutile, uranitite and others.

Close-Up of a Magnetite Rock
Magnetite - an oxide mineral. By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Hydroxides

Hydroxides have OH as anions. They make a relatively small group, which includes three groups of minerals: limonites (goethite, lepidocrocite), bauxites (gibbsite, diaspore) and WAD (manganese oxide and some hydroxide minerals of not-so-certain identity). 

Sulfides

Even though oxides also contain some ore minerals, sulfides is the group dominated by them. Sulfides have S as anion, and the group includes sphalerite, galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, cinnabar, marcasite, molybdenite, bornite, chalcosite, covellite and others.

Sphalerite Crystals Partially Covered by Quartz and Fluorite, Cumbria, England
Sphalerite - a sulfide. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Native Elements

And finally, the native elements, which are of course ore (sulfides and other ore minerals are mined because they contain some of the native elements). Native elements include gold, silver, copper, nickel, zinc, lead, sulfur, diamond, mercury, iron, platinum, arsenic, bismuth, antimony and others.

Gold Nugget from Yukon, Canada. Gold Rush in 1800's in the Klondike
Gold - a native element. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy
















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