Cascades to Coast

How are minerals named?

In 1960, the International Mineralogical Society established the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names. When a scientist discovers a new mineral he/she sends the description of it and a proposed name to the commission for approval. You can name a new mineral that you discover after yourself. For example, joesmithite and paulmooreite are minerals that exist and are named after people. Before the commission, some minerals had many names; a name from each scientist that wrote about it. In 1955 there were 25,000 names for only 2,000 minerals. To avoid the confusion, the commission was formed to make sure that scientists weren't giving names to minerals that already had them.