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User and Contributor Manual

The Messageboard

The messageboard is a moderated forum designed for members to use to discuss a variety of subjects. Using the messageboard requires registering and logging in as a member.

The purpose of the messageboard is to take the wealth of knowledge and wisdom accumulated by members and develop it into a convenient, accessible, and malleable format suitable for the needs of current users and future generations. The Messageboard is a place to ask questions, exchange ideas, engage in conversations, and refine our collective understanding of the subjects we are fascinated by.


The following rules must be adhered to when using the messageboard:

  • Good taste and decorum are expected of all posters at all times.
  • Unsuitable posts will be deleted by moderators. This forum is dedicated exclusively to mineralogical and geological topics.
  • Commercial posts are not permitted except with prior approval of management.
  • Use caution in posting identifiable personal information (address, phone, etc.) - the board is open to the web.
  • However, you should use your real name. If you cannot for any reason your messages may be deleted at any time by management.
  • HTML code is not allowed – see details in Posting a Message below.
  • Post only in the appropriate messageboard category – duplicate posts may be deleted.
  • Meteorite identification requests are not allowed.

How to Browse the Messageboard

The messageboard can be accessed by selecting Messageboard from the header. The messageboard is divided into several categories, listed across the top. Each of these categories has additional subcategories. We encourage users to become familiar with the categories and their purposes so that participation in forum discussions can yield the best results, whether that be an answer to a question, submittal of user feedback, proposal for a correction of an error, etc.

Recent Messages

A quick list of all recently-posted messages.


These are pages for general topics that do not fit into the other categories.

  • General – for general comments about the site or topics that do not fit into any of the other categories
  • Fluorescent Minerals – discussion about all types of fluorescence in minerals and related properties
  • Meteorites – discussion about meteorites and interstellar geology
  • Mineralogical Classification – the scientific classification of mineral species
  • Education – for education topics/questions
  • Mineral Shows – information on Gem/Mineral shows
  • Literature – requests for papers, books
  • Lost and Stolen Specimens – for reporting lost and stolen specimens
  • Mindat Conference – information regarding upcoming mindat conferences
  • Mineral Art – for mineral-inspired artwork
  • Minerals and Museums – topics related to mineral museums, in association with the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP)
  • IMA Status – abstracts on new minerals, discreditations, new information, and all things IMA
  • Mineral Exchange and Requests – exchange minerals with others, post swap or wish lists (Commercial activity prohibited!)

How To

These are pages for discussions about various “how to” topics concerning minerals.

  • Collecting – information for collecting minerals, arranging trips, etc.
  • Identity Help – for help identifying an unknown specimen
  • Analytical Techniques – how to ID minerals
  • Mineral Valuation – what is a specimen worth? (Commercial activity is prohibited!)
  • Fakes, Frauds, and Marketing Ploys – information regarding mineral market abuse, on and offline
  • Mineral Cleaning and Preparation – discussion of best and safest ways to clean and prep minerals
  • Micromounting – for discussion of little rocks in little boxes
  • Mindat Articles – information and assistance on writing your own articles
  • Mineral Photography – discussions about techniques for mineral photography
  • Lapidary and Faceting – all topics relating to crafting with mineral and rock materials

Talk Pages

These are pages for discussions concerning errors on mineral, locality, or photograph pages. Posts in this forum can only be created from the respective page – a “Discuss [mineral/locality/etc.]” button listed in the page header will allow creation of a discussion pertaining to and linked back to that page.

  • Localities - “Talk pages” for Locality Pages
  • Minerals - “Talk pages” for Mineral Pages
  • Photos - “Talk Pages” for photographs


These are pages for discussions regarding uses, reporting errors, and user feedback.

  • Manual – further information on how to use
  • Mistakes and Errors – let us know if you find an error, so we can correct it!
  • New Features – let us know what new features you want to see on!

Other Languages

These are pages dedicated to discussions carried out in other languages.

  • 中文留言板 - Chinese language messageboard
  • Deutsches Mindat - Forum - German language messageboard
  • Messagerie francophone - French language messageboard
  • Messaggeria in lingua italiana - Italian language messageboard
  • Nederlandstalig Forum - Dutch language messageboard
  • Quadro de mensagens em Português - Portuguese language messageboard
  • Русскоязычный форум на Миндате - Russian language messageboard
  • Tablón de mensajes en Español - Spanish language messageboard

Best Minerals

Dedicated to the Best Minerals project, a work-in-progress documenting the most important finds of minerals worldwide.

How to Post a Message

Replying to an Existing Thread

To post a reply in an existing discussion, enter your reply in the "Your Message" box at the bottom of the page of the thread. No external HTML code is permitted, but your text can be formatted using the tools in the upper portion of this box. You can also use the icons here to add links, e-mail addresses, horizontal lines, quoted text, and embed mindat photos into your post. You also have the option below the reply box to choose to "follow the topic," and to add a file outside of mindat as an attachment.

Selecting the “Preview” button will allow you to preview your post (useful for checking your formatting, etc.). When you are happy with your response, select "Post Message" to – you got it – post your message.

Creating a New Thread

To start a new thread, navigate to the appropriate category and subcategory for your topic, then select the “New Topic” icon in the upper left above the list of categories. This will take you to a page with a textbox for the Subject as well as a text box for “Your message” that functions the same way as if you were replying to an existing thread (see instruction above). You can also double-check that you are posting in the appropriate category by looking at the path listed above the “Start a New Topic” heading.

Private Messages

Private Messages are a way to correspond privately with other users. Your Private Messages can be accessed from the upper right of any Messageboard page. From here, you can select messages as they appear listed, select from options in the left hand column to view sent messages, send a new PM, edit folders (used for organizing private messages), or view your buddies. You can also use the search box to the left (across the page from the Private Messages title) to search for keywords within your private messages.

Control Center

The Control Center provides access to some customizations related to the Messageboard. The Control Center is accessed in the upper right of any Messageboard page.

Personal Profile

From the Personal Profile section, you can view and make changes to your profile.

View My Profile

View my profile displays your current profile settings including your username, e-mail address, registration date, number of messageboard posts, signature, and user permissions. This page is displayed by default when you access the Control Center, but can also be navigated to by choosing "View My Profile" in the left column of the Control Center page.

Edit My Profile

Edit My Profile allows you to add your Real Name as well as toggle whether your country flag displays next to your avatar when posting.

Edit Signature

A signature is a section of text that will automatically be added to the bottom of any of your posts in the messageboard.

Edit Email Settings

Here you can indicate whether to allow other users to see your email address.

Edit My Privacy Options

Here you can indicate whether to allow other users to see your email address or see when you are logged in.

View and Join Groups

Here you can select to join a group.

Followed Topics

If you checked to Follow a Topic in a messageboard, the thread will appear here. You can isolate items in the list by recent activity using the dropdown menu.


Forum Settings

Here you can indicate a custom timezone, toggle Daylight Savings Time, indicate a Language, choose to show more messages on a page, set a default for your preference in following topics, indicate to add your signature by default, and choose whether to receive emails about new private messages.


Here you can upload an avatar - it must be smaller than 25KB and 100 x 100 pixels.

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