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Definition of ima status

In mindat.org, we list the status of mineral names as approved (or otherwise) by the International Mineralogical Association [glossary item missing].

The process for mineral name approval is that a paper describing the physical properties of a new proposed mineral species has to be reviewed by the IMA's Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC) and if approved by a vote of its members, the new mineral becomes an officially recognised species.

Here is a list of status types that we provide for this option in mineral entries:

No Data - We do not currently have information on approval status.

Approved - Approved as a valid mineral species by the IMA

Discredited - Originally accepted as a valid mineral species, but no longer accepted.

Rejected - A proposal that was rejected by a vote of the IMA CNMNC (unusual - normally rejections are kept private).

Pending approval - Currently awaiting approval.

Not approved - Not currently approved but without any further information as to status.

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered" - Minerals published and recognised as valid prior to the establishment of the IMA in 1959 need not be approved, simply published in a peer-reviewed journal. Most of the common minerals we know today belong in this category.

Questionable/Doubtful - A mineral recognised as valid (usually a 'grandfathered' species) but with some level of doubt and in need of re-examination.

Group name - The name for a formal (published in a peer-reviewed paper) mineral group.

Hypothetical mineral - Some names are given for hypothetical end-members not (yet) found in nature, or analogues of minerals that have been created by man, but not yet found naturally.

Intermediate member of Solid solution Series - Some names are kept for historical reason even though they do not adhere to the 50/50 rule of distinguishing mineral species in a series. For example, plagioclase feldspar mineral names.

Redefined approved - A mineral that has been approved but significantly redefined as part of a re-examination.

Renamed approved - A mineral that has been approved (or re-approved) with a new name.

Published without approval - A mineral that has not been approved but has been published and described in a peer-reviewed journal, either because the author did not want to approve the mineral, or because there was insufficient information available to complete a formal approval process.

Unnamed - valid - A mineral that is valid but has not yet been publicly named.

Unnamed - invalid - A mineral that is likely to be invalid and has not yet been named in public.


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