A mineral is a by naturally geological processes formed inorganic substance with a definite chemical composition. In a minerals atoms are well-ordered in lattice with strong bonds.
There are more than 5000 discovered and approved mineral (IMA mineral) as defined. Many minerals are very small and are therefore difficult to detect and identify, certainly there are a lot of minerals that are waiting to be discovered. Some minerals are rock-forming and is the ingredient found in and build the rock.
Minerals can be classified and categorized by the chemical composition and / or crystal structure. Mineral have a variety of properties such as hardness, color, density, powder coatings, habitat, etc. and the characteristics usually used to identify a mineral.
The most common systematic classification of minerals in Europe is after Strunz, named after the The German mineralogist Professor Hugo Struntz. Latest release is Nickel Struntz version 10, systematically revised to include Ernst H. Nickel. The current system is broken down by chemical composition divided into 10 main groups which are then divided into families and groups for chemical composition and crystal structure.
The main groups: 1 Elements, 2 Sulfides, 3 Halides, 4 Oxides, 5 Nitrates and Carbonates, 6 Borates, 7 Sulphates, 8 Phosphates, 9 Silicates, 10 organic compounds.
Another major systematic classification is according to Dana's system, named after James Dwight Dana, who was an American geologist and mineralogist who operated 1830-90's. Dana's system is designed for chemical composition and then various anionic groups (negatively charged ions). Main groups: 1 Silicates, 2 Carbonates, 3 Sulphates, 4 Halides, 5 Oxides, 6 Sulphides, 7 Phosphates, 8 Elements.
For the collector, there are a variety of ways to categorize and/or specialize the collection at. Some collect minerals systematic after a definite system, other after one or more characteristics or geographical origin ... Whatever you collect, it's very rewarding when there is so much to learn, amazed and fascinated by.