Mineralogy Database

New Dana Classification Number

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DANA Classification Number


The Dana classification number used in this database is based on Dana's New Mineralogy, Eighth Edition, by Richard V. Gaines, H. Catherine Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, and Abraham Rosenzweig, with sections by Vandall T. King, Illustrations by Eric Dowty, (ISBN: 047119310-0) Copyright © 1997, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  This material is used by permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  

"The first entry for each mineral species is a number containing four parts separated by periods. It represents a hierarchical system parallel to that of Linneaus but based on a combination of chemistry and crystal structure of the minerals. These numbers facilitate insertion and addition of a new species into a list emphasizing close chemical and structural affiliations, an advantage since each mineral is known by a different, and not necessarily related, name."

"The first consideration in generating the numbers was division into classes based on composition or, in the case of silicates, on dominant structural elements." The first number, therefore, represents the class of the mineral. The second number represents the type of mineral which in some cases is based on the atomic characteristics. The third number represents the group to which these minerals belong based on structural similarities. The fourth number is assigned to the individual mineral species.


For our example of the New Dana classification number, lets examine a common mineral group that contains calcite as a member:

V - 14 Anhydrous Carbonates

14.01 Anhydrous Carbonates with Simple Formula ACO3

14.01.01 Calcite Group (Space Group: R3barc) Calcite CaCO3 Magnesite MgCO3 Siderite Fe++CO3 Rhodochrosite MnCO3 Sphaerocobaltite CoCO3 Smithsonite ZnCO3 Otavite CdCO3 Gaspeite (Ni,Mg,Fe++)CO3

The number 14 represents the new Dana class for anhydrous carbonates.   The second number 01 represents the new Dana type for simple cation formula.  The third number 01 represents the calcite group with its hexagonal-rhombohedral structural similarities.  For the purposes of this mineral database, the new Dana class is 14, the new Dana type is 14.01, the new Dana group is 14.01.01 and the last number is assigned to the individual species.

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