Mineralogy Database

IMA status

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IMA status


The International Mineralogy Association (IMA) maintains a public listing of all the approved mineral names for all minerals since 1959 where official determinations are on record.  The official designations are (A) for approval , (D) for discreditation and/or (R) for redefinition. Mineral names missing from this list are those species that were grandfathered as being valid prior to 1959.

This entry in the mineralogy database denotes the IMA status of a mineral name if it is known. This database is not the last word in determining if a mineral species name has a valid standing with the IMA.  In fact, this database maintains a listing of some non-IMA approved mineral species names and synonyms for historical purposes.  Any reference to any mineral in this database is in no way an endorsement of the current IMA status of the mineral name.

The IMA status in this database is as follows:

  •  Approved IMA - The mineral species has been formally accepted by the IMA as a valid species and published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  •  Not Approved IMA - The mineral species has not been accepted by the IMA as a valid species.
  •  Valid Species (Pre-IMA) - The mineral species is considered valid but was published before 1959, the date the IMA started to approve mineral species. The minerals classified as such (e.g., gold, galena, etc.) would probably rate IMA approval (but not always) if submitted today. All minerals considered valid prior to 1959 were grandfathered as such.
  •  Approved IMA (Dana # Added) - Mineral species approved by the IMA after the inclusion in the 1997 edition of Dana's New Mineralogy.
  •  Discredited IMA - Mineral species that are currently considered valid but were formally discredited because of:
    1. Prior publication (where the prior publication has priority of the mineral name).
    2.  Later work on the holotype specimen found that species status is questionable. The reason for the discreditation is always given.
  •  Proposed IMA - Unnamed mineral species known only by the year and vote number (eg. IMA2001-043). The species is unnamed until formal publication of the mineral species data in a peer-reviewed journal. Occasionally, the mineral name is not kept secret prior to publication and leaks out. Hubite is a recent example of a new species name known before publication and even before the IMA vote. Proposed minerals are given a tentative Dana classification number which is subject to change once the mineral is published.

Other Information on the IMA

Here is the link to the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names (CNMMN) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The "approved" list of mineral names has been approved by the CNMMN during its meeting in Edinburgh (September 2002) and is posted at the website. This list has been derived from the Materials Data, Inc. MINERAL Database.

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Example Subject Searches

Example: "approved ima" finds all minerals that are known to be approved by the IMA.

Example: "not approved ima" finds all minerals that are known to not have been approved by the IMA.

Example: "discredited ima" finds all formerly valid mineral species that have been discredited by the IMA.

Example: "proposed ima" finds all proposed minerals submitted to the IMA where formal publication is needed.

Example: "valid species, lacks ima approval" finds all minerals that were grandfathered prior to 1959.

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