There is no central authority on mineral name pronunciations.
Many people are surprised to learn that the correct way to say a mineral's
name depends on the origin of that name (see Name
In fact, many knowledgeable mineral experts have never heard the
pronunciation of a fair percentage of existing mineral names with another
individual. The correct spelling of mineral names is the most important
aspect in identifying an individual mineral; and, it is this familiarity with
the printed name where most experts and knowledgeable amateurs communicate with
The mineral name pronunciations provided on the species pages in this
database is courtesy of The Photo-Atlas of
Minerals. These pronunciations come from Forrest Curton and are subject to
some interpretation (criticism) for some of those names.
Mineral Names are Pronounced Using these Rules:
- Chinese, Japanese, and Korean mineral names are phonetically
converted to the Latin alphabet and are best pronounced by a native speaker of
- Cyrillic mineral names are transliterated to the Latin alphabet and
are best pronounced by a native speaker of that language.
- Other non-Latin mineral names are transliterated and/or
phonetically converted to the Latin alphabet and are best pronounced by a
native speaker of that language.
- Minerals named after foreign locations or other foreign words are
best pronounced by a native speaker of that language.
- Minerals named after people are best pronounced by that individual.
However, audio recordings of a person pronouncing his namesake's mineral name
are not common and were not possible prior to the invention of the phonograph
- Minerals named using Greek or Latin roots can be pronounced using
grammar and pronunciation rules based on the speakers' country of origin.
- Minerals named using nmonics or contractions can be pronounced
using grammar and pronunciation rules based on the speakers' country of
Minerals Pronounced by their Namesakes
The following list are those mineral pronunciations provided to
webmineral.com by their namesakes:
||Richard Bideaux, American
mineralogist, coauthor of the Handbook of Mineralogy, Volumes I to V,
mineral collector, and the person whom
bideauxite is named after, kindly provided the mineral name
pronunciation for bideauxite. Tucson Convention Center, 50th Tucson Gem and
Mineral Show, February 14, 2004.
||Anthony Kampf, Curator
and Section Head of the Mineral Sciences Section at the Los Angeles County
Museum of Natural History and the person whom
kampfite is named for, kindly provided the pronunciation of the mineral
kampfite. Tucson Convention Center, 50th Tucson Gem and Mineral Show,
February 12, 2004.
||Tony Nikischer, Chairman
of the Board of The Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, president of Excalibur
Mineral Corporation, and the person whom
nikischerite is named for, kindly provided the pronunciation of the
mineral nikischerite. Executive Inn hotel, Room 128, Tucson, February 9,
publisher, editor-in-chief of the Mineralogical Record, and the person whom
is named after, kindly provided the mineral name pronunciations for
minrecordite and wendwilsonite. Tucson Convention Center, 50th Tucson
Gem and Mineral Show, February 14, 2004.
Other Sources of Mineral Pronunciations
Peter Whitehead from James Cook University sent me a recording of the proper
pronunciation for wycheproofite after
having spent 3 years living in that part of the Australian outback. For those of
you interested, hear the original .wav file for
wycheproofite. Thanks a bunch Peter.
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