Minerals & Gemstone 480x104
Minerals & Gemstone 480x104

Localities on our Mineral Detail Pages

Much thought has been given to the specific localities we selected to be included within the mineral detail pages on our website. Our aim is to put special emphasis on localities that are significant to the mineral and often associated with it. Those localities that are less important and have only produced reference specimens are generally excluded.

The most detailed mineral reference website, Mindat, makes an attempt to include every locality for every mineral, and this is indeed a great tool for research and reference. However, the purpose of our website is to try to stick to relevant and practical information on each mineral, making sure we stay within the scope of friendly usability. Our goal is to give a detailed, yet personalized, account of each mineral without overwhelming our readers.

Any locality that is associated with a particular mineral will always be mentioned for that mineral. Examples include  Pyromorphite from the Bunker Hill Mine in Idaho or Rhodochrosite from the Sweet Home Mine in Colorado. We will still include localities that are no longer producing, even those long extinct, if they were classic or significant specimen producers of the mineral.

Other criteria we include in our locality sections are deposits that have been prolific producers of specimens, localities that have produced interesting or unique habits for the mineral, and economically important deposits for the mineral - even if they have not produced any collector-worthy specimens.

Very common minerals such as Quartz and Calcite are found in good examples worldwide in thousands of important specimen-producing localities. While it is impractical for us to list all of these localities, (even some of the better ones), our selection of locations for these minerals are focused on those that are considered very well-known or classic occurrences. An example is Quartz from Hot Springs in Arkansas and Calcite from the Sweetwater Mine in Missouri.

Some locality information is more detailed than others. Localities within the United States will always have the municipality listed (i.e. city/town/village community name), as well as the county. For worldwide localities, we try to associate the most commonly used provincial and regional names associated with the more specific location. All locality information is checked against the Mindat database, and we also check spelling and provincial information with Google Maps.

Mine or quarry names will be referenced if they are significant or specific to the location. However, they may not be individually specified if there are several specimen-producing mines within the region.

We have multiple sources that we reference when checking for localities. Some localities are common knowledge. Sources include many field guides, especially Frederick Pough's Rocks and Minerals, and Charles W. Chesterman's field guide to North American Rocks and Minerals. A large collection of books is at our disposal, and we read and take locality notes on both current and past mineral magazines, such as the Mineralogical Record and Rocks and Minerals.

We also take notes at mineral shows when we see quality new material available from several dealers (i.e. the new Gold specimen discovery in Matto Grosso, Brazil.) A new and excellent tool at our disposal is Moore's Compendium of Mineral Discoveries, which lists a vast and extensive list of all documented mineral occurrences since 1960.

To prevent sentences from becoming overburdened with place names, we have chosen to separate locality names with semicolons. This enables the reader to determine which localities go together as a further describer and where to separate with a new locality.

Moore’s Compendium of Mineral Discoveries Review

I am a subscriber to The Mineralogical Record, and look forward to every volume. I also like the extras that are often included, such as “What’s Hot in Tucson,” “What’s Hot in Munich,” and the Dallas Symposium DVDs. In the 2015 Dallas Symposium DVD, Tom Moore from the Mineralogical Record was one of the speakers, and he introduced a new and exciting project he has been working on for many years. The new project, titled “Moore’s Compendium of Mineral Discoveries," is an exhaustive guide to every documented mineral discovery since 1960 of specimens with crystals over one centimeter.

In Moore’s presentation in the DVD, he describes the multitude of sources that he used for the compendium. Certainly, no mineral locality index this ambitious has been created in modern times. All sources are researched, and details of the mineral occurrence and habits of each location are documented.

At the Tucson show this year, I visited the Mineralogical Record booth at the Convention Center show, and got my first looks at this impressive guide. It contains two volumes, with a combined page count of 1,644 pages. Holding it and flipping through it gave me the incentive to buy it immediately, despite its hefty price tag. I felt that this compendium would be a great resource for researching new minerals that I add to the Minerals.net database. Because there were only 500 volumes printed (with more than half already sold,) and the editor not planning on producing a second edition, I felt it was an opportune time to purchase it.

I had to schlep these extra heavy books in my luggage returning from the Tucson show, in addition to my rocks. I was given a 50 pound limit by the airline for my luggage, and lo and behold my suitcase weighed exactly 50 pounds! However, the extra schlep was well worth it, because aside from the workout I got tugging these in my suitcase, I do use these books all the time now. It is a very worthy investment, and it's important to get these now before they run out and are no longer available.

I do have some criticism, though. I feel that in today’s technological age, such an important piece of work should be available in a digital format that is fully searchable and indexable by locality. Additionally, there could have been a way to include photos in such digital version. One more area of critique is the preference over certain localities and the omission of others. For example, in Northern New Jersey, one would get the impression that Fort Lee was the most significant locality in the area, whereas in reality Paterson and Prospect Park were much more prolific, but don’t receive quite as much attention as Fort Lee.

Despite the above, this book is a major piece of work for the mineral community, and is a very significant addition to mineral study. Despite its price, it is worth every penny, and every significant collector ought to own this guide. The book is currently available for sale at the Mineralogical Record website at: