Much thought and consideration is given to every picture we choose to display on the mineral detail pages on Minerals.net. Our goal is to provide a complete portrait of each mineral’s appearance without overwhelming our visitors.
We try to provide a snapshot of all minerals in their most commonly encountered scenarios, and show the diversity of each mineral. We include multiple habits and colors for each mineral type. The most common habits and colors are always included, and less-common settings are also included if they are interesting or unique.
Another very important factor is locality. We will try to include at least one picture of every important locality for a specific mineral, and usually more if there are multiple habits or forms. As far as specimen value, our key is diversity. We try to show a range from high-end and more exclusive forms, to more common lower-end samples of each mineral.
We try not to repeat the same habit or color from the same locality, to keep interest and retain a healthy assortment. An exception to this is when a less common mineral has limited localities or habits.
For many minerals, this general concept works, showing enough diversity while keeping the number of pictures limited to a maximum of 15-20 pictures. However, certain more common minerals, such as Quartz and Calcite, have so many significant habits, colors and important localities, that it is virtually impossible to provide a picture of every color, habit, and primary locality. Such minerals create a significant challenge, as we have to select the most well-known habits and varieties for these minerals.
Some highly diversified minerals that have significant varieties may have their own dedicated variety pages that can include many more pictures of just the variety type. For example, Quartz has a dedicated page with general Quartz pictures, but the Amethyst, Citrine, Chalcedony, and Agate varieties have their own dedicated pages with their own pictures as well as additional information and sub-varieties.
Our website was first launched in 1997, and started out with only a few low resolution pictures of each mineral. Over the years, we have been expanding our database and adding many more pictures. We have recently been going through all minerals, adding many more pictures to the existing ones. We are also starting a new campaign to redo the picture system to include a new picture display window with larger and higher resolution pictures.