Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Mineral Nomenclature

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1576

Minerals can be named in several ways: (1) Chemical composition, such as native gold and borax. (2) Physical properties, such as the Chinese names for tourmaline, which literally means ‘electric stone’ in Chinese due to its pyroelectric nature, and for realgar, which in Chinese means ‘heroic yellow’ because of the mineral’s orange colour. (3) Form and shape, such as garnet, the name of which in Chinese means ‘pomegranate stone’ to describe its shape and colour, which are similar to pomegranate seeds. (4) Combination, such as sphalerite, which in Chinese means ‘shinning zinc mineral’ to describe its shiny characteristics and zinc content. (5) Location name, such as baotite, which is a silicate mineral that was first found in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, in 1960. (6) Name of people, such as hungchaoite, which is a magnesium borate mineral named after the Chinese geologist Zhang Hongzhao.

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