Monday, April 12, 2010

Collection Management IV: The Label, Part 2

Last week, I mentioned that a mineral label should accompany each specimen. It should display: a number, the mineral identity, the locality, a short description of the specimen, and possibly the mineral formula (chemistry), and a descriptor for the collection itself. I also discussed the specimen number (as used on the label). Let's look at some other items.

The mineral identity (species, possibly variety):
The standard reference used is Fleischer's Glossary of Mineral Species, published by the Mineralogical Record Press. (The 2008 edition is marred by a controversial decision by the IMA that renamed many common minerals, including those in the apatite mineral group; the decision has now been reversed, so some mineral names are already outdated.)

I tend to use variety names when they are available, such as:
Beryl, variety Emerald
Beryl, var. Emerald
Beryl v. Emerald

The next item, when present, is the Mineral Formula. You can use words:
beryllium aluminum silicate
or the chemical formula:

I usually do not include additional chemical information true for the variety in the formula (such as the presence of Cr and/or V in emerald); I put that information in the comments field, if anywhere.

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