Logo MAC/AMC Mineralogical Association of Canada
Association minéralogique du Canada
Home | Online Store | Site Map | Contact Us

The Young people site
  • Minerals of Canada Poster

  • Print Version

    Read the following reviews on Special Publication 6

    Mineral Species Discovered in Canada, and Species
    Named after Canadians published in

    1. Geoscience Canada (2003)

    2. Mineralogical Magazine (2003) 67(4), 825-826, by Chris J. Stanley

    3. Le Cahier des Micromonteurs (2003), 02, 1, par Georges Favreau (french version)

    4. Australian Journal of Mineralogy (2003) 9, 50, by Dermot Henry

    5. Rocks & Minerals (2003), by Robert Cook

    Haut de la page

    Review published in
    Geoscience Canada 

    Mineral Species Discovered in Canada and Species Named after Canadians, authored by Laszlo Horvath and edited by Robert Martin, is the sixth in the irregularly-published The Canadian Mineralogist Special Publication series. Horvath presents an encyclopedic account of Canadian minerals, with emphasis on information of interest both to the scientific and amateur communities. The book consists of three main parts focusing on the 206 minerals discovered in Canada, the 30 minerals discovered elsewhere but named after Canadians, and a compilation of defunct minerals first described from Canada.

    Ten pages of introduction outline the 250 year history of documentation of mineral species occurring in Canada, starting with labradorite and enstatite, the longest surviving Canadian type-minerals. The stage being set, specifics of each of the 206 Canadian type-minerals are presented alphabetically, with each species occupying its own page. Basic information consists of the name, the International Mineralogical Association recognized chemical formula, crystal system, and space group for each species. The geologic occurrence of the species is then detailed, together with specifics of the associated minerals. A comprehensive listing of type specimens, including who designated them and where they reside, is provided whenever type specimens exist. The origin of the name is given, and all but three entries for minerals named after people include a photograph of the honored individual. Comments are followed by up to several references pertaining to the species.

    Part two of the book covers minerals named after Canadians from localities outside Canada, with similar content as entries for Canadian minerals. Part three tabulates obsolete names of minerals first described from Canadian localities. Some involve duplicate names for single species, in which case historical precedence dictates the accepted designation. Other names are obsolete because they correspond to mixtures of multiple species.

    Appendices give a chronology of minerals first described from Canada, specifics of the geographic distributions of type localities (by province and territory), type specimens and their repositories, a chemical classification of Canadian type-minerals, an index of the authors of descriptions for valid species discovered in Canada, and various statistics concerning the derivation of names and other aspects of Canadian minerals.

    Those of you seeking gently flowing prose expounding the beauty and sophistication of Canadian minerals will be disappointed by Horvath's coverage. The book contains 15

    pages of color photographs of Canadian minerals that are rather striking, but the encyclopedic layout of the text makes this more of a reference volume that nighttime reading. It is the only current compilation of data limited to Canadian minerals, although some of the data may be found in various reference volumes with a broader geographic scope.

    The unique combination of useful data and historical context make this book a must-have for those interested in Canadian minerals. In comparison to, for example, Dana's New Mineralogy (Eighth Edition), Horvath provides considerably more detail concerning mineral occurrences. Horvath paints a clearer picture of individuals corresponding to mineral names than does Encyclopedia of Mineral Names (1997). Details of type localities and the disposition of type specimens are invaluable.

    In addition to the specifics presented for each species, Horvath provides a wealth of interesting information. While on a family vacation last summer in Albert county, New Brunswick, I noted samples of "albertite" on display in local museums. Given the specimens were secured behind glass, no doubt because of their great value, careful inspection was impossible. Horvath advises us "albertite" is nothing more than bitumen, and that more than 200,000 tons of the stuff was mined over 14 years in Albert county. Have you been wondering which Canadian has described the most Canadian minerals? Horvath informs us that the 30-plus club is limited to Joel Grice (34 species), George Chao (31) and John Jambor (30). He also establishes that Mont Saint-Hilaire ranks seventh in the world for number of mineral discoveries. Horvath does not, however, explain why only 206 (5.2%) of all known minerals were discovered in Canada, while the U.S.A. and Russia lay claim to 652 and 535, respectively.

    Horvath presents accurate, informative, interesting and valuable coverage of Canadian minerals. The book is bound in hard cover with a striking photo of weloganite crystals gracing the front cover. The paper is of excellent quality, with sharp print and clear reproduction of photographs. For those interested in Canadian minerals, this book is excellent value at $45.00.

    Reviewed by Peter C. Burns
    Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences,
    University of Notre Dame,
    156 Fitzpatrick Hall, Notre Dame,
    IN 46556, U.S.A.,

    Haut de la page

    Review published in
    Mineralogical Magazine (2003) 67, 825

    This doubly introverted compendium is actually a useful contribution to the global effort to compile a database of type specimens instigated by the Commission on Museums of the International Mineralogical Association.

    An introduction details the 250 year history of properly documented mineral discoveries in Canada from Guettard in 1752 onwards, although the earlier 16th century voyages of discovery of Cartier and Frobisher had both somehow ended in rather disappointing miner-alogical conclusions, Cartier finding 'Quebec diamonds' (quartz crystals) in 1535, Frobisher returning with 'fool's gold' rather than the real thing to a probably not very amused Queen Elizabeth I a few years later.

    Part 1 covers minerals discovered in Canada, Part 2 is on minerals discovered elsewhere but named after Canadians. Part 3 is a compilation of mineral names, which are no longer valid, first described from Canadian localities. The author admits that this list (Part 3) may still be incomplete due to many obsolete names being buried in obscure literature that is difficult to access, and he actively encourages submission of information for improvements and expansion (presumably for a future update!). Statisticians will love the seven appendices that conclude the book, anything from who has described the most new species from Canada (Joel Grice) to when they were discovered(>75% in the 40 year period 1960-2000), to a ranking of journals in which the new Canadian species are described (no surprise which came top here).

    My own favourite Canadian mineral , 'bytow-nite', now a variety of 'plagioclase' or more correctly a member of the albite-anorthite solid-solution series, was named after Bytown, the earlier name for Ottawa, and hence has links with the London-born builder of the Rideaux Canal, Colonel John By, in commemoration of whom there is a plaque on the south side of the River Thames near Lambeth Bridge. Visit it sometime.

    Connections with the Mineralogical Society are strong as well. Minerals from Canadian localities named for former Officers of the Society are sorbyite [Pb19(Sb,As)2oS49], agrellite [NaCa2 Si4Oi0F], spencerite [Zn4(PO4)2(OH)2.3H2O], vaughanite [TlHgSb4S7] and criddleite Canada is a huge country, second in area only to Russia, so its not too surprising that so many new species have been described from the various types of mineral deposit to be found here, but by far the most prolific locality has been the Poudrette Quarry, Mont St Hilaire, Quebec, with a total of 47 type species to date. This puts it 7th in the world ranking of type specimen localities after Lovozero, Russia; Khibina, Russia; Franklin and Sterling Hill, USA; Langban, Sweden; Vesuvius, Italy; and Tsumeb, Namibia.

    The author is to be congratulated for producing a useful and thoroughly researched reference work, which should certainly be on every Canadian mineralogist's bookshelf even if the rest of us might rely on our library to stock it.


    Haut de la page

    Review published in
    AFM Le Cahier des Micromonteurs 02-2003-11-19
    Tout ce que vous avez toujours voulu savoir sur les minéraux canadiens...

    Canadian Mineralogist poursuit sa série de publications spéciales1 avec un ouvrage comme on voudrait en avoir pour tous les pays, et intitulé "Mineral species discovered in Canada and species named after Canadians". Sous la plume éclairée de Laszlo Horvath, grand spécialiste du Mont Saint-Hilaire, vous découvrirez toutes les espèces dont la localité-type se trouve au Canada, ainsi que toutes celles nominées en 1'honneur d'un canadien. Vous y apprendrez que les auteurs ont été précédés en... 1752 par Jean-Etienne Guettard qui avait publié un mémoire sur les minéraux canadiens, illustré d'une carte montrant leur répartition.

    Le livre, riche de 372 pages de texte, débute par 1'historique des descriptions de minéraux au Canada. Suivent ensuite les descriptions d'espèces, organisées en deux ensembles : localités-types canadiennes et personnalités canadiennes. Elles sont complétées par une table des noms de minéraux obsolètes utilises pour designer certains minéraux canadiens (ex: tetranatrolite). Les annexes, enfin, donnent une idée de la chronologic des descriptions, leur répartition par province (avec des cartes!), des informations sur les spécimens-types, et statistiques diverses.

    206 espèces2 sont décrites, chacune sur une page (voire 2) avec : la formule chimique, le système cristallin et groupe d'espace3, la localité-type, I'environnement géologique à la localité-type, les spécimens-types, 1'etymologie, divers commentaires et les références bibliographiques essentielles, le tout décrit avec une extrême précision. Le texte est parfois agrémenté d'un dessin de cristal (nous en aurions aime plus...) avec les indices des formes, ou d'une photo (MEB principalement), et les espèces tirant (parfois par les cheveux!) leur nom d'une personne sont illustrées par un portrait de celle-ci.

    Parmi les minéraux décrits et assez connus, on citera: dadsonite, franconite, gormanite, hellandite-(Y), labradorite, nuffieldite, sperrylite, weloganite., mais aussi chenite, mandarinoite et meme parsonsite. Les illustrations en couleurs d'échantillons canadiens prennent la forme d'un groupe de 16 pages hors texte au centre de 1'ouvrage. Beaucoup d'espèces canadiennes n'ont pu être illustrées ainsi, car il s'agit d'éléments, sulfures, sulfosels n'existant qu'en grains.

    La présentation générale de 1'ouvrage est très soignée et la couverture très rigide, en faisant un ouvrage que nous vous conseillons vivement. Vous pourrez vous le procurer au prix de 45 US$ (+ port).

    Débutée en 1997 par l'"Encyclopedia of Mineral Names", dont vous avez sûrement entendu parler.

    2 Soit environ 5% du total. Bien sur, le Mont Saint Hilaire se taille la part du lion avec 47 espèces

    3 malheureusement sans les paramètres de maille, mais qu'on peut facilement trouver par ailleurs (ex: http ://www.webmineral.com)

    Georges Favreau, AFM Grand Sud

    Haut de la page

    Review published in
    Australian Journal of Mineralogy Vol 9, No 1, June 2003

    Canada is the source for 206 type-minerals and ranks 4th in the world for the number of new species discovered. Canada is fortunate to be home to the diverse syenite complex at Mont Saint Hilaire, which has contributed some 47 new species. Mineral species discovered in Canada, and species named after Canadians is a type-catalogue of mineral species described from Canada. However, the publication provides much more, by way of discussing obsolete names and providing information on minerals named after Canadians from type-localities outside Canada. In addition, the introduction to the book is a history of Canadian mineralogy spanning some 250 years.

    The book is divided into three parts. Part I: Mineral species discovered in Canada details all the valid type-minerals from Canada. The layout is a species per page with the following information provided. Type locality: details the geographic location of the new mineral, including the latitude and longitude. Occurrence: describes the geological environment for the new mineral and lists the associated species. Type specimens: details the repository, registration numbers and dimensions for the type specimens. Name: explains the origin of the mineral name and includes detailed biographical information on people honoured by a mineral name. A photo of the person is provided. Comments: Lists the IMA number, if assigned, and provides information on the history of the discovery. Relevant references are also listed. Crystal drawings and scanning electron micrographs accompany many of the descriptions along with a few black and white photographs of mineral and localities. A 16-page, full-colour, photo gallery of Canadian type-minerals is also included.

    Part 2: Minerals named after Canadians from type localities outside Canada provides the same detailed information for the minerals as that in Part 1. Twenty-nine Canadians have been honoured in this way. Three minerals have strong Australian connections. Selwynite, from Victoria, was named after Alfred Selwyn for his work as founding Director of the Victorian Geological Survey (1860-1869). He subsequent term of 26 years as the second Director of the Geological Survey of Canada qualified him for the list. Ernienickelite, a Western Australian mineral, named in honour of Ernie Nickel for his contribution to mineralogy in Canada and Australia, and peterbaylissite named form Peter Bayliss, formerly of the University of Calgary and now living in Sydney, are the other two with Australian connections.

    Part 3: Obsolete names of minerals first described from Canadian localities provides the correct mineral name for the obsolete name. This section details the locality information for the obsolete mineral and the origin of the name. Again, detailed references are provided.

    The appendices provide: a chronology of minerals and synonyms first described from Canada; geographic distribution of type localities and type minerals in Canada; type minerals and their repositories; classification of Canadian type-minerals; author index for descriptions of valid species discovered in Canada; derivation of names for Canadian type-minerals and statistics about Canadian type-minerals. A general index is also provided.

    Laszlo Horvath is to be congratulated on his research and the production of this publication, with its clear and legible layout. Like the type-catalogue Minerals first discovered on the Territory of the former Soviet Union by Igor Pekov (see AJM Vol.4. No.l) this book is an excellent resource, particularly for the references, but more so I found it interesting to browse through and read about the people who have been honoured by having a mineral named after them. The book is testament to the strong mineralogical-research community in Canada, a relatively small country, population-wise. At around 107 new minerals (see AJM, 6(2)), Australia is ranked 7th in terms of new species. This book should encourage Australian collectors to scour the countryside if we are to outrank the Canadians!

    Dermot Henry Australian Journal of Mineralogy

    Haut de la page

    Review published in
    Rocks & Minerals

    Mineral Species Discovered in Canada and Species Named after Canadians is a meticulously constructed, annotated, and illustrated three-part compendium on the more than two hundred mineral species discovered in Canada or redefined from Canadian localities (part 1), the thirty minerals named after Canadians but discovered in other countries (part 2), and those now-obsolete minerals first described from Canadian localities but later discredited (part 3). The book also presents a short historical review of the literature documenting Canadian mineralogy from its beginnings in 1752 to the present. It includes seven appendices covering the chronology of mineral discoveries, individual type localities, type mineral specimens and their repositories, chemical classification of type minerals, an author index, and general references.

    Part 1, constituting the bulk of the book, features descriptions of 206 minerals arranged alphabetically. A page is devoted to each mineral and contains the species name, formula, and crystallography, followed by short sections on the type locality, the details of the occurrence there, the disposition of the type specimens, the derivation of its name, and comments with the most important references. Black-and-white-illustrations accompany virtually all descriptions of species and include a photograph of the person or place after which the mineral is named and/or its type location and, in some cases, a photo of the mineral itself or drawings of its crystals.

    Part 2 continues this format and illustrative style. Part 3 does not devote an entire page to each discredited mineral but simply gives the original name and the currently accepted name (if applicable), the locality where the now-invalid species was originally found, a short comment section, and relevant references.

    The photographic insert, "A Photo Gallery of Canadian Type-Minerals" contains thirty-nine color photographs arranged into three groups: Minerals of the Monteregian Intrusions, Yukon Phosphate Minerals, and Others. The photographs appropriately enhance the text and illustrate specimens primarily in the authors collection augmented by several from the Brunet, Haineault, Spertini, Tarassoff, and Canadian Museum of Nature collections.

    Mineral Species is an informative, useful book that has been carefully prepared. It clearly represents a major effort to accumulate widely dispersed data and photographic documentation. Well edited and produced, it is certainly worth the price. This book is yet another in the fine series produced by the Mineralogical Association of Canada through its major journal, Canadian Mineralogist.

    Robert Cook Auburn University Auburn, Alabama

    Haut de la page

    Haut de la page

    Review published in
    The Canadian Gemmologist

    The first thing that strikes one about this book is its size. One might imagine that the number of mineral species discovered in Canada plus the number named after Canadians would produce a slim volume for the connoisseur's bookshelf. In fact, at 380 pages this is a remarkably hefty tome. There have been a lot of minerals discovered in Canada or named after Canadians. That's why the Mineralogical Association of Canada undertook to publish the book as Volume 6 in its Special Publication scries.

    With such a title, one might expect a simple listing of names and formulas, but this is a much more complicated production. It has a preamble, a foreword, an introduction, three major parts, seven appendices, and the usual accompaniment of acknowledgements, references, and index. The Preamble, by Dr. Robert Martin, series editor, explains how the book came to be written, while the Foreword, by Swiss mineralogist Prof. Dr. Hans-Anton Stalder, formerly of the Natural History Museum in Bern and past chairman of the International Mineralogical Association Commission on Museums, expounds on the Canadian success in keeping track of "type" specimens-those that are used io define the species ab ovo, so to speak.

    The Introduction itself is a solid piece of work. In ten pages, the author presents a capsule history of the discovery and cataloguing of minerals in Canada, then proceeds through five pages of definitions of such things as type minerals, type localities, names and formulas, and so on. It represents a very useful reference.

    Part I, the major section of the book covers the mineral species discovered in Canada. At 209 pages, describing one mineral per page, it offers a real insight to the work that has gone on in Canada's mines, quarries, laboratories, and museums over the past 250 years or so. Each page gives the name, chemical formula, crystal system, space group, type locality, occurrence, location of the type specimen(s), derivation of the name, comments if necessary, photograph (if available) of the person or locality after which the mineral is named, reference to the original descriptive publication, and, occasionally, a drawing of a representative crystal. Sixteen plates of coloured photographs of minerals are included.

    Part II, shorter, but with the same layout, covers those minerals that were not found in Canada, but were named for Canadians. An example is boyleite, named after Robert William Boyle, a geochemist with the Geological Survey of Canada. The mineral itself, a zinc magnesium sulphate, was discovered in Grube Kropbach, Münstertal, Schwarzwald, Germany.

    Part III lists obsolete names of minerals first described from Canadian localities. Here we learn that alomite is now sodalite, and ontariolite is really a calcium-rich marialite. It is remarkable how quickly names can be assigned and then fade as better determinations or hitherto unnoticed priorities take precedence.

    The seven appendices are in essence summations of aspects of the three parts. They cover the chronology of minerals and their synonyms; their geographic distribution; the type specimens and their repositories; classification of Canadian type minerals; an author index of mineral descriptions; derivation of names, and some statistics about Canadian type minerals. The last, for example tells us that of the 206 mineral species described from Canada, four were described from meteorites, 178 were described exclusively from Canada, 161 were described from one locality. 12 from two localities, and so on.

    This book is a major work of scholarship with respect to Canada and its minerals. It deserves even more respect when one considers that the author is Hungarian born, and his wife Swiss born. They chose Canada for themselves. The material is treated accurately and exhaustively, and the documentation is excellent. It is a very worthwhile companion to the other five volumes in the series, and deserves a place on the shelves of anyone interested in mineralogy and gemmology generally, not just that of Canada. My only quibbles are minor and editorial. For one thing the spelling is American throughout. To my mind, a Canadian book should use Canadian spelling. Secondly, the text is set in a sans serif font. Typographers discovered long ago that sans serif fonts are wonderful for headlines, but in text blocks cause eyes train and are hard to read. The parent publication, the Canadian Mineralogist, does not use sans serif fonts. The tradition should have been maintained.

    Quintin Wight, MA

    © 2006 Mineralogical Association of CanadaLast update 2014-02-05