"The first entry for each mineral species is a number containing four parts
separated by periods. It represents a hierarchical system parallel to that of Linneaus but
based on a combination of chemistry and crystal structure of the minerals. These numbers
facilitate insertion and addition of a new species into a list emphasizing close chemical
and structural affiliations, an advantage since each mineral is known by a different, and
not necessarily related, name."
"The first consideration in generating the numbers was division into classes
based on composition or, in the case of silicates, on dominant structural elements."
The first number, therefore, represents the class of the mineral. The
second number represents the type of mineral which in some cases is based
on the atomic characteristics. The third number represents the group to
which these minerals belong based on structural similarities. The fourth number is
assigned to the individual mineral species.
For our example of the New Dana classification number, lets examine a common mineral
group that contains calcite as a member:
The number 14 represents the new Dana class for anhydrous carbonates.
The second number 01 represents the new Dana type for simple cation
formula. The third number 01 represents the calcite group with its
hexagonal-rhombohedral structural similarities. For the purposes of this mineral
database, the new Dana class is 14, the new Dana type is
14.01, the new Dana group is 14.01.01 and the last number is assigned to the