Cordylite - history and survival as a mineral species
published: Jun 18, 2002
Cordylite [= cordylite-(Ce) in modern nomenclature] was discovered at the end of the 19th century from Narsarsuk, Greenland. Shortcomings of the original chemical analysis and an error in an early X-ray investigation caused that the same mineral was later described from China as "baiyuneboite-(Ce)". Fortunately, the type material of cordylite was preserved in the mineral collection of the Copenhagen Museum. Its re-investigation, together with work on material from other localities, showed that type cordylite and "baiyuneboite-(Ce)" are identical mineral species. Because cordylite has priority, the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names of IMA discredited "baiyuneboite-(Ce)" as a valid mineral name. The history of cordylite shows convincingly the importance of storing type material of any new mineral species in a collection where it is well preserved and where it will be available for re-investigation.