Abstract

The garnet supergroup includes all minerals isostructural with garnet regardless of what elements occupy the four atomic sites, i.e., the supergroup includes several chemical classes. There are presently 32 approved species, with an additional 5 possible species needing further study to be approved. The general formula for the garnet supergroup minerals is {X3}[Y2](Z312, where X, Y, and Z refer to dodecahedral, octahedral, and tetrahedral sites, respectively, and ϕ is O, OH, or F. Most garnets are cubic, space group Iad (no. 230), but two OH-bearing species (henritermierite and holtstamite) have tetragonal symmetry, space group, I41/acd (no. 142), and their X, Z, and ϕ sites are split into more symmetrically unique atomic positions. Total charge at the Z site and symmetry are criteria for distinguishing groups, whereas the dominant-constituent and dominant-valency rules are critical in identifying species. Twenty-nine species belong to one of five groups: the tetragonal henritermierite group and the isometric bitikleite, schorlomite, garnet, and berzeliite groups with a total charge at Z of 8 (silicate), 9 (oxide), 10 (silicate), 12 (silicate), and 15 (vanadate, arsenate), respectively. Three species are single representatives of potential groups in which Z is vacant or occupied by monovalent (halide, hydroxide) or divalent cations (oxide). We recommend that suffixes (other than Levinson modifiers) not be used in naming minerals in the garnet supergroup. Existing names with suffixes have been replaced with new root names where necessary: bitikleite-(SnAl) to bitikleite, bitikleite-(SnFe) to dzhuluite, bitikleite-(ZrFe) to usturite, and elbrusite-(Zr) to elbrusite. The name hibschite has been discredited in favor of grossular as Si is the dominant cation at the Z site. Twenty-one end-members have been reported as subordinate components in minerals of the garnet supergroup of which six have been reported in amounts up to 20 mol% or more, and, thus, there is potential for more species to be discovered in the garnet supergroup. The nomenclature outlined in this report has been approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association (Voting Proposal 11-D).

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