Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. The term "mineral" encompasses not only the material's chemical composition but also the mineral structures. Minerals range in composition from pure elements and simple salts to very complex silicates with thousands of known forms (organic compounds are usually excluded). The study of minerals is called mineralogy.
- Note: Mindat.org prefers to give the chemical formula range of a mineral as it was found in nature. The CNMNC/ IMA Database of Mineral Properties prefers to give the chemical formula of the definition of a mineral as a solid solution end member. 
- References: Mindat.org, Handbook of Mineralogy (Mineralogical Society of America), Mineralienatlas, Rruff Project/ IMA and CNMNC Master List/ IMA (version 2012)
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