Minerals will often form in specific environments and be associated
with specific minerals. Sometimes a mineral is only associated
with a certain suite of minerals. Identification of these associated
minerals can help in the identification of an unknown mineral.
For instance, the phyllosilicate mineral
is typically associated with
Zeolite Group minerals.
It becomes diagnostic to find zeolites with
a mineral that is suspected of being apophyllite and vice versa.
Not all possible associations can be mentioned for most minerals.
But, in some cases a mineral may only be found with a few key minerals.
is one such example.
It is found associated with only
and a few other very rare minerals.
In these cases, the associations can be one of the most important characteristics.
Keep in mine that in most mineral descriptions
only important or common associations are listed and the fact that a mineral
is found in association with a mineral that was not mentioned
should not be considered an error and don't discount the possible
identity of the unknown mineral based on this alone.
Remember these are only an
aid to identification and not the only possible associations.
Mineral associations can be quite fun for the collector.
In addition to a collection containing all the possible forms, colors, varieties, etc. of a mineral, it could also contain all the possible associations!
Some mineral associations are quite interesting, beautiful and full of character.
Often mineral collectors strive for certain classic mineral combinations.
At times the attractiveness of an association is in its contrasting or complementary
colors and at others it is
just the unique character difference in the
crystal forms and
habits such as a dendritic
gold specimen emerging from a marble-like
And hey! You often get more for your money when you can get two, three or four minerals in one specimen!