Geologists seeking help from rockhounds at gem show

13 February 2016

The world’s collectors come to Tucson each February, seeking to add a gem, fossil or rock to their collections.

Some geologists, meanwhile, are collecting rockhounds — enlisting those collectors in a challenge to complete the mathematical map of carbon-bearing minerals.

The theoretical map of undiscovered minerals is based on work done at the UA, led by Robert Downs, to compile an open-access database of minerals.

Downs used a statistics-based computer model to predict the missing minerals.

There are 406 known carbon minerals, and an average of four have been discovered each year in the past five years.

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Recently Discovered Minerals