The Carbon Mineral Challenge

The Carbon Mineral Challenge sets the stage for both professional and amateur mineral collectors to make their mark by discovering never-before described minerals. Researchers predict at least 135 of Earth’s carbon-bearing minerals remain undiscovered. How many can collectors find by 2019?

Daniel Hummer
Science News for Students

Beyond diamonds: Search is on for rare carbon crystals

Long ago, in Russia’s distant Northwest, a bird pooped. But this was not just any old splat of excrement. The feces landed on a very hot rock. It lay atop an underground coal fire. The intense heat quick-baked the poop. And that caused one of the substances previously dissolved in the feces to crystallize. With […]

The Private Lives of Minerals

The Private Lives of Minerals: Insights from Big-Data Mineralogy

In this video Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution for Science) discusses mineral evolution, mineral ecology, and mineral network analysis. The presentation touches upon some of the questions and themes that drive the Carbon Mineral Challenge and the quest to discover new mineral species.  

Science Daily

Three new uranium minerals from Utah

Leesite, leószilárdite and redcanyonite are three new uranyl minerals discovered growing on the walls of old uranium mines in southern Utah. An alumnus of Michigan Technological University found them. Olds says leószilárdite is a particularly interesting find because of the Carbon Mineral Challenge. The challenge runs through September 2019, with the goal to discover as […]

Josh and Dan at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

Carbon Mineral Challenge at the 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is the largest show of its kind in the world, attracting thousands of mineral collectors, mineralogists, and everyday rock and mineral enthusiasts. For the second year running, DCO’s Carbon Mineral Challenge will take part in the show, encouraging members of the mineral collecting community from all walks of life […]


Carbon Mineral Challenge Featured in Science News

Science News interviewed project investigator Daniel Hummer (Southern Illinois University, USA) and physicist Jordi Ibáñez-Insa (Institute of Earth Sciences Jaume Almera, Spain) for their cover story in the 15 October 2016 issue. Read the article here.

Science News

Rock Hounds Are on the Hunt for New Carbon Minerals

A new challenge has scientists searching for dozens of unknown, beguiling crystals Like many abandoned mines, the Eureka uranium mine in northern Spain is a maze of long, dank tunnels. Water seeping down the walls carries dissolved substances that percolated through rocks overhead. As the water evaporates into the tunnels’ cool air, some of those […]

Carbon Mineral Challenge Update, August 2016

Carbon Mineral Challenge Update: Most Structurally Complex Mineral Found

This summer the International Mineralogical Association’s Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification approved two new carbon minerals, leószilárdite and ewingite. The new minerals were described by Travis Olds and colleagues, and bring the total number of new carbon minerals found since the launch of the Carbon Mineral Challenge in December 2015 to six. See […]

Carbon Mineral Challenge Update, April 2016

Carbon Mineral Challenge Update Spring 2016: Four New Minerals Found

In December 2015, when researchers boldly predicted that 145 carbon minerals remained undiscovered on Earth, they understood the challenges of finding them. As small as a grain of sand, as ephemeral as a volcanic eruption before a rainstorm, missing carbon minerals are often elusive. Hence the impetus behind the Carbon Mineral Challenge. Such is the […]

Research Paper

Carbon Mineral Ecology: Predicting the Undiscovered Minerals of Carbon

“Carbon mineral ecology: Predicting the undiscovered minerals of carbon,” published in American Mineralogist, is now available for download from the University of Arizona Department of Geosciences Website. The Carbon Mineral Challenge was launched as a result of the research in this paper. Visit this page to see a listing of carbon minerals verified since December […]

Discovery Of Carbon On Mercury Reveals The Planet’s Dark Past

Mercury has been found to have a dark side with graphite, a crystalline form of carbon commonly found in pencils, being the source of the mysterious dark colouration of the planet’s surface. Dr Helen Maynard-Casely, an Instrument Scientist from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, who was not involved in the study, said the study […]

Discovery of carbon on Mercury reveals the planet’s dark past

Mercury has been found to have a dark side with graphite, a crystalline form of carbon commonly found in pencils, being the source of the mysterious dark colouration of the planet’s surface. The study, published this week in Nature Geoscience, was led by a team from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in the […]

Minerales mucho más raros que los diamantes

Más de 2.500 especies que se encuentran en cinco o menos lugares de la Tierra y son testigos de su historia aparecen en un nuevo inventario geológico MADRID.- Calcio, silicio y oxígeno son algunos de los elementos más comunes en la Tierra, pero en ciertas circunstancias se han combinado para formar la hatrurita, uno de […]