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Definitions of Terms used on Dakota Matrix Website

The following is a list of terms and their definitions as used on the Dakota Matrix website:

Archived Gallery

Archived is a gallery of previously sold minerals. It is a courtesy gallery for registered users only and is essentially a database of previously sold minerals and their sales price. Registered users  can also use this gallery for cost comparison with other mineral websites. It also serves as a gallery of previously sold items on Dakota Matrix for historical purposes. Note that not all of the minerals sold on Dakota Matrix are transferred to the Archived gallery.

Daily Five Gallery

Is a random selection of five minerals placed on the site every week day (Monday through Friday). Typically these are lower end minerals, duplicates, locality specimens, or just colorful minerals.

EDS Confirmed

EDS is an acronym for Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy.  It is a high tech instrument used in combination with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The EDS is the detector, the SEM is the visual instrument to pinpoint an area on a specimen in which to analyze. The results are a qualitative and semi-quantitative chemical analysis.


Your “Favorites” are chosen if you are a registered user by clicking the “Add to Favorites” button. The favorites are then added to your list that you can view in your “My Account” area. You can also visually see five of your favorites in the home page “Slider” area below the three large mineral photos.


IMA is an acronym for International Mineralogical Association.  IMA will be referenced when we publish a new mineral. We will then place a banner on it stating that it is an “IMA New Mineral”, simply meaning the IMA has recently approved that particular mineral as a newly sanctioned  mineral new to science.  Only the IMA can approve new minerals.


Mineralpedia is our database of mineral photos with a simplified mineral property chart. Sorry,  none of these minerals are for sale.

Mineral Mélange

Mélange is a geological term which is a totally disordered mixture of rocks of different shapes, sizes, ages, and origins. It is a ‘mixture’or 'medley' in French etymology. Mineral Mélange, as used on the DMM website and is located on the home page slider, are typically overlooked by customers. They may have some intrinsic value such as a “type locality” mineral, a signed label, or is an antique specimen for example. They may also be a random sampling of specimens currently available in the back galleries.

New Additions Gallery

The New Addition gallery is our oldest and longest running gallery and customer favorite. New Additions are always announced ahead of time. You will see the date and time of the next New Addition posting on the home page. New Additions are typically posted every week, usually on Thursdays.  Be forewarned though – they go quick and we usually do not send out advanced email notifications! New Addition specimens are usually higher quality or rarer specimens.


Provenance is defined as “the place where something first came from”.  In our case, it authenticates the original locality where the mineral specimen was found in the field.  Most specimens you purchase will never come with a guarantee of where it was found.  Mineral specimens simply do not come with a certificate of provenance no matter who you purchase it from. However, matrix, crystal habit, colors and associations will often authenticate provenance. We will not sell a specimen if we have reason to believe that the provenance is incorrect. Seasoned collectors will be pretty confident of provenance. Provenance is also bolstered by the   number of labels that accompany a mineral specimen. In most cases we will try to scan any old labels for our product galleries and display these on the “provenance” tab.


Queue is used in our ordering process. If you place an order “in queue” you are placing it on hold for later shipment. Please see our FAQ page for more detailed information.


“Reserved” is a temporary sales status of a mineral in our sales galleries meaning that another customer has placed this item in their cart. We use this status because the customer that has it in their cart my delete it from their cart. The item will than revert back to “available” or may immediately be purchased by another customer.   When you see an item with a “Reserved” status, and you desire that specimen, you can click the button “Add to Reserve List” and be placed on a list for that specimen.  You may be the next customer in line for the specimen or you may be further down on a list of customers. The second customer on the list will acquire the specimen and a notification will be sent to you (or them).

Special Editions Gallery

Special Editions are theme based updates which concentrate on localities, mineral groups, or mineral properties. Special Editions are published to the website in a totally random fashion: time and day are NOT announced in advance like the New Addition galleries.  We do however announce the theme of the Special Editions in advance. Please see our Recent and Upcoming Special Editions for these announcements. You must download the Notifier to get be alerted to a Special Edition release. Please see our Special Edition and the Dakota Matrix Notifier for more information. 


“Tagged” refers to a keyword or phrase for items on the website which aids in sale promotions or other searches.  Tags allow items in a search to be easily found again. For example; if several items are tagged with “ore mineral”, theoretically a search for “ore minerals” will result is a listing of all ore minerals.  Tags are only defined by Dakota Matrix and not by the user.

Type Locality

Type Locality refers to the place where a mineral was originally found.

Want List

Your “Want” list is defined if you are a registered user only.  Your “Want” list is a short list of minerals you would like in your collection and are input in your “My Account” page.  When we place a mineral on your list on the Dakota Matrix website you will be notified twice. The first notice is when we place it on a pending release status prior to publication. The second notice is when the mineral is published to the website.  To be fair to everyone, we cannot advance sell an item, but you will be given an automated advance notice.

XRD Confirmed

XRD confirmed refers to a mineral specimen which has been identified by X-Ray Diffraction.  It is the most definitive analysis since all minerals are defined by  crystal structure.  However, it will not define chemistry and therefore if a mineral is isostructural with another, a chemical  analysis must be undertaken.

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