New Mineral Species Named In Honor of LSU Geology Professor Darrell Henry

05/05/2014 03:25 PM

BATON ROUGE – A new species of tourmaline, discovered by geologists in the Czech Republic, has been named “darrellhenryite” in honor of LSU Campanile Charities Professor of Geology & Geophysics Darrell Henry for his significant contributions to the mineralogy and petrology of the tourmaline supergroup minerals.


This new mineral species was discovered by geologists from the Czech Republic in a quarry at Nová Ves near Český Krumlov, Czech Republic. The mineral was further characterized by crystallographers from the University of Vienna and California Institute of Technology.


To name a new species, the mineral has to be fully chemically and structurally characterized, and a new mineral proposal submitted to and accepted by a committee of the International Mineralogical Association.


Although darrellhenryite was originally found in the quarry in the Czech Republic, other examples are likely to be found. Already there are reports of a green gemmy tourmaline from Maine that is possibly darrellhenryite.


The type material has been deposited in the collections of the Department of Mineralogy and Petrography of the Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic and in the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.


Approximately 4,000 species of minerals have been named over the last 150 years. In most cases the species are named for the places where the species is discovered (e.g. elbaite after the island of Elba, Tuscany, Italy) or after some chemical characteristic (e.g. zincite after the high zinc content in the mineral). However, some species are named after geoscientists who have made significant contributions to the science of mineralogy and petrology, which is the case for darrellhenryite.


In the published article describing the new mineral species, it was stated that “the name is for Darrell J. Henry, professor of geology at the Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, an expert on the mineralogy, petrology, crystal chemistry and nomenclature of tourmaline-supergroup minerals.” This honor marks the first time that a mineral has been named after anyone from LSU.


A full description is found in Novák, M., Ertl, A., Povondra, P., Galiová, M.V., Rossman, G.R., Pristacz, H., Prem, M., Giester, G., Gadas, P., and Škoda, R. (2013) Darrellhenryite, Na(LiAl2)Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)3O, a new mineral from the tourmaline supergroup. American Mineralogist, 98(10), 1886-1892.


For more information, contact Dawn Jenkins, LSU College of Science director of communication, at 225-578-2935 or


Attached photo by Professor George Rossman of the California Institute of Technology.





Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014