Around 100 new minerals are identified every year around the world, many of them from microscopic samples. For some time, Slovakia has trailed behind the rest of the world in this pursuit. However, that is slowly beginning to change. In just the last five years Slovak scientists have discovered and described five new minerals.
The latest mineral to be found has been named argentopolybasite. At the beginning of April 2022, the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association unanimously approved it.
To date, 25 minerals have been found in Slovakia, many of which were discovered in the 19th century, when the country was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But after the recent flurry, there is the prospect of more to come.
The latest new mineral is of particular interest to geologists and mineralogists, as its structure and composition greatly improves our understanding of the mineral group it belongs to.