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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) / Gem Names end in "ite"

Why do so many gemstone names end in "ite"?

The "ite" suffix derives from the Greek word lithos meaning rock or stone (the adjectival form of lithos is "-ites"). It is a convention in the mineral world that new minerals are given names ending in "ite." The Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association publishes guidelines for naming new minerals (or renaming old ones).

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