Silicate Group

The silicate group encompasses around 90% of minerals and it simply means that a mineral has silica within the chemical structure. We made this entry to help explain less common silicates unlike common silicates which have their own pages like quartz, feldspar and garnet.

Silicate minerals are classified into seven major groups according to the structure:

Major group Structure Chemical formula Example
Nesosilicates isolated silicon tetrahedra [SiO4]4− olivine, garnet, zircon...
Sorosilicates double tetrahedra [Si2O7]6− epidote
Cyclosilicates rings [SinO3n]2n beryl, tourmaline
Inosilicates single chain [SinO3n]2n pyroxenes
Inosilicates double chain [Si4nO11n]6n amphibole
Phyllosilicates sheets [Si2nO5n]2n micas and clays
Tectosilicates 3D framework [AlxSiyO(2x+2y)]x quartz, feldspars, zeolites