By Aaron Lee
Mineral Database is a Mac app from Tasa Graphics Arts that provides a useful reference for students, educators, professionals, or anyone interested in minerals.
You can search for minerals by selecting physical properties, optical properties, Dana number, Dana class, or many other classification and occurrence criteria. Or you can browse the mineral photo galleries. You can also search for color, hardness, and streak in field and classroom uses.
You can use the app as a companion to a polarizing light microscope by searching for birefringence or refractive index. With Mineral Database, you can dentify your unknown mineral through use of any or all 54 search criteria. The comprehensive search feature allows mineral identification by using known physical properties (such as color, streak, luster etc.) or crystal and optical properties. Or, you can visually search the hand sample photos and photomicrographs using the pop-up image galleries.
Entries for more than 300 common mineral species cover the vast majority of occurrences without presenting an overwhelming number of obscure species rarely encountered. The software provides hand sample photos, photomicrographs of thin sections, physical properties, crystal shape animations, 3D crystal structures (that you can rotate and enlarge to fill your screen), optical properties, classification, and occurrence data as well as partial data for many more species, varieties, groups, sub-groups, and series.
Mineral Database requires macOS 10.8 or higher and costs US$9.99. It's available worldwide through the Mac App Store. The most recent version is 1.2, which offers several minor improvements.