The holotype is the sample from which all the data necessary for the description of a new mineral are obtained. The International Mineralogical Association (IMA) requests the deposit of a "typical" sample at a recognized facility which has then the onus of taking care of its conservation. The Mineralogy and Lithology collection of the University Museum System holds more than forty of such holotypes.
The collection has an almost exclusively scientific value and is not suitable for display due to the size of the specimens and the negligible aesthetic value. The majority of the holotypes deposited in our museum come from Italy and about half of them are from Tuscany.
The type of icosahedrite, described in 2011, is of great scientific importance: it is the first natural quasi-crystal, identified in a specimen of the Florentine collections and contained in a fragment of about 3 mm.
Read more about the holotype collection (English text at the bottom of the pages)
Menchetti, S., The holotypes, in: Pratesi, G. (ed.), 2012, The Museum of Natural History of the University of Florence: The Mineralogical and Lithological Collections, Firenze University Press (pp. 142-155)