micromount competition rules

Rules for competition

The micromount portion of the AFMS uniform rules was downloaded from https://www.amfed.org/rules/rules.htm and simplified specially for the Rocky Mountain Micromineral Association’s micromount competitions. The portions of the AFMS official rules that were omitted are displayed in blue strikethrough text and the added modifications are displayed in red underlined text.

For your convenience, all division B rules are shown below and the micromount specific rules below that.


Rule 2.1 Labeling

(a) Each mineral specimen shall have a label showing the following information:

(1) The name of the mineral species and the name of the variety of the species, if the specimen is a variety as found in the current AFMS Mineral Classification List. See Rule 2.10.

(i) Names of species or varieties of species cannot be modified by extra words, such as “gray GALENA crystals”. “Gray” and “crystals” are descriptive terms, and are not the name of the mineral.

(ii) The names of all mineral species and varieties to be judged shall be in upper case (capital) letters. When a specimen shows more than one mineral and not all are to be judged, use all lower case (or small upper case) letters for the identified material not to be judged. (Example: a specimen of galena, calcite and marcasite with only galena and calcite to be judged would be labeled: GALENA, CALCITE, marcasite or GALENA, CALCITE, MARCASITE

(iii) Group names (i.e. tourmaline, garnet, etc.) are unacceptable and a specific species must be identified.

(2) The name of the chemical classification ‑ e.g., sulfide, carbonate, oxide, silicate, et al., as found in the AFMS Mineral Classification List. The chemical classification may be in all upper case (capital) letters, all lower case letters or with the initial letter in the word capitalized.

(3) The locality of origin (if in U.S., state and one or more of the following: county, area, district, city orparish if foreign, country and one or more of the following: prefecture, department, district, city,county, territory, area, canton, or province. Current name preferred, previous name accepted). Name of mine is desirable as additional information.

(4) Any additional information desired may be placed on the label and will be judged for correctness under labeling.

(i) Chemical constituents shall be considered additional information.

(ii) If a formula is used, its source shall be noted on the Reference List submitted to the exhibits chairman when the case is ready for judging. See Rule 2.12

(b) Deductions for labeling errors (illegibility incorrect spelling, information or identification and/or lack of required information) shall be two (2) points for each error and not to exceed the total points allowed for labeling in that class. CONSISTENT ERRORS (the same error appearing on more than one label and in every instance in which that error could be made) shall be penalized the number of points for a single error for each instance of each consistent error up to a limit of one‑half (1/2) of the points allowed for labeling. Lack of diacritical marks shall not constitute an error.

(c) The use of numbers with corresponding lists is not acceptable and will receive no labeling score.

(d) Judges will consider such factors as neatness, size of label, etc., under Showmanship.

(e) Information common to all specimens may be shown on a single group label, including a clear statement of any X, Y or XY restrictions, or personally collected minerals. Example: a display in Class BU‑7X may have a single label containing the name and chemical classification of the specimens with individual labels identifying the locality and other desired information for each specimen. A single label may be used in Class BU‑3X with the statement “Crystals with inclusions” and individual labels giving the required information for each specimen. Each error on such a group label will be considered a single error, except that where there is no correct label information no labeling points will be awarded.

(f) When exhibiting crystals with inclusions when both are to be judged as a unit, or pseudomorphs, labels shall show in addition to the locality of origin:

(1) For crystals with inclusions the names of the enclosed and enclosing minerals in upper case (CAPITAL) letters and the chemical classification for each mineral. The enclosed mineral is to be named first and the enclosing mineral second, joined by the word “in”. (Example: RUTILE in QUARTZ, with the chemical classification for each.)

(2) For pseudomorphs the name of the replacing mineral in upper case (capital) letters and the name of the replaced mineral in lower case (or small upper case) letters with the chemical classification for the replacing mineral. The replacing mineral is to be named first and the replaced mineral second joined by the word “after”. (Example: MALACHITE after azurite, with the chemical classification for malachite.)

Rule 2.2 Showmanship shall refer to the ability of the exhibitor to use the material exhibited, the background material, lighting, arrangement, and labeling features (such as size, neatness, etc.) to create a display which will attract and hold the interest of the viewer upon the specimens exhibited.

Rule 2.3 Number of Specimens. One piece of matrix which contains two or more identified mineral species is still considered only one specimen, (e.g., a piece of limestone with both calcite and fluorite identified is one specimen). For instance, a class requiring a minimum number of 5 specimens, would be considered lacking 2 specimens if it contained only 3 pieces of matrix, even if there were 5 or more identified mineral species on such 3 pieces. Multiple small specimens of one material cannot be counted as one.

Rule 2.4 Specimen Preparation shall refer to freedom from excess material and skill in preparation of specimens collected in the field by the exhibitor.

Rule 2.5 Restricted Classes Certain classes are restricted in scope. These are Restriction X: limited by chemical or physical properties, and Restriction Y: limited by region or locality. These are indicated by the appropriate letter following the class number, e.g., BU‑3X, BU‑8Y. Exhibits in restricted classes will be judged with respect to Quality available within the range of the restriction. See Rule 2.6. Duplication is also restricted for these classes. See Rule 2.8(a).

Rule 2.6 Quality Defined: Quality in mineral specimens shall refer to condition of crystals (freedom from bruises and flaws) size of crystals (typical of species) crystal arrangement (attitude of crystals on specimen) clarity freedom from excess foreign material and the amount of identified material that is visible. Repaired specimens are permitted. Effectiveness of the repair will be judged under Quality. The basis for reference in judging Quality will depend on the scope of the display.

A display limited in chemical or physical properties (RESTRICTION X) will be judged with respect to representatives of the same type with the particular characteristic of the class.

Quality of specimens in a display limited to a region or locality (RESTRICTION Y), will be judged by comparison with what exists from that area.

Rule 2.7 Deleted November 1, 2001

Rule 2.8 OUT‑OF‑CLASS Deduction for OUT‑OF‑CLASS specimens shall be five(5) points for each OUT‑OF‑CLASS specimen, to be deducted from the TOTAL score awarded the exhibit. Once a specimen has been judged to be OUT‑OF‑CLASS it will not be of consideration in judging Quality, nor will its label be judged. OUT‑OF‑CLASS specimens for mineral exhibits are:

(a) Duplication.

(1) In general classes, duplication of a species, or duplication of a variety of a species will be charged as OUT‑OF‑CLASS. Example: QUARTZ and QUARTZ variety AMETHYST are not considered aduplication.

(2) In X, Y, & XY restricted classes, duplication will not be charged if a difference is shown by eachspecimen, i.e., association, crystal form, color, locality, and/or variety. In such exhibits as crystals withinclusions, enclosed and enclosing minerals will be considered as a unit. Likewise, in pseudomorphs,replaced and replacing minerals will be considered as a unit. Duplication will be charged only whenthere is a duplication of a unit.

(b) Lapidary specimens in a mineral exhibit. However, lapidary treatment of mineral specimens will be allowed if such treatment is used ONLY to reveal desirable inclusions or other special features.

(c) Commercially manufactured minerals, those home grown or coming out of laboratories, or those assembled from separate pieces, rearranged or dyed are considered synthetic specimens and are OUT‑OF‑CLASS.

(d) Specimens over or under the imposed number limitation.

(e) Specimens over or under the imposed size limitation.

(f) Minerals and materials embedded within plastics.

(g) Specimens in X, Y, or XY restricted classes which do not meet the specified restrictions for that class.

Rule 2.9 Cabinet, miniature, thumbnail and/or micromount specimens as complete exhibits will be allowed only in classes provided for them. Rules and restrictions under the appropriate subdivisions will apply.

Rule 2.10 References
(a) Nomenclature and classification shall be based on the latest Fleischer’s Glossary and AFMS Mineral Classification List.

(b) Geographical names are acceptable as they appear in any Journal or published book on the subject,or in other generally accessible sources of information (atlas dictionary gazetteer Cross Referenceof Localities, published by the U.S. Postal Service etc.).

(c) The exhibitor may provide the judges with supplemental information. Example: If a mineral is exhibited that is not on the AFMS Mineral classification list the exhibitor should supply the source of the name and classification. See Rule 2.10, c,1 and 2.12.

1. The reference information may be included in the comment column of the Mineral list. See Rule 2.12

2. For exhibits of a special nature, the exhibitor may provide a copy of appropriate reference material for the judges. The judges cannot be responsible for returning the material to the exhibitor.

Rule 2.11 Imposed size in terms of a cube This cube when placed over the specimen as displayed, shall have the surface of one face parallel to the display surface. Specimen orientation can determine the eligibility for a given class or subdivision.

Rule 2.12 Reference List Each exhibitor in B Division shall furnish to the exhibits chairperson a prepared list, on the form supplied, of the specimens in his or her case with a diagram showing the location of the specimens within the case. The form on which to do this will be furnished to the exhibitor when his entry is accepted or confirmed. The accuracy of spelling on the list will not be judged.


See Section II, Page S-II-1-2011 and S-II-2-2011

Category L S Q SP O W

A 15 15 70

B 15 10 55 20

M 10 5 55 5 25


Please read all online Division B Rules above.

Rule 7.1 Micromounts are mineral specimens in which the individual crystals are so small as to require magnification to correctly identify and evaluate the mineral.

(a) Micromount specimens shall be of a size no larger than will fit into a 1 X 1 1/2 X 1 inch box.

(b) Micromount Class BM-1 shall have thirty-five (35) specimens. All Subdivision BM Restricted Classes shall have a maximum of thirty-five (35) specimens and a minimum of twenty-five (25) specimens. The Rocky Mountain Micromineral Association competition will be on 5 mounted specimens.

(c) Evaluation of the exhibit shall be based upon the microscopic examination of at least fifteen (15) mounts the Rules Chairman or a person delegated by him shall designate which specimens are to be examined. 3 mounted specimens randomly selected from the 5 samples mentioned in rule 7.1 (b*) above will be examined, for this annual Rocky Mountain Micromineral Association’s competition.

(d) Micromount label scoring shall be based on the correctness of all labels. Compositions can be chemical formulas from Fleischer’s Glossary, https://rruff.info/ima/ or classifications from the AFMS Mineral Classification List at: https://www.amfed.org/rules/AFMS_Mineral_List_2003.pdf

(e) deleted Nov.1 2001

(f) The exhibitor shall indicate, in the case and on the box, the orientation of the mount with respect to the viewer.

(g) The exhibitor shall provide a list of the specimens with the species and location for each. Each specimen on the list should have a number corresponding to one on the specimen box. The List will not be subject to judging. Download a blank form from here: https://www.amfed.org/rules/AFMS_Mineral_Competition_List.pdf

Rule 7.2 Exhibitor must leave display case keys with the Rules Chairman prior to time of judging, or arrange to open case when necessary. See S-1-4-2011, Rule 3.9 There will be no display cases either provided or needed.

Rule 7.3 Showmanship: Rule 7.2 shall apply. In addition, any method which will enable the viewer to better visualize the Micromounts will be considered, i.e., photographs, drawings, magnification. If photographs are used, they must be of the specimens exhibited and need not be taken by the exhibitor. There will be no cases or points for that type of showmanship in this “downsized competition” only points for showmanship in mounting and labeling.

Rule 7.4 Orientation defined: the proper positioning and angulation of the specimen so that the central point of interest may be observed without necessitating further movement of the mount than to place it in focus under the microscope.

Rule 7.5 Workmanship defined: the ability of the exhibitor to display the intended material with the least amount of distraction when it is properly oriented e.g., lack of glare or roughness of boxes, no glue showing, pedestal not visible when viewing specimen, excess matrix trimmed from specimen. See Rule 7.4.


See Section II, Pages S-II-1-2011 and S-II-2-2011

Category: Labeling 10

Showmanship 5

Quality 55

Orientation 5

Workmanship 25


Total - 100


Like previous years, all of the micromount classes will be open for this year's RMMA competition.

BM‑1 Micromount minerals, any type. (M)(1)(T10)

BM‑2X Micromount minerals, single crystals, with or without matrix, twinned crystals allowed. (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑3X Micromount minerals, crystals with inclusions Judges will consider both the enclosed and enclosing minerals as a unit. Duplication will be charged only when there is a duplication of the unit.See Rule 2.1(f). (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑4X Micromount minerals, pseudomorphs Judges will consider variety of replaced and replacing minerals as one unit. Duplication will be charged only when there is a duplication of a unit.See Rule 2.1(f). (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑5X Micromount minerals all of which contain the same chemical element, e.g., all lead minerals, all boron minerals, all copper minerals, all sulfur minerals, etc. (M)(1)(T11).

BM-6X Micromount minerals, minerals of One Class or One Group Examples: native elements, sulfides, carbonates, OR garnet group, mica group, zeolite group, etc. (M)(1)(T11)

BM‑7X Micromount minerals, One Mineral Series OR One Species Examples: plagioclase series, OR calcite, wulfenite, etc. (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑8Y Micromount minerals from one locality, mine or mineral district (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑9Y Micromount minerals from one state (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑10Y Micromount minerals from one country (M)(1)(T11).

BM‑11XY Micromount specialized minerals The exhibitor shall limit the exhibit to one category in each of the following two groups:

Group I

a. single crystals

b. crystals with inclusions

c. pseudomorphs

d. minerals all of which contain the same chemical element.

e. minerals of one class or group

f. minerals of one series or species

Group II.Group II

a. minerals from one locality, mine or district

b. minerals from one state

c. minerals from one country.