New Eastern Europe Update 09 March 2021

9 March 2021

Two weeks ago, we enjoyed many mineral treasures from Western Europe, so thought it only considerate to do the same for Eastern Europe this week.

The boundaries of Eastern Europe are somewhat harder to define and, admittedly, a little artistic licence has been applied by including Norway and some parts of Russia, so far east as to officially be in Asia. Russia is a transcontinental county, spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is actually quite surprising that Russia extends as far east as the Sea of Japan! The Ural Mountains are often regarded as the boundary between Europe and Asia, so this criterion has been (mainly) applied to this update.

Putting geographical nuances aside, we have some great minerals for you to look at and also buy, should something grab you. Fingers crossed! By chance we have a few really good fluorescent specimens, so take a look at the web photos to see what surprising colours they emit once under longwave ultraviolet. So, here is a snapshot of some of the great specimens which await your study.

Beginning with the fluorescents, from the ancient mining district of Gyöngyösoroszi in the Mátra Mountains of Hungary, a milky-white Calcite composed of trigonal scalenohedral crystals to over 5.5 cm tall which under LWUV fluoresces a pinkish-red grading to reddish orange terminations. Stepping up a level, look at the Calcite with Sphalerite and Quartz from the Trepča Complex in Kosovo. The Calcite fluoresces peachy orange gradually strengthening to the orange red of hot embers. The Adamite from Lavrion is a pale minty-apple green on white Calcite in daylight yet fluoresces bright apple-lime green against a background of deep purple Calcite under LWUV.

And talking of Lavrion in Greece, as well as this lovely Adamite, take a look at the Azurite with Zincolivenite; the Annabergite and also a splendid Olivenite from the famous Kamariza mines at Agios Konstantinos. Bright olive to lime green acicular crystals of the copper arsenate Olivenite densely coat a shallow depression in a matrix of iron-rich gossan, typical of this district whose mines first flourished during the Classical Greece times of the 5th and 4th centuries BCE.

We must give mention to Russia, starting with a classic specimen of Uvarovite Garnet from the Biserskoye Chromium Deposit in the Middle Urals. This specimen was once in the mineral collection of Archduke Stephan Franz Viktor of Hungary (1817 to 1867). We also have a very modestly priced Malachite from the Nizhnetagilskii Massif; a lovely Crocoite with Pyromorphite from Berezovskii, also in the Middle Urals, and a glassy Axinite-(Fe) from Puiva Mount in Western-Siberia.

Our last mention is of a couple of interesting Polish specimens. First a meteorite, an H5 olivine-bronzite chondrite, who’s descent through the Earth’s atmosphere was observed on 30th January 1868. Meteorites are named for where then land, this being the famous Pultusk Meteorite. And then to the Jeglowa quarry in Lower Silesia from where we have a wonderfully gemmy, elongated Quartz crystal measuring to almost 14 cm, ice-clear and colourless, a real treat indeed.

Eastern Europe is a big place. If you thought it a long walk to your local shops, think again. But within its distant boundaries there is contained much mineralogical wealth and diversity, and hopefully today’s update will convey a little of this. Enjoy.


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Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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