New Eastern Europe Update 12 March 2021

12 March 2021

We break with tradition today by expending Tuesday’s theme to include Asian Russia in addition to Eastern Europe. Looking through our stock we came across many fine specimens from Dal'negorsk in the Far-Eastern Region of Russia. The mining district of Dal'negorsk is situated close to the Sea of Japan, indicating just how big a country Russia is. As well as a Russian thread, we also have several specimens which exhibit beautiful structure, amongst these are two Calcites, a Greek Smithsonite and an amazing Romanian Azurite. And for those interested in rare species, a great Russian Marshite and a rare chondrite Meteorite which fell to Earth exactly 122 years ago this evening, crashing through sea-ice off the coast of Finland.

As today is the anniversary of the arrival of the Bjurböle Meteorite, let’s begin with it. The fireball was observed to fall at 21:30 hours on 12th March 1899 in the vicinity of Helsinki and was seen crashing into the sea. Fortunately, this part of the sea was frozen and the point of penetration through the ice was quickly discovered the following day. Locals constructed a wooden casement down to the shallow seabed and were able to recover a sizable part of the meteorite. This has since been classified as an L/LL4 chondrite, one of only 20 classified L/LL4 meteorites ever found. This miniature specimen clearly shows its granular rocky composition and the inclusion of metals within the rock fabric.

From Dal'negorsk, take a look at an aesthetic Calcite coated in pale biscuit coloured Siderite with Quartz and Chalcopyrite and a gorgeous gemmy Fluorite of colourless, almost spherical crystals; of a size, colour and texture which makes them appear squashable, like big juicy jellies. Also, from this classic mining district, a beautiful delicate pink manganese-bearing Calcite forming stepped pagoda-like prisms and a museum-size Chalcopyrite with Sphalerite and Quartz with Chalcopyrite crystals to 5 cm wide!

Other highlights include an Azurite from the Banat Mountains in Romania, composed of small glassy Azurite crystals and architectural stalagmites of Azurite forming elegant rod-like towers. From the Sounion area to the south of the Lavrion mining district in Greece, a magnificent thick shell of bubbly, botryoidal creamy and buttermilk coloured Smithsonite with a stunning silky lustre. And finally, mention must be given to a lovely Native Gold from the mountainous region of Roşia Montană in north-west Romania. The Gold forms thin sheets which fold and twist over the matrix surface. Low magnification reveals superb, crystallised surfaces, often with triangular growth patterns, manifesting from the Gold’s isometric crystallography.

Hopefully, some of these offerings will entice you to look further and there are many other fine and fascinating specimens not mentioned here which await your attention! What better start to the weekend could there be than indulging in fine minerals? We hope you enjoy today’s diverse selection, find the specimens and their stories interesting, and perhaps discover one just begging to join your collection.

Here is what you have to look forward to in next week's updates:

Tuesday 16th March and Friday 19th March - British & Irish


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Author: JH
Categories: Updates

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