New Europe Update 21 May 2021

21 May 2021

IT is just as well we are on a mineralogical tour of continental Europe this week because here in Somerset it has not stopped raining. British weather is famous for being fickle, but near constant rain mixed with the odd electrical storm really is beyond the pale!

The good news is a June heatwave is predicted for Somerset with “18 days of sunshine” which conveniently overlaps the Crystal Classics Summer Open Day on Saturday 12th June, so bring your sunglasses and shorts!

In alphabetical order, our meander across Europe today passes through Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and finally Spain. I better come clean concerning one of our Russian specimens before the letters start flooding in questioning our understanding of geography. We included three Russian specimens only realising later that one is from Dal'negorsk, much closer to Japan than Moscow! So yes, we do have one rouge visitor from far east Asia, but it is a beauty and even rules governing mineral updates are made to be broken!

So, following this same order, from Austria we have a Celestine on Dolomite from Katschberg and a Strontianite from Oberdorf an der Laming. Light sky blue Celestine crystals form a 1.5 cm cluster on creamy curved crystals of Dolomite with scalenohedral Calcite crystals. The Strontianite is composed of gorgeous composite crystals to 6 cm wide forming curved flattened sprays with pale tangerine bodies grading to translucent creamy-white terminations.

There are also two offerings from France, the first, a fascinating miniature Baryte from Saint-Georges-les-Bains. Thick tabular rhombic crystals contain beautifully coloured zones in many shades of cream, white and grey, punctuated with a fabulous rhombohedral-shaped band of teal blue. And from the Mont Blanc Massif near Chamonix, a beautiful transparent miniature Quartz Gwindel lightly dusted with micro-crystals of pale green Chlorite which imparts a greenish hue.

The Malachite from Siegen in Germany is what is termed primary malachite, in that deep emerald green acicular crystals form rosettes to 2 cm diameter in a Goethite-Limonite nodule of bright rusty ochre, orange and chocolate brown.

Monteponi mine on the Italian island of Sardinia is Europe’s best occurrence of the rare lead chlorocarbonate, Phosgenite. This ex-matrix miniature is composed of two intergrown crystals of up to 3 cm whose prisms of translucent pinkish champaign have deeply striated faces and mirror flat, highly lustrous pinacoid terminations. From Sicily, a sublime Aragonite whose individual hexagonal prisms are up to 4 cm tall and of cream with a distinct tint of pale lemon. Under LWUV the specimen transforms to a bright candyfloss pink fading to pale pinkish-tips and terminations. Finally on the Italian mainland, a lovely dark blackberry purple Fluorite with crystals to 2.5 cm displaying some stepped growth from the Camissinone mine.

Kosovo, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia each have one specimen to offer today. A museum quality Calcite with Rhodochrosite, Pyrite and Quartz from the Trepča Complex will amaze you. This is followed by a particularly fine cluster of transparent colourless Quartz crystals from the Jegłowa quarry in SW Poland, composed of gemmy Quartz crystals to 7 cm and displaying the Dauphiné habit. From Ľubietová, formerly Libethen, a lovely miniature Pseudomalachite on iron-stained milky Quartz veinstone. The world famous Mežica mining district in Slovenia is famed for its Wulfenite. This 16 cm long specimen is encrusted with bright zesty orange to acidic lemon tabular Wulfenite crystals of typically 4 to 8 mm on edge, yet frequently attaining 1, 1.5 and even 1.9 cm. Each crystal is interlayered with alternating colours of Wulfenite which manifest around every prism edge. A stunning specimen.

Take a look also at a rare old time specimen of copper-enriched turquoise-sky blue botryoidal Hemimorphite from Dognecea; a really beautiful Amethyst Quartz draped with Marcasite from Boldut mine and a miniature botryoidal Malachite from the Ocna de Fier iron-copper skarn deposit in the Banat mountains, all three specimens from Romania.

From Spain a choice miniature gemmy blue Fluorite from Emilio mine and a fine gemmy colour-zoned purple and lilac group of three intergrown Fluorite crystals from the Berbes Mining District.

And finally to Russia with two European localities and that cheekily sneaked in Asian specimen! The Pyromorphite from the classic mining area of Berezovskii in the Middle Urals has a light to dark tan arenaceous matrix almost entirely covered with curved barrel-shaped crystals of siskin-green Pyromorphite. Another classic from the Ural Mountains is Beryl, with a simple, single hexagonal prismatic Aquamarine crystal. The transparent yet slightly cloudy crystal hints of pale watery-green punctuated by horizontal bands of subtle aquamarine-blue. Then, with just a ten hour flight from Moscow to Primorskiy Kray, a seriously stunning Galena with Sphalerite and Calcite from Nikolaevskiy mine. Let’s just say this is in far eastern Russia rather than Asia, so as not to rock the European boat!

A diverse range of European countries and minerals which feature many historic classics, gorgeous aesthetics and rare localities all for you to pour over this weekend. We hope the weather is better for you than here in England, but come rain or shine, enjoy today’s selection and maybe discover a piece or two to add to your own collection.

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

Tuesday 25th & Friday 28th May - Gem Minerals


If you'd like to see a video of any of the specimens listed above then please contact us at and we'll be happy to assist you. We endeavour to respond to all enquires within 24 hours during weekdays, however at the weekend it might take us a little longer to respond.

We are delighted to announce that the Crystal Classics Summer Open Day will be taking place on Saturday, June 12.

Our beautiful showroom in East Coker, Somerset will be open from 10am to 5pm and will be packed with thousands of fine and rare minerals. There will be many specimens from new, recently purchased collections as well as many fresh Fluorite finds from our mines in Weardale, County Durham.

A delicious breakfast and lunch will also be provided by The Village Cafe which is located next door to our offices.

To book your place please email Debbie at or by phone 01935 862 673 to register your interest.

COVID-19 guidelines will be in place during the day and the following is expected of all visitors:

- Face masks must be worn at all times
- Social distancing must be carried out
- You must wash your hands upon entry to the showroom (in addition there will be several hand sanitiser dispensers provided throughout the building)

It promises to be a great day and we look forward to welcoming you all.



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Author: JH
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