THE ISLAND OF ELBA
Many museums in the world have in their collection, among the most beautiful specimens, those of Elba Island.
The Museum of Florence, in particular, has the largest collection in the world, consisting in more than 6000 specimens, mostly deriving from nineteenth century collections.
Since the ancient times the Elba island has been known and exploited for the iron minerals of the east coast. Starting from the eighteenth-century, Elba becomes the target of many relevant scientific studies as well as a please where many important minerals (both from an aesthetical and scientific point of view) were collected.
Starting from Ermenegildo Pini in 1777, during the whole nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth century, ground researches and description of collections followed.
From Ottaviano Targioni Tozzetti to G. vom Rath, from Antonio D'Achiardi to his son Giovanni, from Giuseppe Grattarolo to Federico Millosevich and his school (U. Panichi, E. Grill, P. Comucci) many, most of all Italian, scientists paid their attention to Elba minerals.
Two are the main geological environments:
1) a large granodioritic batholite rimmed by thermometamorphic rocks. In the magmatic intrusion are hosted some pegmatitic bodies in which were found numerous spectacular samples of tourmaline and beryl as well as rare oxides and silicates.
2) metasomatic skarn type mineralizations characterized by Fe- oxides as main minerals with associated sulphides and sulphates, oxides, halides and phosphates as alteration minerals.
Notwithstanding the beauty of the island Elba samples the variety of the geological situations and the several performed researches during a long period, only seven are the new species found for the first time. Actually few in consideration of the 166 species identified in the whole island.
The new seven species are (ordered by taking into account their discovering age):
Ilvaite, a Ca Fe sorosilicate, firstly recognized by Leliève in the 1806 and subsequently officially named by Steffen in the 1811 in honor of the island ("Ilva" in Latin).
Pollucite, a Cs-tectosilicate, in absolute the first mineral of this element, recognized by Breithaupt in the 1846 actually as a K-silicate. The presence of Cs was only later realized by Pisani in the 1864. The name of the mineral was attributed in memory of the Greek hero Pollux.
Dachiardite, a zeolite identified by Giovanni D'Achiardi in the 1905 and named in commemoration of his father Antonio.
Elbaite, a Li-Al tourmaline. Vernadsky in the 1913 gave this name to the mineral with the aim to indicate a Fe-Mg-free tourmaline.
Minguzzite, a K-Fe ossalate, discovered in the 1955 by Garavelli and named in commemoration of Prof. Minguzzi from Pavia.
Bonattite, a tri-hydrate Cu sulphate, discovered in the 1957 by Garavelli and dedicated to Prof. Bonatti, a mineralist from Pisa.
Uranopolicrase, that is a complex Ti, Nb, U and REE oxide, firstly identified by Aurisicchio and coworkers in the 1993. The name of the mineral is due to the its analogies with the policrase-Y.
Morganite - Grotta dOggi, S.Piero in Campo, Isola dElba
Pink Tourmaline - Facciatoia, S.Piero in Campo, Isola dElba
Tourmaline and Quartz - Grotta dOggi, S.Piero in Campo, Isola dElba
Ematite - Rio Marina, Isola dElba
Limonite ( stalactitic specimen) - Rio Marina, Isola dElba