2005 - 2008 : Three years of Giant Crystal Project !
Three years ago, the Giant Crystal went online after some months of preparations, lots of data collection and programming. Since that time the Giant Crystal Project is a ever growing resource of information about the largest mineral crystals and aggregates and about some of the most outstanding natural wonders known on this planet.And it will continue to grow ! For 2008 we plan new pages about the famous "Green Hill" of Tsumen, Namibia, most probably the largest mass of malachite ever discoveres; about the giant masses of native copper found on the Keweenaw peninsula and about some historic giant quartz caves in the Swiss Alps and much more ! Keep visiting these pages ftom time to time and you surely will find some interesting new stuff !
Again its time for a bit of statistics. As you can see from the graph displayed above, 2007 was a very sucessful year in terms of visitors and almost 200.000 people - 195.788 to be exact = 536 visitors a day - came here to view and learn about giant crystals. Thank you very much to all of you !
Here is our half year statistics table for more information and trackkeeping of our visitor numbers. If you are keen to view even more numbers, please do not hesitate to go here.
December, 19th 2007 :
Wintertime on the northern hemisphere and Christmas is around the corner. Looking for giant crystals ? Well, you now can most likely find them while strolling simply through your neighbourhood ! Winter is the time for decorative ice flowers on windows and for large ice crystals on frozen lakes and pools, easily reaching a size of 1 m or more ? Explore your surrounding and if you are lucky, you will find one or another "nice ice specimen" of truly remarkable size and natural beauty !
Not convinced ? Simply have a look at the photo below, showing 1 m+ large ice crystals on a frozen surface, photographed just a few days ago.
P.S. Feel free to send us your findings...
December, 8th 2007 :
Opened the second and last part of the new and largely extended Quarzberg Virtual Walk on the Verloren plateau, central Namibia. Have a look here and enjoy.
Corrected some errors here and there. Thanks to all of you for pointing them out ! Updated the "List of large crystals"
with a phenomenal 33 cm large anglesite crystal from Touissit, Morocco, sended in by a belgian collector. Thank you !
November, 20th 2007 :
Introducing the first part of the all new Quarzberg Virtual Walk on the Verloren plateau, central Namibia. The second part is coming soon. Have a look here and enjoy.
And another important message : Lately we have been asked by several people about permission to visit or organize a trip to the Naica mine giant gypsum crystals. Sorry, but we are in no way affiliated with Penoles, a mexican mining company and owner of the property nor do we have ourself permission to visit the crystal cave in that mine. So, please contact the Penoles company independently and directly, if you wants to visit the Naica mine and its giant crystals. Thank you !
November, 9th 2007 :
If you like to know, how a giant amethyst geode is excavated, please have a look at Jordi Fabre`s Forum here.
New information added to several asian giant crystal localities : Dalnegorsk, Hejiawan and Ichinokawa. Please have a look around.
November, 4th 2007 :
Even more information added about the Hoba meteorite including an extended Virtual Visit, some historic photos and a scientific publication about the Hoba from 1932 in our Reading Room. Feel free to have a look around and send us your comments.
October, 10th 2007 :
We are back from Africa and our summer break. Namibia again was a great country to travel and we are back with new images and infos about the Hoba meteorite and the Verloren giant quartzes. This time I spent several hours at the Quarzberg, taking many images and seeing much more giant crystals !
For a start I added a virtual walk around the Hoba meteorite near Grootfontein, which you can find here (click virtual visit. Enjoy ! More updates coming soon.
August, 6th 2007 :
Uff..Too much work in the moment ! And another trip to Africa is coming up soon. So the Giant Crystal Project takes a much needed summer break. See you again in autumn end of September ! But wait, here is a little quartz I just came across :
Giant Quartz crystal mined from a deposit in Arkansas Photo : Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines
By the way : This quartz crystal is for sale. For more information please click on the crystal photo above.
July, 3rd 2007 :
Courtesy of Mr. Fernandez - Cortes you are now able to read several scientific publications about the Pulpi Geode and its microclimatological problems in english language. Please click here to acess the Pilar de Jaravia section of our reading room or here to visit the updated Pulpi Geode site. Thank you very much.
A quick word about our statistics. The Giant Crystal Project is experiencing an ever growing traffic since its foundation in early 2005, as you can see in the statistics below. Thank you indeed to all of our visitors and feel free to link to our site.
June, 26th 2007 :
Sorry for the long delay in updating, but geological consulting work again took its toll. I even visited northern Mexico - evaluating coal deposits in Coahuila, but though I really wanted, I did not make it to Naica. But at least I am getting close...
New information and photos - thanks to Mr. Holzapfel - added about the Debar gypsum mine in Macedonia as well as Merkers potash mine and the Kovdor structure. Have a look around and enjoy.
May, 22nd 2007 :
A LARGE Naica update : Lots of news on the giant gypsum crystals at Naica. Please have a look here for our new and updated site on Naica, here for not less than three new scientific publications about the geology and the formation of the giant gypsum crystals at Naica and here for the first entries of the ongoing speleological expedition to Naica by the italian Laventa group. And then there is a downloadable breathtaking calender (in pdf - format) about the Naica crystals, which you can find on Karl Heupels website here. Thank you Karl !.
And now for something completely different... I have updated my specimen trading list with about 40 new and rare specimen. Please have a look here, if you are interested in any trades with me.
May, 6th 2007 :
Several pages updated with new information, photos etc, namely : the ikaites of Denmark, the Anloua vivianites, the rhodochrosites from Capillitas (including a new publication in the Reading Room), and the Ascensao beryls in Portugal. Please have a look around and enjoy !
April, 14th 2007 :
I just came back from some days in Belgium, where I visited the Central Africa Museum at Tervuren near Brussels. Unfortunately most of their famous mineral collection is not in the public exhibition, but there is a massive malachite aggregate from Shaba, Kongo on display, which you can see below. Though technically it is an botroyidal aggregate of myriads of single malachite crystals, it surely is an immpressive specimen typical for the species.
Giant malachite aggregate from the Congo
Much work is conducted on the Naica giant gypsum crystals these days. Serious documentation work by the italian Laventa Group is in progress and there is also a new scientific publication out about the giant gypsum crystal formation including a magnificient cover photo on the April 2007 Geology volume of the Geological Society of America.
Please find below the abstract of the publication. For more information please click here and here.
Formation of natural gypsum megacrystals in Naica, Mexico
by : Juan Manuel García-Ruiz, , Roberto Villasuso, Carlos Ayora, Angels Canals, Fermín Otálora
Exploration in the Naica mine (Chihuahua, Mexico) recently unveiled several caves containing giant, faceted, and transparent single crystals of gypsum (CaSO4•2H2O) as long as 11 m. These large crystals form at very low supersaturation. The problem is to explain how proper geochemical conditions can be sustained for a long time without large fluctuations that would trigger substantial nucleation. Fluid inclusion analyses show that the crystals grew from low-salinity solutions at a temperature of 54 °C, slightly below the one at which the solubility of anhydrite equals that of gypsum. Sulfur and oxygen isotopic compositions of gypsum crystals are compatible with growth from solutions resulting from dissolution of anhydrite previously precipitated during late hydrothermal mineralization, suggesting that these megacrystals formed by a self-feeding mechanism driven by a solution-mediated, anhydrite-gypsum phase transition. Nucleation kinetics calculations based on laboratory data show that this mechanism can account for the formation of these giant crystals, yet only when operating within the very narrow range of temperature identified by our fluid inclusion study. These singular conditions create a mineral wonderland, a site of scientific interest, and an extraordinary phenomenon worthy of preservation.
March, 24th 2007 :
Many european and african locality pages updated with new information and links to other relevant mineralogical sites. Please have a look around.
March, 20th 2007 :
For the first time the Giant Crystals Project had more then 1000 visitors in 24 hours ! For more information on the current statistics please click here.
March, 18th 2007 :
I just received an email by a certain Rafael from Brazil with a photo of a 3 m sized beryl crystal freshly mined at the Jatoba Mine, Santa Maria de Itabira, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Thank you, Rafael, for this first brazilian contribution :
From the image the Jatoba Mine seems to be a typical giant grain sized pegmatite with gigantic feldspar, mica and beryl crystals.
March, 5th 2007 :
Added new information about some african localities here, here, here, and here including a link to a publication by Peter Bancroft about a field trip to Seberged Island. Also introduced a new font for the locality pages, which I think is better readable than the bold font used til now. Please tell me, what you think.
February, 23th 2007 :
Well, actually I planned to publish a new page about the giant crystals of the russian Kola peninsula, but it seems this is a bit too complex for now... and we are also still lacking some good images. So, if you have some to share, please contact me here. So for a start I restricted the page to the Kovdor ultramafic ring complex in the outer west of the Kola Peninsula with giant crystals of phlogopite, diopside, forsterite and apatite as well as "sub - giant" 40 cm pyrite crystals.
Also streamlined our entrance page with new pulldown menus and a new topic "Other publications", where I would like to share with you some of my "non giant crystal", geology related publications.
February, 20th 2007 :
New information added about the Natas / Verloren megaquartzes in Namibia and the Hennenkobel feldspar crystals in Bavaria.
We also have a new bilingual forum (english - german) online with Mineralienatlas.de, where you can discuss any large & giant crystal related topic with a broad plenum of geologists and mineral enthusiasts. Please feel free to use this forum for your questions and remarks.
January, 30th 2007 :
Introduced a slightly straightened layout on some of the locality pages such as Perticara, Kongsberg, Sivas and Kestelek. More to follow, please tell me what you think about the new layout. Also added / changed some photos at these pages and added a new turkish publication with extended english abstracr about the geology and formation Sisac Cermik travertine in the Reading Rooom. Please have a look around.
January, 24th 2007 :
More information added on the Lechuguilla, the Capillitas mine and Ikkafjord pages. I also checked and updated the links and found, that some sites with valuable information about giant crystal localities are gone. Hmmm, I would be glad, if the site owners tell me about any future site problems ahead of closing down, so I could arrange for saving the content here. So, please contact me before you close down your giant crystal related website. Thank you.
German Mineralienatlas recently started a series of "Mineral Portraits" (in german) with excellent descriptions and photos of various mineral species. Here you can find a portrait of the mineral rhodochrosite in all its splendour and particularily a description about the discovery of the Capillitas rhodochrosite cave. Well worth a visit !
January, 9th 2007 :
The Giant Crystal Project celebrates its second birthday !
Sorry, we are a bit late with this anniversary update, but here we are. And its again time for a bit of statitics.
In 2006 we had 216 visitors a day with the total visitor number being 79163, up from 57637 visitors in 2005 = 156 visitors per day. This is an increase of 38 % in visitor numbers compared with 2005. As of January, 2th, noon (MEZ) we had a total number of 137571 guests including recurrent visitors, who visited our site since its informal start in late December, 2004. Well, to be honest, you have to deduct some 100 counts as maintenance visits by the Giant Crystal Project management.
The graph above is a compilation of our monthly visit count and maybe also interesting for some statistic enthusiastics. For more information about the statistics of this website please click here.
2007 will be an interesting year in terms of Giant Crystals, as a serious exploration of the Naica giant crystal cave will start in the next weeks by Laventa, an italian speleogist association. For more information about this spectacular project, which may give us some very important clues about giant crystal formation, please click here and here.
The Giant Crystal Project again participated in the annual Geoberg - Award competition run by the Geoberg Website and this time we managed to fetch the "Bronze Award", which you can see below. Let's see, that we get even better next year !
December, 31th, 2006 :
The Giant Crystal Project wishes all of you a happy and healthy New Year 2007!
New information and images added at several pages : Turkish probertites here and epithermal calcites here; russian Dalnegorsk here and turkmenian Kapkutan here as well as the Etta mine here. Enjoy exploring these pages !
December, 19th, 2006 :
New page added about "giant basalt crystals" i.e. basalt columns, which are taken by many people as crystals, but are in fact just a cooling / shrinking phenomen in basalt lavas. For more information please click here.
The Giant Crystal Project wishes all visitors and contributors a merry Christmas time !
December, 11th, 2006 :
Yesterday evening I had a completely new "Giant Crystal Experience" while looking the "The Core" movie on TV. The story : The liquid earth core has stopped spinning and the magnetic field is falling apart. Catastrophic thunder storms and devastating electromagnetic waves starts to destroy our civilization and within one year the globe will be charred by cosmic rays...The solution : Terranauts on board of an "earth ship" are sent down to the inner core to dump some atomic bombs (!) there in order to "restart" the earth core and restore our magnetic field. For more information about the movie please visit the Internet Movie Database here
And so the journey begins. Eventually our inteprid terranauts reach a depth of 700 miles and stumble across a giant geode, filled with ...? (air ??) and giant amethyst crystals !!. And here are some snap shots of this encounter taken from the TV :
Interior of the giant "Amethyst Geode"
Earth Ship "Virgil" within giant Amethyst crystals
Terranauts exploring a maze of giant crystals
All displayed images belong to Paramount. Sorry for the bad quality of the images. Well, what should I say : Impressive images and impressive film, though full of geological impossibilities. Maybe they should have taken one more geologist on board instead of just geophysicists...;-) But apart from that it surely is an enjoyable film. And to be honest - the display of the giant amethyst geode is not all too bad and certainly resemble some well known real crystal cave.
And now for some more updates :
I added new information about the Merit Pila giant amber aggregates, Indonesia, giant stibnites at the Ichinokawa Mine in Japan and about giant beryls at Ascensao, Portugal and elsewhere. Please have a look around and enjoy.
November, 21th, 2006 :
The six presentations of the Giant Crystal Project during the Münchner Mineralientage were a great sucess with about 400 people attending in total. Thank you all very much indeed for your attention and feedback !
Giant blue celestite crystals in the Heineman "Crystal Cave"
Photo source : Isaac Littman / Netnerd at www.flickr.com
Thanks to the public photos of various www.flickr.com contributors I was able to add several images and more information to the following pages :
- Put-in-Bay celestite crystals
- Etta mine spodumene crystals
- Harding mine spodumene and calcite crystals
- Hühnerkobel pegmatite in the Bavarian forest
- Capillitas mine, Argentina rhodochrosite stalagtites
- Naica mine, Mexico giant gypsum crystals
- Pilar de Jaravia giant gypsum geode
- Debar mine, Macedonia giant gypsum crystals
November, 2nd, 2006 : Today I received this very nice letter of gratitude :
RE : A Big Thanks
Hello! I wanted to write and say Thank You so very, very much for giving my husband and me a tour of your Crystal Cave. It was absolutely fabulous and we loved it. We were the couple who came up on Oct. 13 th. this year to take a tour and you were already closed for the season. You may remember me as the girl who had the teddy bear in her back pack on my back. We take that bear with us to all the caves that we tour. He is are vacation mascot kind of. Ha, Ha. We greatly appreciate your graciousness of opening it up and giving us a special private tour the day. It meant a lot to us for you to do that. We had planned the trip special to come up from North Canton, Oh. The trip across Lake Erie was very rough that day due to the bad windy weather. Unfortunately my husband does not have sea legs and got sick on the way over. But after a little time to re-coop and seeing your fabulous cave it was all well worth it to him and me. Again I thank you so much and especially the guide who took the trouble to take us down. He was a very nice young man and we appreciate what he did for us. A special thanks to him. We will definitely be back again to see the cave. We are telling all our friends and family what a great sight it is to see and to come up and take the tour and what great people you are. Thanks again.
Ann & Rod G.
(& the teddy bear mascot)
I actually wanted to answer personally, but for some reason my email bounced back. But if you read this, Ann, thank you very much for your letter. However I have to inform you, that I am not the owner of the Crystal Cave, but only the owner of the Giant Crystal Project. Maybe it would be a good idea, to send your letter of gratitude again to the Heineman winery with a special greeting from the Giant Crystal Project. The right email you can find here. Nonetheless I loved your letter. Thank you very much again !
Leaving for the south now...see you in Munich ! Beware, its pretty cold right now in the south of Germany !
October, 30th, 2006 :
New information added to the Verloren / Natas giant quartz crystals and the petalite crystals of the Rubicon Mine in Namibia !. Also added new images and information to the uniwue island of Seberged / Zabargad in the Red Sea.
October, 26th, 2006 : Back from mineral collecting in Turkey. Nice country, friendly people and good mineral collecting !
There will be two Giant Crystal project presentations each day at the Mineralientage Forum in Munich, at 09:45 a.m and 13:30 p.m. on Friday, November, 3rd; Saturday, November, 4th and Sunday, November, 5th. See you in Munich !
I added a lot of new text and images to various pages including new information about Helgustadir in Iceland, the Hejiawan iceland spar province in China as well as the Kongsberg / Norway and Cobalt / Ontario silver localities. Please have a look around.
September, 29th, 2006 : New page added about the largest sulphur crystals and equally the largest single native element crystals, found at the Perticara mines, northern Italy.
August, 2nd 2006 : Some time ago we acquired an excellent and surely recommendable book :
BERNHARD, J.H. & HYRSL, J. : Minerals and their Localities. These book gives an state of the art desciption of all known (as of 2004) mineral species and their most notable occurences. A real must for the serious mineral collector.
As a new feature we started to fill in additional locality data sourced from this book about other notable and large crystals of the species described on the locality pages. So, for a start, if you want to get more information about large and famous halite localities, please look here and here, for huge vivianites here and aragonites here.
P.S. We also did a bit of general refomatting of the pages and added some information and new images here and there. So, please take the chance and have a fresh look around.
July, 28th 2006 : New page added - sorry for the delay - about the famous rhodochrosite stalagtites at the Mina Capillitas in western Argentina. Very nice pictures here.
We also have a new rumour out : According to a geologist friend of mine galena cubes up to 1 m size have been found at the Trepca polymetallic deposit in Kosovo / Serbia some years ago. If somebody know more details, please contact us. For more rumours still to be solved, please have a look here.
Finally we started a fresh update page. The older entries and announcements as well as some stunning photos can be found in our archive here.
For older updates please click here