|Updates, News and Announcements
July, 9th 2006 :The Giant Crystal Project will participate on the "Münchner Mineralientage 2006" mineral fair in Munich, Germany at the 3rd to 5th November 2006. We will present giant crystals in spectacular images and comments in a series of short 15 minutes presentations throughout the fair, two times a day. For more information about the upcoming Mineralientage mineral fair please have a look at http://www.mineralientage.de.
Thanks to Peter Kolesar we now also have a welcome site in czech language, which you can access here.
June, 26th 2006 : New page added about the spectacular mineral & mining locality of Dalnegorsk in Far East Russia, where giant hedenbergite spheres, "hexagonal" calcite and giant fluorite cubes are found beside many other interesting and showy mineral specimens. Please click here to find out more about one of the worlds most fascinating mineral localities.
Maybe you are still not convinced, that this odd quartz ridge in the remote Hakos mountains in Namibia really hosts real giant quartz crystals. Well, indeed they are difficult to spot. But this picture should surely convince you, though it 'only' shows one of the smaller crystals - just 12 m high... Please have a look here !
May, 31st 2006 : Funny things are happening (again) with our statistics. Please see yourself :
After ever growing visitor numbers in the first few months of the Giant Crystal Project until May 2005 (see entry of May, 1st, 2005 further below) we experienced a sudden drop in visitor numbers. This was probably due to a new anti spam campaign by webalizer. We then had a slow, but steadily increasing visitor numbers again until last months...and now it seems, that the spammers are back. Massively ! See here for more information. There are a lot of ominous sites like "http://las-vegas-vacation.chantaburi.org" or "http://freight.brevon.com/sitemap.htm" which sends us a lot of traffic and most of which are, funny enough, even unacessible by my computer. If you know how to get rid of / block those spammers, please let me know here please.
Another yet unsolved problem is, that Webalizer apparently just counts the entries for one year only. Any data older than one year is lost somewhere in cyberspace. Consequently it is not possible, to determine the absolute number of our visitors, but it must be now - unfortunately including spam sites - around 80.000 visitors in total since December 2004. If you know, how to adjust Webalizer to a two or more year mode, please let me know as well.
May, 10th 2006 : Sorry, but "Real Life" is taking its toll in the moment. As you might know, I am working as independent consultant geologist since 13 years with emphasis on hydrogeology, mineral exploration and industrial minerals and right now I have a lot of work. So I could spent only limited resources for the Giant Crystal Project right now...
However, there is also good news. Carmen B. pointed us to the newly founded "Naica Crystal Project" at http://www.naica.com.mx/ which has a fantastic documentation both in english and espanol about the Naica giant gypsum crystals. By all means, please dont miss this show !
From time to time rather unusual giant crystals are found in rather unusual places. How about this spectacular find of long acicular epsomite crystals in an abandoned mine shaft in the famous mining area of Kremnica / Slowakia ?
Epsomite crystals in Kremnica, Source : Jan Albrecht
These acicular epsomite crystals are in fact very interesting. They are a prime example of extremely long and extremely slender crystals, weighing only a few grams despite reaching a length 1 m easily - see here for more information about this sort of "paradoxon". On the other hand this feathery crystals show a very curious growth pattern. They are extruded from the host rock like "tooth paste out of the tube" or like the giant silver wires known from Kongsberg featured here. More about this interesting mineral find coming soon... I hope !
April, 4th 2006 : All American localities including the Ikafjord in Greenland are now equipped with locality maps and Google Earth links. I also enhanced some of the pages and added new information to the Ikafjord page and the page about the giant Carlsbad halite cubes. Have a look and enjoy.
March, 31st 2006 : The Giant Crystal Project is looking for scientists working at universities or similiar institutions, who are interested in the "Giant Crystal Matter" and would be willing to cooperate in future research projects. For more information please click here or contact us directly.
Recently Google Earth has updated its satellite imagery of Germany and you can now view most of Germany in high resolution mode. Please have a fresh look to the Merkers giant halite location and the famous Hennenkobel locality between Zwiesel and Bodenmais. Can you spot the mineshaft ? Enjoy !
A german geologist pointed us to several museums hosting giant quartz crystals in the 1 m range in Germany and Austria : The "Haus der Natur" in Salzburg and the Mineral Collection on the Turracher Höhe, both Austria. In Germany giant quartz crystals with similiar sizes are on display in the Kristallmuseum Riedenburg, the Heimatmuseum in Idar- Oberstein and the Museum "Reich der Kristalle" / Munich. Finally there are quite enormous groups of quartz crystals - possibly the largest in the world - exhibited in the Kristallgalerie in Swakopmund, Namibia.
Quite, honestly I have a bit of a problem with these quartz crystals. Though they are certainly notheworthy giant crystals, their sheer abundancy makes them not very much unique. So how to deal with them..? Possibly I will set up a page on this topic in the near future...
March, 19th 2006 : New Google Earth and location data added for all european localities and checked & updated the link list. If you wish to swap / exchange mineral specimens with me, please have a look to my new and updated specimen trading page here.
Gemmy 50 cm large hiddenite crystals on display
in the "Edelsteinmuseum Idar - Oberstein"
I recently visited the "Edelsteinmuseum Idar - Oberstein" and found some extremely nice and 50 cm large gemmy hiddenite (spodumene) crystals on display. Please have a look and enjoy. For more information on the museum please find the link here.
March, 12th 2006 : Many new Google Earth and location data added for african and asian giant crystal localities. Added additonal data on museums displaying giant crystals - see the clickable map on the entrance site. More Google Earth data coming soon.
March, 10th 2006 : I am back from Luxemburg, where the presentation of the Giant Crystal Project found a broad and positive acceptance - despite extremely heavy snowfall the day before !
Do you know Google Earth ? It is a very interesting - some might say "cool" - way to explore the Earth by satellite imagery, which is often surprisingly detailed. But it is more then that. You can "fly" to every single place on earth and you can also get 3D images of the places etc. etc. Its real fun...and its free. You can get more information and a free download here.
Why do I promote Google Earth that much ? Because it is an extremely useful way to explore the world and to explore Giant Crystal Localities. Starting with the namibian localities, we will add Google Earth data in the next time, so you can see exactly , where the giant crystals are. Please have a try here (beside the globe)....or here...or also here.
I also added some more data on the giant quartz crystals of the Farm Verloren and corrected some coordinates.
February, 24th 2006 : Thanks to Michael John we now have a russian welcome message available ! The Luxemburg Mineral Fair mentioned further down is coming soon and a presentation about the Giant Crystal Project will be given there Sunday afternoon.
February, 11th 2006 : New site added about the giant petalite crystals at the Rubicon lithium mine near Karibib / Namibia, which we visited in August 2005. And some work done on the welcome messages in different languages. We even have a chinese welcome message now....though I dont have a clue, what exactly is written there. Russian, arabic and hindi are still missing. If you can help translating the welcome message in these languages, please do so and send it to us here. Thank you very much !
February, 2th 2006 :
The Giant Crystal Project will be featured at the forthcoming Luxemburg Mineral Fair on March, 04 - 5th. Apart from a multimedia presentation there will be (most properly) also an oral presentation about giant crystals, their localities and their formation. See you in Luxemburg !
January, 2th 2006 :
The Giant Crystal Project celebrates its first birthday !
One year ago we started the Giant Crystal Project and we are proud, that - as of today, 16:17 p.m. MEZ - exactly 57.459 visitors have come to our site since its opening. Well, of course not exactly, as there are a lot of repeated visitors, which pop in from time to time, there are regular checks by myself etc. etc...not to forget a longer downtime in the summer of last year. But all to all there seems to be a growing worldwide interest in this site. Lets see, what the future will bring...for my part I would like to see more traffic and input into "The List", and the Giant Crystal Discussion Forum, but this is mainly up to you, the visitors of this site.
The Giant Crystal Project participated in the Geoberg - Award competition run by the Geoberg Website and - though I hoped for a little bit more ( to be honest ) we managed to get a least an "Award of Encouragement", which you can see below. Let's see, that we get better next year !
December, 28th : M. K. Heilman raised the question, which is the largest known garnet crystal and pointed us to the Kunz almandine garnet, found in 1885 during the construction of sewer works in New York. You can see it here.
The Kunz almandine garnet, measuring 15 cm across, Source : New York Mineralogical Club
Well, an interesting question. According to our notes (RICKWOOD 1981) there is an autheticated 1 m garnet crystal, which has been found in Selvik, Sogne and Fjordane, Norway and which was pictured in the same publication. However this particular garnet does not show many crystal faces, but seemed to be a rather rounded mass. Another giant garnet crystal of about 1 m size is rumoured to occur somewhere along the shoreline of southern Norway, but little more data is available at the moment. BERNHARD & HYRSIL mentioned some 25 cm large almandine crystals and even larger andradite crystals up to 30 cm from Franklin / New Jersey in their recently published excellent book "Minerals and their Localities". Finally we stumbled about a rather impressive garnet specimen on a farm in the Damaraland region in central Namibia during our recent visit, which can be seen below.
Garnet from Damaraland, Namibia. Photo : Gerhard v.d.Ehe
So, the hunt for giant garnets is on. If you know of any exceedingly large garnet crystals and have proof, i.e. a photo of the specimen in question, please send it in and we will post it here...Ah, and before I forget : The Giant Crystal Project wishes you a safe and sucessful 2006. Glück Auf !
December, 16th : Finally our "photo walk through" of the giant quartz crystals at the Verloren Farm / Namibia is online. Please have a visit and enjoy it right here or enter it from the main Verloren Quartz page here.
November, 16th : Added some more information about the Black Hills in the library and checked links.
November, 9th : Things turned out to be a little bit hectic in the last weeks, but finally we are coming back to normal... We finished our field trip to Turkey and are glad to show you some spectacular probertite crystals found in one of the borate mines. Please have a look here for more details. More information about Namibia coming soon...
One more word about our statistics page. Webalizer has recently altered its statistic page somewhat in order to block excessive spamming. Consequently we now get apparently far less visitors than we used to. But in fact the visitor counts now are much more reliable than before. Please have a look here for recent statistics.
October, 3rd : Thanks to E. Marais, Windhoek, we have now a publication online about the unique cave system, which developed in dolomite inclusions inside the giant quartz crystals on Farm Verloren, Namibia. Please have a look to the library to read the full text.
October, 1th : The summer is coming to an end and we are still alive and safely back from Namibia, which is a spectacular country indeed. Lots of impressions and..yes, we made it to the Quarzberg on the Verloren Farm, though it was only a short visit. More information on this locality will be added shortly. We also found another, hitherto unknown giant crystal locality near Karibib, where large petalite crystals up to 1,20 m size are preserved in the walls of the abanboned Rubicon lithium mine. Again, information will be added soon.
We are however just in the final planning phase for another field trip to Turkey, so more frequent updates will come not earlier than midth of October. Thank you for your patience.
July, 24th : New page added about the largest known mass of native iron = the largest known meteorite on earth : the Hoba Meteorite in northeastern Namibia.
July, 22nd : It looks like some people are experiencing problems using our email adress recently. Well, I agree : to avoid spamming the procedure to contact us is a bit more complicated than usual. Please read and note our email adress on the contact page and fill it into the appropiate box of your email program. Thank you and we are looking foward for your email.
July, 20th : The Giant Crystal Project is taking a summer break. We are moving to a new house and then the field trip to Namibia is coming up. So we will slow down a bit and updates will be necessarily not as frequent as usual. Thank you for your understanding.
July, 12th : We started to add more detailed maps - generally using Microsoft Autoroute data - to the giant crystal locality pages, which you can look up by clicking on the small globe maps on each locality page. Example : Evje - Iveland pegmatites, Norway
Click the map above for more details
July, 5th : The pull down menus on the entrance page starts to look a bit confusing. For better navigation I added a clickable image map of all the giant crystal localities covered by this site. If your browser does not display the map properly, please use the sitemap for navigation.
June, 25nd : And for all those of us, who are fluent in latin - I hope, there are some ! - we now have a welcome message in latin language thanks to P. Blümner.
June, 22nd : New page uploaded about the large feldspar crystals in the classic 'Hühnerkobel' deposit near Zwiesel, Bavarian Forest, Germany. And we also have some new 3D - panoramic images online from this locality
June, 16th : New large crystal entries into "The List" thanks to Michael Krause. Please go and have a look.
We are planning a field trip to Namibia later this year to examine and document the giant quartz crystals of the Farm Verloren as well as some other "giant crystal localities" in this fascinating country. If you want to read more information about our field trip and /or would like to share your part of our travel expenses, please click here.
June, 14th : It is a common misbelief, that all the spectacular mineral discoveries has already been made and are "historic". There surely is a good point in this thinking, as many easily acessible ore deposits were discovered and depleted long ago. However, given the level of mining activitiy worldwide, which is easily the highest in human history, it is much more likely that many a spectacular mineral discovery is still to be made.
A good example is this singe 165kg nugget of native silver, which was discovered just some months ago in the Elizabeth mine near Karrathara, Australia. Thanks to John Hoffman for sending us this interesting information.
June, 8th : A spectacular giant calcite formation, said to be the 'longest continous calcite formation in the world - already mapped at 2 miles long' has been discovered in Fort Stanton Cave in Lincoln County, New Mexico, USA. The formation, named "Snowy River passage" surely consists out of small crystals of calcite (maybe also aragonite and/or vaterite) but is definitely a spectacular discovery of an extraordinary large aggregate of a single mineral.
More information and images can be found on the website of Senator Pete V. Domenici here. The Giant Crystal Project will try to collect more information and images about these remarkable discovery, which was initially made back in 2001, but was formally announced only a few days ago.
June, 7th : An alle Leser des Mineralienmagazins Lapis :
Herzlich Willkommen auf der Homepage des Giant Crystal Projects / Projekt Riesenkristalle. Fein, das sie den Weg hierhin gefunden haben, auch wenn die im Lapisheft 6/2005 abgedruckte Internetadresse leider falsch war. Schauen sie sich um - es gibt viel zu entdecken. Wenn sie Fragen haben oder selber Material haben, das auf diese Webseite oder 'Die Liste' passt, schreiben Sie uns bitte. Und bitte weisen Sie andere LAPIS - Leser auf die richtige Internetadresse dieser Seite hin. Danke und viel Spass beim Stöbern in diesen Seiten.
June, 6th : New locality site added : The classic giant stibnite / antimonite crystals from the famous Ichinokawa mine, Shikoku Island, Japan. Please click here for more information.
June, 3th : Major site layout modifications done. We hope, that some sites look better now.
May, 31st : It has come to our attention, that some browsers like Opera may experience problems in displaying the Java based pull down menus on the entrance page of the Giant Crystal Project. To overcome this problem we now have a site map online in case that you can't access individual locality pages.
May, 27th : The Giant Crystal Project got its first Award and surely it is...The Crystal Award !
Thank you very much ! Please go here for an evaluation report of this site by the Crystal Award Project.
May, 24th : New entries and images in the 'The Large Crystal List' and on the 'Rumours' page. Thanks to Rik Dillen / Belgium for providing us with a great deal of new information about giant crystal localities.
May, 17th : New page - our 25th ! - added about the extraordinarily large to giant crystals of the Evje - Iveland pegmatite district in Southern Norway.
May, 12th : The Guiness World Records (= former Guiness Book of Records) has appointed the Giant Crystal Project as "offical expert" for giant crystals and related
mineralogical and geological topics. Thank you very much.
May, 4th : The Giant Crystal Project is proud to announce "The List" - a new feature devoted to the documentation of the largest crystals of every single mineral species known. It's a sort of mineral contest, where everybody can participate. No matter, what size*, no matter from which locality, no matter who is the owner ! Just have a look at "The List", follow the rules and send us your photo of your large crystal to build a global reference for the largest crystals of their kind...
Please have a look and enjoy many new photos of giant crystals, some of which are courtesy of P. RICKWOOD, who sent us copies of the original plates from his 1981 publication. Thank you very much indeed.
* = minimum size = 1 cm = 0,4 inches
May, 2nd : Finally, we have a guestbook online, which you can access here.
May, 1st : Today, at about 1O:30 am MEZ we were honoured to have had our 25.000th visitor since the formal opening of the Giant Crystal Project site in the middle of December 2004. Though we cannot find out, who it is, a hearty WELCOME to our site. I never exspected so much interest in the Giant Crystal Project ! Thank you very much indeed and please keep coming...
For more clickable statistics please go here
This might be the time to say a word about the statistics. Please have a look at the stats above. Though some of the visits originate from apparently unavoidable spam from various sources, most of the visitors are real people interested in giant crystals from all over the world. Let me take this opportunity to thank you all for the interest shown in our project. And be prepared for much more information on giant and large crystals in the future...
April, 28th : New unconfirmed rumors on the rumors page. Please have a look and have your say !
April, 21st : New page added about the spectacular finds of native silver in Cobalt / Ontario, Canada one hundred years ago.
April, 15th : Finally, we have a welcome message en francais thanks to C. Gineste, which you can find here. And, for all those who come here to view my specimen trading list : an updated version with lots of new entries can be found here.
April, 12th : Thanks to Mr. Wendell Wilson, who gave us permission to post the full story of the Carlsbad Halite Cave as published in 1999 in the Mineralogical Record in our library section. Please go here and enjoy reading this spectacular story.
April, 7th : We stay with halite. Somebody directed us to some more giant rocksalt crystals at the PCA potash mine near Carlsbad, USA, which was covered by a publication in the September / October 1999 issue of the Mineralogical Record. Click here to read more.
April, 3rd : We are back again from a field trip / holiday to Tuscany. Lots of rare minerals there, but no giant crystals. Well, at least the old sulphur mines at Perticara near Novafeltria supplied the largest known (?) sulfur crystals, which reachs up to 25 cm !.
Do not miss the panoramic images of the giant halite cubes of the Merkers mine, which we took some weeks ago. Any feedback on the panos is welcome. If you like them, please go here to visit more panos.
March, 19th : Small update on the links section today.
March, 15th : A new page uploaded about the giant gypsum geode of Pilar de Jaravia, southern Spain. Please have a look here..And, for all who want to read the full story, there is a new publication online on this spectacular geode in the Reading Room in pdf - format.
March, 12th : The Giant Crystal Project site is 3 months old (not counting all the researching and programming before the start of this website). We are happy to see steadily growing visitor numbers and a lot of contributions from all around the globe. Sincere thanks to all who have taken the time to contribute with valuable information and images to enhance and enlarge this site !
For some weeks we thought about a new site layout incorporating some of the nice logos and banners from our contest. Here it is, using a flash animation and some java scripts. If your computer did not support java, you will simply see the "traditional" site layout. Any feedback about the new site layout is highly appreciated.
March, 11th : Fortunately researching giant crystals is not just table work ! Today we went 700 m underground into Merkers mine in western Thuringia to document its giant halite cubes. Stay tuned for more images and information. Thanks to Frank de Wit and Thomas Witzke for assisting me on this trip and the Kali & Salz company for a great day.
Documenting the wealth of giant halite cubes in Merkers Potash mine
Source : Frank de Wit
March, 4th : Two new publications added in the Reading Room : About a geologists field trip to the giant gypsum crystals of Naica mine thanks to D. London and about a completely mined out iceland spar occurence at the Garibaldi mine in New South Wales / Australia thanks to Tony Forsyth. If you have any photos of this historic australian occurence, please let us know.
March, 2nd : New page uploaded about a spectacular find of giant icelandic spar (calcite) crystals in China. And we also have a new site search function.
February, 25th : Today we got an email from Peter. C. Rickwood - an authority in giant crystals, as you can see from his extremely informative publication - which reads :
Giant Garnet in Australia. I tried to follow that up some years ago and got
nowhere. I suspect it is apocryphal and it being based on a student project
makes me wonder whether they were making a joke. I have been in that area and
was taken to the classic epidote site by an indigenous tracker who ran on foot
whilst we followed in a Landrover! Where we went there was no sign of giant
garnets - just some nicely formed epidote of no great size.
So it looks, as if the giant australian garnet discovery can finally be dismissed as sheer legend.
February, 22nd : Finally : The results of the Giant Crystal Logo & Banner contest are posted here. Many thanks to every participant !
February, 21st : Our host at www.strahlen.org experienced an unexspected server crash last Friday, hence the Giant Crystal Project was down over the weekend. Sorry for any inconvenience.
We now have new welcome messages in italiano and espanol thanks to Christian Vassilis Mavris (italiano) and Carles Carol Pla of MineralTown.com(espanol).
February, 17th : New page added about giant epithermal calcite crystals at Sisak Cermik near Sivas, central Turkey.
February, 16th : Logo & Banner contest has ended. Thanks to all who participated. The results will be posted soon.
February, 14th : Last chance to participate in our Logo & Banner contest here. And we still need somebody to translate our 'formal' welcome message into some other key languages like french, espanol and russian. If you are fluent in one of those languages, we would appreciate your help.
February, 13th : New page added about the giant beryl crystals in the Ascensao pegmatite, Portugal.
February, 11th : Even more information and images on the giant glendonite crystals at
Mors Island / Denmark added thanks to H. Madsen, Moler Museet including a photo of a recent 1 m sized glendonite find in 2004. And there is a new welcome page in danish language too.
February, 9th : New colour images available on the truly giant Verloren quartz crystals in Namibia thanks to A. Schmidt-Mumm. There are also some corrections and additions on the danish Molerkrys page. And we have a turkish translation of our welcome message too.
February, 7th : Sorry, folks : We experienced some hardware problems recently, so no updates for some days. But now the problems are hopefully solved. If you would like to donate something for the new hard drive, please do so here.
February, 2th : Half time in our logo & banner contest. We are still open for new suggestions.
January, 29th : New page about the celestite crystal cave in Ohio added.And we have some new entries on the rumour page.
January, 26th : Good news. The first 'rumour' from the rumour page has been substantiated thanks to M. Heilmann. The Crystal Cave in Ohio exhibiting large celestite crystals really exists. And it is open to the public too ! More information coming soon.
Giant celestite crystals in Crystal Cave, Ohio
January, 21th : Small update, as we are just working on another project documenting anatolian world heritage sites. The museum keys on the main menu are functional now.
January, 18th : New page added about the Harding mine / New Mexiko with giant spodumene and icelandic spar crystals. There is also a new online publication available in the Reading Room
January, 15th : The Giant Crystal Project welcomes your contribution! Please visit our contest page and help us to design a new logo and banner for this project. Thank you.
January, 13th : New streamlined layout for the entrance page. And we now have a Giant Crystal Forum too !
January, 10th : Welcome message in portuguese language added. Translation thanks to R. Pimentel.
January, 9th : New page about large native wire silver aggregates in Kongsberg / Norway added. Does anybody know exactly how natural wire silver forms ? Please email us.
January, 7th : 'Rumour page' added. Please help to substantiate or disprove 'dubious' giant crystal localities !
January, 4th : Added more information about the giant gypsum crystals at Naica.
January, 2nd, 2005 : The Giant Crystal Project site is open. If you find any errors, please tell us about them. We wish you a safe and healthy 2005 !
December, 23rd, 2004 : The Giant Crystal Project wishes a heartily Happy Christmas to all our visitors ! Safe journey on icy roads !
December, 22nd, 2004 : Welcome message in german and dutch language added. If you would like to help us, please feel free to translate the equivalent english welcome message here into your mother language (or any other language you are familiar with) and send it to us. Thank you very much indeed !
December, 12th, 2004 : Beta-Version of this site online