"The Pearl of Saxony"
in the Mineralogical Collection Germany at the KRÜGERHAUS
Since the 11 May, visitors to the Mineralogical Collection Germany exhibition have been able to admire the nearly 240-kilogram fluorite specimen. A sensation due to its incredible size and unique fluorite crystals, it’s been called “The Pearl of Saxony”. “The fluorite specimen is 110cm long, 70cm wide and 35cm high. At these dimensions, it’s the largest fluorite specimen to have been recovered in Saxony for 50 years,” explains Andreas Massanek, curator of TU Bergakademie Freiberg’s mineralogical collections.
The specimen was found on 22 January this year after blasting at the Ore Mountain Barite and Fluorite Works GmbH (EFS) mine in Niederschlag near Oberwiesenthal. The miners at Saxony’s only active fluorite mine discovered the impressive crystals in a cleft they had nearly overlooked. The crystallised cavity lay in such a good position that the crystals were undamaged by the shock wave from the detonation. This meant the large specimen could be recovered together with a number of other smaller specimens. Mineral collectors Thomas Grütze and Martin Reiber bought the specimen from EFS. “At this point, the fluorite specimen was still encrusted in a thick layer of iron hydroxide,” explains Martin Reiber. The TU Bergakademie Freiberg chemistry student then took on the cleaning work. “The biggest challenge was finding a suitable container in the first place and getting the specimen in there,” says Reiber. He was supported in this by the firm Freiberg Silicon Processing. Using a forklift, they lifted the specimen into a large cleaning container. “The fact that the specimen stayed in one piece when we took it out is a miracle,” enthuses Reiber.
Extensive cleaning removed the layer of “rust”. Three passes in total were required to reveal the intense glittering yellow-green of the fluorite crystals and the white barite. This was when the mineral collectors gave it the name, the “Pearl of Saxony”. They are making the specimen available to the Mineralogical Collection Germany exhibition in the Krügerhaus on a short-term loan. “We’re delighted to be able to display this unique specimen here and thus make it accessible to the public,” comments Anna Dziwetzki, director of terra mineralia.
The Krügerhaus, refurbished with the support of the Dr Erich Krüger Trust, has been home to the Mineralogical Collection Germany exhibition since late 2012 and displays the 1,000 most beautiful minerals from Schleswig-Holstein to Bavaria. Opening hours are Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm, extended until 6pm at weekends. A combi card including terra mineralia costs €14, or €7 for school-age and university students.
Source: Luisa Rischer, TU Bergakademie Freiberg Press Office
In KRÜGERHAUS, the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, presents a permanent exhibition of minerals from German sources that crowns the terra mineralia exhibition in Freudenstein Castle.
Beautiful and fascinating treasures from Germany await visitors from near and far: Curls of silver from Freiberg, gems from the Vogtland region, petal-like pieces of barite from the Sauerland region, green pyromorphite from Bad Ems, raspberry coloured rhodochrosite from the Siegerland region, beautiful pyrolusite from the Black Forest, honey-golden fluorite from the Oberpfalz, big halite cubes from Thuringia and filigree gypsum crystals from Saxony-Anhalt.
These are only a few of the magnificent specimens that one can admire in the newly renovated KRÜGERHAUS since October 2012. Take your time and discover the diversity and beauty of minerals from the whole of Germany in this unique exhibition, from mineral-rich Saxony up to the Saarland, from Schleswig-Holstein all the way to the mountains of Bavaria.
Where the treasures come from
Minerals from German sources form a main part of the famous Pohl-Ströher mineral collection. Added to this were exceptional minerals from the geo-scientific collections of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg as well as minerals from the university foundation’s “Mineralogical Collection Germany”, which was established in 2008.
The new exhibition was excellently supplemented through an unusually high number of loans from private mineral collectors. Exquisite collectors’ items to supplement the high-carat exhibition are always welcome, so that in future this exhibition will live up to the challenge of being a unique display of minerals of national character.
Monday - Friday 10 am - 4 pm
(the exhibition can be opened earlier for school classes - please contact our information desk).
Saturday - Sunday 10 am - 6 pm
(and public holidays)