The minerals of Elba

Elba is one of the most important and famous mineralogical and historical- mining locations on Earth; for that it is included in the "World Heritage Provisional List of Geological Sites" by Unesco. Its history has been linked to the mining activities from over four thousands years.Even the ancient Etruscans in the eighth century B.C were used to make their fortune exploiting the rich amount of iron in the island. Indeed the old name of Elba is linked to mining activities; in fact the Greeks who were navigating in the nearby seas, called it Aethalia (the sooty one) for the smokes coming out the Etruscan melting furnaces, visible from the sea.

Since the Etruscan times and later, there have been many populations who got richer by exploiting Elba's mines, until the latest generations of miners who dedicated their life digging into the earth and bringing to the surface beautiful and unique samples amazing researchers and collectors from all over the world.

The island has been so rich in minerals that a legend tells that there are unlimited mines. For centuries the abundance and purity of Elba's hematite have portrayed human affairs, then in 1981 the last iron mine of Elba Island was closed. After centuries of intense exploitation, the mines are no longer frequented by miners, but rather by mineral collectors and researchers.

Today the Mining Park and the iron mining areas located in the eastern side of the island with its progressively abandoned work sites, represent the ideal place for those looking for suggestive and silent landscapes evoking the ancient land. These are places that have been completely transformed by human activity but that seem to have preserved their wild spirit dating back to the origin of our planet.
There are many guided excursions in the mines and also sport events such as Miniera in Trail. That is why Elba is known worldwide for the beauty, the rarity and the scientific interest of its minerals. 

Minerals and provenance

Minerals and provenance

Elba has two mineral treasures one located in the eastern side and the other on the western side of the island.

Chemical formula of  minerals

Chemical formula of minerals

Technical details of  the minerals of  Elba Island, with their chemical formula and the indication of  finding site in Elba Island.

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