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22nd April 2010

'Serifos' Article

A few words about the geology

The Serifos island, located in the south Aegean Sea, represents a multiple mineralized district including intrusion-hosted, skarn, carbonate replacement and vein-type ores. Serifos belongs to themetamorphic core complex of the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline Belt, which represents a polymetamorphic terrane within the Alpidic orogen of the Hellenides. The Serifos granodiorite is considered to be synchronous with Miocene extensional detachment faulting, and intruded schists and marbles causing an extensive contactmetamorphic aureole. Serifos, is not only famous because of themining activity during the past, it shows also uniquemineralogical and petrological features: Its very rareand worldwide known skarn minerals (garnets,ilvaite, the green variery of quartz), attracted scientistsand mineral collectors from all over the world.


Localities and the minerals of interest

Perhaps the most important locality in Serifos is "Avessalos". This area is characterized by a granatitic and hedenbergitic skarn and by the development of geodes filled by prograde and retrograde skarn minerals.
The Avessalos area is the best site in the world in respect to the mineral green quartz (prase or prasem) which is sometimes associated with iron roses of hematite. Most or all of the green quartzes from Serifos, come from this area, including those we sell here.

A very good example of green quartz(prasem) from Avessalos.

Furthermore, the well-known andradites with the nice dark edges come from this area.

A very good example of andradite from Avessalos.

In Avessalos, Amethyst has been found too. The Amethyst is pale and it is usually combined with green quartz. In some very rare occasions, scepters can be found which combine those two varieties of quartz. We soon hope to acquire a few examples to offer here.

Another locality with adradite, hematite and quartz is "Agia Marina". Unfortunately, the skarn zone is the part of private properties owned by local villagers who are unaware of the value of "their rocks". They do not allow anyone to dig there.

Apart from the minerals found in skarn zones, there are other minerals like Baryte, Fluorite, Calcite, Galena... These are usually found in old shafts. Follow these links for a calcite and a fluorite from Serifos.

Finally, the well-known Ilvaites from Serifos come from a hedenbergitic skarn in "Koundouro". Hematite, quartz and calcite are also found there. Most of the ilvaites from Koundouro are not terminated and during our last trip there, no terminated crystals were found.

A good example of Ilvaite from Koundouro.

During the last few years, it has been increasingly hard to find any new good pockets in Serifos. Apart from the new garnet find, no important finds have been made. It seems that the locality in no longer productive or at least as much as it had been at the past. However, we will do our best to acquire and offer you the best pieces we can!